Student Report on Improving International Learning Through Virtual Exchange

This event features Robert O’Dowd from the University of León, Spain, on Developing authentic international learning experiences through Virtual Exchange.

Reported by Vicky Yongkun Wu, Class of 2026

Virtual Exchange (VE), also Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) or telecollaboration, refers to students and teachers’ engagement in intercultural collaborative projects with partners from other countries using digital technologies. In the post-pandemic and technologically advanced era, VE is crucial in fostering a range of employability skills, preparing students for physical mobility, and promoting university inclusivity.

In the research talk, Prof Emmanuelle Chiocca first briefly introduced the Third Space Lab and Dr. O’Dowd. The Third Space Lab focuses on identity, language, language learning motivation, and student change in intercultural and translingual environments. Major events of the lab include guest lectures, Brownbag lunch talks delivered by LCC faculty members, workshops, etc. According to Prof Chiocca’s introduction, Dr. O’Dowd is an Associate Professor of English as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Leon, Spain, and have published works on the application of Virtual Exchange in higher education. Continue reading “Student Report on Improving International Learning Through Virtual Exchange”

Student Report on Improving Accessibility and Inclusion of Social VR for People with Disabilities 

This lecture by Professor Yuhang Zhao was a part of HRC’s Anthropocene XR Lab‘s Talk Series. Click here for upcoming events from the Lab.

Reported by Vicky Yongkun Wu, Class of 2026.

Social VR refers to VR platforms where people communicate and socialize in the form of avatars. With the advancement of technology, social VR is increasingly influencing the next generation. However, current VR technology mainly relies on realistic visual feedback to provide an immersive experience to sighted people. Most VR applications are not accessible to visually impaired people, preventing them from benefiting from this important class of emerging technology. Prof Yuhang Zhao’s talk focused on her research on social VR accessibility and inclusion.

Continue reading “Student Report on Improving Accessibility and Inclusion of Social VR for People with Disabilities “

Looking back at the 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad

Reported by Mateja Bokan, Class of 2025.

DKU Humanities Research Center (HRC) organized the 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad 科学与慈善 in Barcelona during the first week of October. Gathering DKU students currently in Barcelona and other members of the DKU community via Zoom, this two-day event brought together around eighty participants, four keynote speakers, and a distinguished Guest Lecturer in order to shed light on global response to various challenges using China and Spain as contexts of scientific development and empathy to bring communities together. Continue reading “Looking back at the 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad”

Student Report: Film screening of “I am Not Your Negro”

Reported by Mateja Bokan, Class of 2025.

This Documentary Screening of “I am Not Your Negro” is sponsored by HRC Freedom Lab on October 25, 2022.

Freedom Lab Co-Directors, Selina Lai-Henderson and Jesse Olsavsky introduces the film. (Photo by Jesse Campbell, Class of 2025)

Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, I am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck is a Documentary nominated for an Academy Award that raises urgent ideas regarding racism in the United States of America. Continue reading “Student Report: Film screening of “I am Not Your Negro””

Student Report of The Politics of Environmental Crisis: Perspectives from Latin American Art and Ecology – Joanna Page

This keynote lecture from Joanna Page was part of 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad.

Reported by Pauline Rogers, Class of 2025.

Professor Joanna Page is a professor at the Center of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK who focuses on literature, film, graphic fiction and visual arts from Latin America, focusing on Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Many of her projects, including her most recent book, Decolonizing Science in Latin American Art, focus on the intersection between science and art. As the first guest speaker in the 2022 Fall Humanities Conference held in Barcelona, Professor Page brings us a lecture titled The Politics of Environmental Crisis: Perspectives from Latin American Art and Ecology. Continue reading “Student Report of The Politics of Environmental Crisis: Perspectives from Latin American Art and Ecology – Joanna Page”

Student Report: Joanna Page – Student Seminar

This student seminar was part of 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad.

Reported by Pauline Rogers, Class of 2025.

Professor Page’s seminar focused on the theme of Art-Science Projects. Before arriving at the seminar, participants were expected to read the introduction of her book Decolonizing Science in Latin American Art. 

She begins by asking us a question that we split into groups and discuss. “What are the differences between art and science?” Differences that we are asked to focus on include their objectives, methods of communication, what is valued, standard of what makes it good, and spaces in which they operate.  Continue reading “Student Report: Joanna Page – Student Seminar”

Student Report on Biao Xiang’s Brutal Moralism: Changes in Popular Worldviews in China since 2008

Reported by Dongkun Lyu, Class of 2025

This is a hybrid keynote lecture as a part of 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad.

Duke Kunshan University’s Humanities Research Center invited Professor Biao Xiang who is one of China’s foremost social anthropologists to deliver a lecture on Oct 8, regarding his recent research . He is currently conducting research at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and was only able to participate in the HRC’s Ciencia y Caridad Fall Conference via zoom. Continue reading “Student Report on Biao Xiang’s Brutal Moralism: Changes in Popular Worldviews in China since 2008”

Student Report: Brutal Moralism: Changes in Popular Worldviews in China since 2008” by Biao Xiang

Reported by Dongkun Lyu, Class of 2025

This is a hybrid keynote lecture as a part of 2022 Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad.

