Student Report on Professor Hyun Jeong Ha’s Manuscript Workshop: Social Mechanisms of Sectarian Violence in Egypt, 1970-2020: Types and Patterns of Armed Aggression and Communal Clash

Reported by Waner Shao, Class of 2024.

The HRC Citizenship Lab hosted a  Manuscript Workshop: Social Mechanisms of Sectarian Violence in Egypt, 1970-2020: Types and Patterns of Armed Aggression and Communal Clash with Professor Hyun Jeong Ha on August 1, 2022. The paper examined how political events, such as the Arab Spring, have affected sectarian relations, especially between Muslims and Christian, and focussed on Christian experiences of  sectarian tensions and violence over the past 50 years.

Continue reading “Student Report on Professor Hyun Jeong Ha’s Manuscript Workshop: Social Mechanisms of Sectarian Violence in Egypt, 1970-2020: Types and Patterns of Armed Aggression and Communal Clash”

Student Report: XR Workshop #3: UI Design with Figma

Reported by Jiahe Yang, DKU Undergraduate Class of 2025

The HRC Anthropocene XR Lab‘s Student Lab Manager, Leiyuan Tian, hosted a workshop on using Figma to do basic UI (User Interface) design on July 14, 2022. The lab invited Qingyang He from the class of 2024 who majored in Media Art, Creative practice track to mainly present the talk. Figma is an online collaboration tool for designers and developers to create user interfaces for applications, webpages, or other kinds of media. Qingyang walked us through the basic knowledge of Figma’s tools, functions, Figma resources, and some examples of her work. Then she gave two short tutorials on vector symbols and texture shading, then end the workshop by providing a case study about light weighted digital drawing interface.

Basics of the Figma interface Continue reading “Student Report: XR Workshop #3: UI Design with Figma”

Student Report: Anthropocene XR Lab: A Beginner’s Guide to Unity Game Engine

Reported by Josh Manto, DKU Undergraduate Class of 2024

On the second of June 2022, the HRC Anthropocene Lab hosted a workshop on Unity Game Engine, a development platform often used for application, website, and game development. The workshop was facilitated by Leiyuan Tian and was taught by Tony Ren, both of whom are from the class of 23’. From covering basic interface navigation, understanding hierarchies, to more in-depth concepts like game physics and scripting, Tony and Leiyuan were successful in providing a beginner-friendly tutorial to Unity game engine.

Tony showing us the the preliminaries, which include downloading Unity Game Engine, and an IDE (integrated development environment) such as Visual Studio Code to write scripts. After downloading all preliminary software, Tony explains the basics: Continue reading “Student Report: Anthropocene XR Lab: A Beginner’s Guide to Unity Game Engine”

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.

Register to receive Zoom information. Continue reading “Humanities Fall Conference: Ciencia y Caridad 科学与慈善”

Student Report: The Bird Collision Prevention Project

Reported by Shuyuan Zhou

Studies have shown that bird strikes on buildings are considered to be the second leading cause of bird deaths caused by humans. Birds may perish during the day without realizing the glass is there due to its reflectivity and permeability; at night, they may be attracted to the light and thus hit the glass. At Duke Kunshan University, most of the buildings have fully transparent glass structures, and many birds die as a result of collisions with the glass.

The Bird Collision Prevention Project, an interdisciplinary art and research project aims to have a comprehensive look at the bird collision problem at DKU, starting with its landmark, the Water Pavilion. We use artistic intervention on the glass architecture itself to create a colorful and warm barrier.  In Spring 2021, we’ve “turn the cage into a bird” by hanging a mixture of twines and yarns to divide the outer area of the Water Pavilion into 5x10cm intervals, which could effectively create a friendly alert to the avian visitation. The latent fluidity of the drooping yarns echoes the near-water position of the Water Pavilion, which might make the architecture and its natural surrounding a unity not by transparency but interference.

