Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad 科学与慈善

The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce its fall conference, Ciencia y Caridad 科学与慈善(“Science and Charity”), based on Picasso’s painting of the same name, exhibited in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The conference will be held in person in Barcelona on October 7-8, 2022 and will be accessible to the global DKU community via Zoom. Conference attendees are invited to a private viewing of the painting and a gala reception at the Picasso museum.

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Weakening Strategies: Vattimo and Chinese Thought

Gianni Vattimo (1936–) is one of Europe’s foremost contemporary philosophers, whose work has had a lasting influence on a broad range of fields including sexuality, theology, art and politics. He is known chiefly for the idea of “weak thought” (pensiero debole), which aims to weaken the strong narration of Western metaphysics and the violence of dogmatic positions. From such “weakening strategies” develop an ethic and political philosophy that opposes totalitarianism and fascism, a project that Vattimo undertook personally as a Member of the European Parliament. In his later work, Vattimo also connected weak thought to themes of kenosis (self-emptying), sacrifice, and secularization in religious and theological studies. In an era that emphasizes might, power, and strength, now is precisely the time to pay attention to weakness as a philosophical concept and ethical value, and to do so in a globalized, even multipolar context. 

In this regard Chinese thought, and especially Daoist philosophy, can become a rich interlocutor with Vattimo’s philosophy. The Daode jing 道德經 emphasizes virtues of softness and passivity, stating that  “The soft and weak overcome the hard and strong (柔弱勝剛強).” The classical Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi, moreover, is known for his emphasis on perspectivalism, understanding the limits of knowledge, and critiquing those who claim to have a complete understanding of truth. Daoism and other forms of Chinese philosophy have an important role to play in investigating the concept of weakness, in conversation with Vattimo’s philosophical and ethical project. Continue reading “Weakening Strategies: Vattimo and Chinese Thought”

2021 Fall Conference Student Report: Post-Conference Film & Discussion

Post-Conference Film and Discussion: That’s Not How I Remembered It

by Zishuo Wu

The Japanese film, Rashomon (1951), was introduced to the audience by Prof. Richard Davies in his film discussion titled, “That’s Not How I Remembered it.” With it being the first Japanese movie that made a splash overseas, Prof. Davies raised both cultural concerns and film-making thoughts for the audience. Then the movie was shown as the highlight of the event. Continue reading “2021 Fall Conference Student Report: Post-Conference Film & Discussion”

2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar

By Hantian Zhang

Cao Fei, winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2021) , is an internationally-renowned Chinese contemporary artist. She was the guest of the one of the three student seminars in 2021 Humanities Research Center’s Fall Conference. The prerequisite of this seminar was to watch two of Cao Fei’s films about the future of work and labor – 11.11 (2018) and Asia One (2018).

11.11 is a documentary that records the work overload of the entire JD.com logistics system before and after the “double eleven” shopping day in China and reflecting on the reality. Asia One focuses on art performance. It shows an emotional entanglement between the “unmanned” (intelligentized production), “human” and “non-human” (robot). In this seminar, Cao Fei answered a series of edgy and meaningful questions from students, which provided lots of inspiration in art realm.

“Art is so romantic but what is its realistic function?” Continue reading “2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar”

2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Doc Lab Launch

By Peter (Yanming) Shen

On the last day of the Humanities Research Fall Conference, the newest lab under the Humanities Research Center, the DOC Lab, was initiated. The DOC Lab, co-established by Prof. Kolleen Guy, Prof. Seth Henderson, and Prof. Kaley Clements aims to explore and understand the world of documentary.

At first Prof. Henderson briefly introduced leading members of the DOC Lab, also appreciated the support from the HRC. The lab plans to promote documentaries in any form and documentary studies in various approaches. Other than directly funding student-led documentary making and documentary-based research, the lab is planning a series of activities, including screening salons, filmmaking workshops, and many more.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Wang Jianbao Student Seminar

By Xiaoliang Yang

On Saturday, November 13th, the student seminar hosted by Professor Jianbao Wang was held in the innovation building 1051, from 13:00 to 14:30 pm. The topic was “Entrepreneurship and Confucian Ethics.”

Professor Jianbao Wang is the Director of the Center for the Humanities and Business Ethics at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. His research focuses on Confucianism as well as developing new business models. His publications are published in renowned journals and other outlets including ChinaNews, Chuanshan Journal and People’s Daily. Before pursuing his doctoral degree in Philosophy at Peking University, Professor Wang had rich experiences in practicing entrepreneurship, from corporate group management to representing Pakistan Railway.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – HRC Labs & Student Projects

Humanities Research Center Labs & Student Research Projects Seminar

By Peter (Yanming) Shen

The HRC Labs & Student Research Projects presentations were held on November 12, 2021, at the Lecture Hall in the Innovation Building. The purpose of the event was to show the research work of the labs of the Humanities Research Center, especially featuring the outcome of student researchers and student-led projects. Due to travel restrictions, the speakers joined the event both in-person and online. All the projects were founded by HRC, the SELF (Student Experimental Learning Fellowship) program, and/or the SRS (Summer Research Scholar) project. Also, many of the programs are products or period products of students’ Signature Work.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Chen Qiufan Student Seminar

An Exploratory Science Fiction Journey of a Storyteller: Mr. Stanley (Qiufan) Chen’ s Student Seminar

By Dongkun Lyu

Started with a short introduction from the student leader, the whole seminar went smoothly in a peaceful afternoon. The student leader asked Mr. Chen a question as a brief introduction – which identity does he prefer among all the identities he has. His answer was, “a storyteller.”

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2021 Fall Conference Student Reports – Faculty Panel

November 12, 2021

Faculty Panel 1B: Literary and Virtual Reality
By Waner Shao

Ben Van Overmiere: Zen and the Art of Detective Fiction: The Case of Janwillem van de Wetering (1932-2008)

Few people have thought that there is a relation between detective fiction and Zen Buddhism. This research examined this relationship through the work of the Dutch writer Janwillem van de Wetering. Before he became famous as a detective writer, he also deeply explored Zen Buddhism. He drew his inspiration for detective fiction through Buddhism. This relation is considered important, and this research hypothesized that popular literature could immensely influence people’s impression of Buddhism.

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The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动

Humanities Fall Conference

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The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce its fall conference: The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动. The conference features three renowned keynote speakers: multimedia artist Cao Fei; science fiction author Chen Qiufan; and professor of philosophy and business, Wang Jianbao. In addition to the keynote speeches, DKU faculty from a range of disciplines will introduce their research, and various labs from the Humanities Research Center will make presentations about their research over the past year. DKU students may register for the conference by filling in this registration form or scanning the QR code. Those who register after October 29 are welcome to attend the sessions, but will not be eligible to attend the dinners. Continue reading “The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动”