Duke Kunshan University’s Humanities Research Center invited Professor Biao Xiang who is one of China’s foremost social anthropologists to deliver a lecture on Oct 8, regarding his recent research . He is currently conducting research at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and was only able to participate in the HRC’s Ciencia y Caridad Fall Conference via zoom.

Xiang formulated the existence of a  popular worldview in China called “Brutal Moralism.” It is the idea that brutality is a sign of authenticity, and it is an idea that is accepted by a sizable section of the Chinese population, regardless of their socioeconomic background since 2008. Xiang makes a distinction between morality and moralism. He asserts that “Morality is about principles that guide one’s conduct; moralism is about judging others in a black and white manner”.

He points out that Brutal Moralism has two characteristics, I) it is widely accepted emotionally; II) there is a justification for it. One reason for these characteristics is the self-identification of the victims which emotionally transforms into hatred. Another reason is that brutal moralism justifies some traditionally immoral behavior. This was especially seen in the discussion of the Russo-Ukrainian war in online public forums. “Violence can be celebrated as heroic; traditional moral values such as respect for life can be belittled as hypocrisy.” Brutality as a sign of authenticity was legitimated by Moralistic claims.

The value of human life counts for little in this moralistic worldview. This Brutal Moralism influences people’s worldviews both on the international  and individual level.

Prof. Zairong Xiang also presented his observations on online public opinion.

After the lecture, Professor Xiang opened the floor to observations and questions, and he proceeded to answer all questions at once. The lecture ended with Professor Xiang’s summary response, and he hoped to continue the discussion into the student seminar.

Student seminar with Biao Xiang

Professor Xiang carried out a student seminar by the means of an anthropological dialogue. Student were invited to present their empirical experiences, perceptions, and hypotheses related to the issues raised in the lecture.

Sample questions and hypotheses:

Q: Thank you to Prof. Xiang for the great lecture, I have a question about the role of historical narratives or national shame education which in late the 20th century, which the Chinese government turned to in order to emphasize  cases like the Nanjing massacre. This then justifies the 落后就会挨打”If you fall behind, you will be beaten” principle. It’s a justification of violence, of competition between individuals, justifying moralistic brutality. Individuals who grow up under this sort of education will tend to appeal to the authorities, and perhaps worship it.

Xiang endorsed this hypothesis and admitted there may be several historical reasons for these worldviews. He also hoped the students could present more on their perceptions of this.

In the later seminar, students presented and raised their empirical experiences and questions such as “the conflict between political legitimacy and brutal moralism,” “daily lives in Shanghai during pandemic” and “Internet opinion”.

Xiang also discussed how to translate “戾气” and “无力感” which are words he thinks of as accurate symbols of the younger Chinese generations. The group decided on “戾气” as “toxic gas” and “无力感”as “sense of powerlessness”.

Before the lecture, Professor Xiang was conducting anthropological interviews, asking about the actual situation of the epidemic in Shanghai.

Student Report: Viewing Feedback Literacy as Independent Backpacking – A Research Talk About Improving Feedback in L2 Learning

Reported by Vicky Yongkun Wu, Class of 2026.

This research talk is part of the Third Space Lab Brown Bag Lunch Research Talk presented by the Humanities Research Center. The program is broadly associated with research projects related to languages, cultures, and intercultural communication. 

Joseph Davies is a senior lecturer of English language and assistant director for graduate English for Academic Purposes at Duke Kunshan University, China. During a research talk on October 28th, 2022, Prof Davies introduced his research on feedback literacy among L2 learning students. Based on the fact that students and teachers are generally dissatisfied with the feedback practice, he explored ways of improving the situation in a productive manner. Continue reading “Student Report: Viewing Feedback Literacy as Independent Backpacking – A Research Talk About Improving Feedback in L2 Learning”

Student Report: Roundtable Panel Discussion with James Miller, Carlos Rojas and faculty guests

Reported by Shivam Mani, Class of 2025.

Photo by Jesse Campbell, Class of 2025.

To conclude the Humanities Research Center’s Ciencia y Caridad Fall Conference, the Co-Directors of the HRC, Carlos Rojas and James Miller, held a roundtable panel discussion with the faculty guests and attendees of the conference.

Prof. Rojas briefly summarized each event and lecture from the past two days, and provided his own comments on the research of the guests.

Starting with Prof. Duran’s and Prof. Page’s lectures, Prof. Rojas connected the two topics with the concept of ‘seeing’. Prof. Duran’s presentation on the medical humanities and gender in the works of Philip Roth and Sussana Kaysen included a scene from the movie “Elegy”, directed by Isabel Coixet, in which a woman’s male lover takes a picture of her to allow her to see herself through his eyes. ‘Seeing’ was also connected with Prof. Page’s presentation that highlighted different epistemologies in the environmental sciences, which is essentially an exploration of different world views–different ways of seeing humans’ relationship with nature. Continue reading “Student Report: Roundtable Panel Discussion with James Miller, Carlos Rojas and faculty guests”