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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”

Student Report: Third Space Lab Guest Speaker Series from Prof Anwei Feng and Prof Bob Adamson

Reported by Dongkun (Ludwig) Lyu

On May 5, 2022, Third Space Lab launched their Guest Speaker Series sharing a discussion focused on Language and culture in the form of an online forum. This forum was mainly composed of two sessions, the talk and Q & A. Two distinguished speakers, Prof. Anwei Feng and Prof. Bob Adamson from UNNC, discussed multi-lingual China realities, key policies and multi-lingual education models based on two of their edited volumes on this topic.

Continue reading “Student Report: Third Space Lab Guest Speaker Series from Prof Anwei Feng and Prof Bob Adamson”

Student Report: The Ukraine Crisis – A Roundtable Discussion

Reported by Josh Manto, Class of 2024

On the 9th of March 2022, Duke Kunshan University’s Humanities Research Center organized a roundtable discussion to cover the recent 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The event saw the participation of four distinguished individuals who engaged in a rich discourse on its causes of the Ukraine crisis, and its impact  on ordinary people’s lives, and the world’s economy. 

Susan Coulborn

Speaker List:
First, we have Professor Susan Coulborn, the Associate Director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS) at the Sanford School at Duke University, and an international historian who specializes in strategy and security in the atomic age. She has authored her first book, Euromissiles, which explores the rise and fall of an arms race in Europe and its relationship with the Atlantic Alliance and NATO. Continue reading “Student Report: The Ukraine Crisis – A Roundtable Discussion”

Student Report: Students-led Workshop of “The Female Robot: Beneath the Skin, Between the Machines Panel Series”

By Hantian Zhang, Class of 2025

On April 30, 2022, Li Ruoyu and Chai Hua, students of Arts and Humanities at Duke Kunshan University, conceptualized and convened the workshop as a part of the one-day symposium “The Female Robot”. The purpose of the student working panel is to look back on the history of AI and look into its future.

Firstly, Chai Hua gave a presentation of her signature work that illustrated the ethical reflection on anthropomorphic artificial intelligence products. The research focused on two main questions. The first one was the reason why humans materialize and personify AI. The second question was ethical risks of AI products in private scenarios. When explaining the two questions, Chai provided the explicit description and logical analysis. In her conclusion, she advocated for further regulation in this realm. Next was the free discussion with audience, some questions of which were explained by Ruoyu in her following presentation.

The topic of Ruoyu’s presentation was the Glitch Art and human-machine relationship. To start with, she delivered a introduction of terms including Glitch and Glitch Art. Then she demonstrated the meaning of studying Glitch Art. In terms of Glitch Art and human-machine relationship, she provided models of logic and put forward with the primary argument. Glitch Art is a revolt against existing programs and gave back to humans the initiative that has gradually been taken by machines. For female robot, Glitch Art questioned systems and tended to eliminate duality of gender.

In the workshop, Li Ruoyu and Chai Hua provided profound illustration and critical thoughts, which greatly inspired audience to think more about the future of AI.

Student Report: Superdeep #9 “Benjamin’s Aura and NFT”

Benjamin’s Aura and NFT Presented by Tian Leiyuan
Reported by Zishuo Wu

Treat from the event, photographed by Zishuo Wu

This was the last Superdeep meeting in this session. TIAN Leiyuan, presenter of this workshop, brought her audience two delicious pizzas, making the atmosphere in the meeting room marvelous and enjoyable.

To begin, Prof. Nathan Hauthaler introduced the host, TIAN Leiyuan, (image below). Leiyuan is junior majoring in media arts who is also involved in a lot of work in philosophy. In this presentation of “Benjamin’s Aura and NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens),” she shared one of her research projects connecting philosophy in media arts.


Speaker, Leiyuan Tian, presenting.

First, Leiyuan introduced what NFT arts look like by showing the audience two esteemed NFT artworks. The first one was The Five Fears by the Aeforia collection, a 3D image with peculiar sound effects. The second was Every Day: The first 5000 days (1981).

NFT was described by Leiyuan as a type of unique, indivisible, and indestructible digital verification of purchase recorded on blockchains. Why did NFT emerge? Leiyuan said it offered a way to acknowledge the ownership of reproducible pieces, allowing them to be associated with digital art. Continue reading “Student Report: Superdeep #9 “Benjamin’s Aura and NFT””