Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference, April 26-27, 2024

The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce its annual Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference, Superdeep, which will be held in person at Duke Kunshan University from April 26-27, 2023. The conference will feature approximately 40 undergraduate research papers and 4 keynote addresses. Students who are selected for the conference will also attend an exclusive seminar with one of the keynote speakers.

Current undergraduate students in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are invited to submit abstracts. Those selected will receive round trip transport to Kunshan, all meals and shared accommodations.


  • Papers must be written in English.
  • Papers must be unpublished research that has not been presented in a previous DKU Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference
  • Papers may be on any topic in an arts, humanities, interpretive social science or related interdisciplinary field. They do not have to address the conference theme.
  • Papers that rely principally on quantitive research methods will not be considered.
  • Papers must be by a single author.
  • Prizes of 1000 RMB will be awarded to the best five papers.

Fill out the application form here or scan the QR code.


  • Tuesday, March 19, 8-9pm information session on preparing a submission: Zoom 6952900771
  • Friday, March 22 or before, submit application form with paper title and 300 word abstract.
  • Monday, April 1, acceptance decisions announced
  • Sunday. April 21, final papers (max 10 pages double spaced, excluding notes and bibliography) must be submitted to organizers to be considered for a prize
  • Thursday, April 25, non-DKU students arrive on campus
  • Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27 conference takes place on campus
  • Sunday, April 28, non-DKU students return home

Keynote Speakers

Chenshan Tian earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and he has lived, taught and given public lectures in Hawai’i, in North Dakota, and in China. Professor Tian started his teaching career in China at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2005. In October 2009, Dr. Tian was elected to the post of Director of the International Confucian Association. He is also a core member of the “Roger T. Ames Confucian Master Project” in Shandong Province. As a contemporary Chinese-American academic, Chenshan Tian specializes in comparative Western and Chinese political philosophy.

Recently, his research has focused on exploring the differences between Eastern and Western world views, alternative ways of thinking, and different forms of scientific understanding. His book, Chinese Dialectics: From Yijing to Marxism, focuses on explaining the fundamental differences between Chinese and Western Marxism. This work makes the simple but profound observation that much of the history of Western thought, including scientific thought, has essentially been derived from, and limited by the Christian faith in a transcendent “God.” This model can be expanded to involve an ontology of Being and Nonbeing, a teleological order from beginning to end, and a plethora of dualisms, such as a final distinction between the natural world and human culture, time and space,
mind and body, ontology and epistemology, and so on.

Tian advocates an intellectual world derived from the Yijing, which seems much more in tune with the mysteries of organic life, with human behavior, and with the nature of material and energy inherent in quantum mechanics and in the relativity theories of modern physics. At Beijing Foreign Studies University, Dr. Tian teaches courses in “Political Thought and Theory,” “Chinese Government and Politics,” “Comparative Foreign Policy,” “American Politics,” “Modern Chinese Philosophy,” “Media and Politics,” “Comparative Chinese and Western Philosophy,” and “Modern Chinese History.”

Ru YE is an associate professor at Wuhan University. She works on epistemology, more specifically, epistemic permissivism, higher-order evidence, and pragmatic encroachment. She is also interested in formal epistemology and the intersection between ethics and epistemology.  She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2016, and before that, she did undergraduate work at Wuhan University. 

Seth Jaffe is Associate Professor (Research) of the History of Political Thought at Luiss Guido Carli University, Rome (LUISS). His PhD is from the University of Toronto, his MSc from the LSE, and his BA from Bowdoin. He has worked on U.S. foreign policy, been a postdoc at FU Berlin, and is a regular Senior Associate of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He has research interests in Greek and Roman political philosophy, the history of international political thought, and how classical frameworks can enrich contemporary debates. His first book, Thucydides on the Outbreak of War, was published in 2017 by Oxford UP, and he is working on a book on Polybius. He recently co-edited (with Guillermo Graíño Ferrer) a double special issue of The Review of Politics on populism in the history of political thought.

Hao TANG is Professor of Philosophy at Tsinghua University. He received his MA and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh after graduating with a BSc in Material Science from Fudan University. He is interested in Wittgenstein, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of action.