Challenges and Opportunities for Humanities Research in China

Friday, December 1, 2023, 2-4pm. Reception to follow.
Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall, John Hope Franklin Center,

Duke Kunshan University graduated its first undergraduate class in the midst of the pandemic in 2022 and has continued to grow since then, more than doubling the size of its campus with the opening of Phase II this summer. During this time, Duke has supported research at DKU through the funding of a humanities research center, co-directed by Carlos Rojas at Duke and James Miller at Duke Kunshan. The center has supported faculty and undergraduate research through a number of labs, projects and initiatives that have sought to build research capacity and excellence with a focus on undergraduate students and junior faculty going through the tenure process. 

Humanities research in China faces a number of challenges but also holds important promises and opportunities. Challenges have included issues of academic freedom, political sensitivity, and operating in a STEM-driven environment. The opportunities, however, are tremendous for globalizing and/or decolonizing traditional humanities approaches that have largely derived from Western theoretical frameworks.

To learn more about the challenges and opportunities for humanities research in China, please join a panel discussion  sponsored by DKU’s Humanities Research Center on December 1. Panelists include James Miller, Carlos Rojas, and DKU humanities students. Following opening remarks from each panelist there will be an open discussion with the audience. A reception will follow.

James Miller is Professor of Humanities and Co-Director of the Humanities Research Center at Duke Kunshan University, and currently Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He is widely known as a scholar of Chinese religions, especially Daoism, with a focus on Daoist values and ethics regarding nature and the environment. He has published numerous books and research papers on Daoist Studies, and is currently editing the forthcomingOxford Handbook of Daoism.

Carlos Rojas is Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies and Co-Director of the Humanities Research Center at Duke Kunshan University. He has authored, edited, and translated many books on global Chinese literature and culture.