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.

Recovering the Lost Art of Thinking in Education

Selina Lai-Henderson, DKU Associate Professor and American Literature and History and Co-Director of Humanities Research Center’s Freedom Lab, has been invited to speak at “Recovering the Lost Art of Thinking in Education – How to Think like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education ” presented by Princeton University Press.

Date/Time: April 28, 2022, 9-11am Beijing time

Speakers: Scott Newstok
Guest Speakers: David S. Hogsette & Selina Lai-Henderson

The event is open to the public:


The Citizenship Lab Presents: Bicultural approaches to extractivism in the Río de la Plata Basin

This event has passed. You can watch the recording here:

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 25, 2022 @ 9AM China Time
Speaker: Alejandro Meitin
Zoom ID: 933 1519 3947


The Río de la Plata Basin is China’s primary source of soy, and the world’s largest site of soy production. The Basin has become a laboratory to observe the social and ecological consequences of extractive industry, including the spawning of new political and ecological alliances and forms of resistance. Many local artists have focused their work on these urgent issues, asking a series of linked questions: On what territorial imaginaries does monoculture rest? What exercises of political imagination should we perform to move beyond monoculture? How might this lead us to reconceive the relationship between the cultural and the biological?

Speaker Bio:

He is an artist, lawyer, social innovator, and founder of the art collective Ala Plástica (1991-2016) based in the city of La Plata, Argentina. More recently, he founded Casa Río Power to Do Lab, collaborating with youth, farmers, artists, activists, architects, local authorities, and pollution control experts to create international alliances and proposals for wetlands management.

The Classical Confucian Conception of Heaven’s Mandate and Human’s Destiny

The Classical Confucian Conception of Heaven’s Mandate and Human’s Destiny

Time and Date: April 27, 2022, 8:00-9:00pm, China time
Online Webinar:  Zoom ID: 979 2614 7323, Passcode: 369690

Speaker: Prof. Jinhua Jia, University of Macau, Wuhan University, Yangzhou University.


Abstract Continue reading “The Classical Confucian Conception of Heaven’s Mandate and Human’s Destiny”

Third Space Lab Presents: Multilingual China – Realities, Key Policies, and Multilingual Education Models

Date/Time: May 5, 2022, 8pm China time
Speakers: Prof Anwei Feng and Prof Bob Adamson


RSVP by May 4th:

Abstract:  While the national language is rigorously promoted in China, minority languages and Fangyan (dialects/topolects of Chinese) are still widely used all over the country. Despite apparent tensions, many scholars and policy makers argue that multilingualism benefits both societies as it is crucial for preservation of national language resources, and individuals for their cognitive, affective and economic needs. How multilingual is China? What are the key state policies and practical models found to be adopted to encourage or lessen multilingualism in schools and universities? In this talk, we, the editors of two volumes1&2 that focus on multilingual China, will present an account of the multilingual phenomena in China and address some key challenges facing policy makers and researchers in language education in general.

  1. Adamson B. and Feng, A.W. (eds.) (2022) Multilingual China: National, Minority, and Foreign Languages. London and New York: Routledge.
  2. Feng A.W. and Adamson B. (eds.) (2015) Trilingualism in education in China: Models and challenges. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Speaker Bios: Continue reading “Third Space Lab Presents: Multilingual China – Realities, Key Policies, and Multilingual Education Models”

Freedom Lab: Call for Faculty Research Projects

The Freedom Lab is excited to announce that it will support two to four faculty-student research projects. All faculty members are welcome to apply.

Research projects should relate very broadly to the Lab’s theme of “freedom” and “unfreedom.” Please see the Freedom Lab Website for a sense of the kind of work the lab does All research projects must include student researchers, as the funding will be primarily allocated in the form of student research assistantships. Apart from maintaining their research agendas, Faculty and student RA’s must actively participate in the lab’s activities.

To apply, please send a one-page proposal briefly describing your project, the kind of research it requires, and the kind of work student RAs will do.

Proposals can be sent to Selina Lai Henderson ( and Jesse Olsavsky ( by Monday, April 25th.  

So far, the Freedom Lab has funded four faculty projects and eight student RA’s, leading to conference presentations, student Signature Work projects, and publications. We hope to continue this support of student and faculty research!

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””