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Building for the Future

The First Decade
(Published in Jan, 1999)

Whither Chinese Studies @@@@@@@@@@Wm. Theodore de Bary

The European Activities of the Chiang Ching-kuo
Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
@@N. Goran D. Malmqvist

Report on the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation's
Support for the Asia-Pacific Region
@@@@@@ @@@Gungwu Wang

Ten Years in Review: The Impact of Chiang
Ching-kuo Grants on Chinese Studies in the United
States and Canada
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@David Dean

Changes in Area Studies @@@@ @@@@@ @@@@Cho-yun Hsu

Whither Chinese Studies?

By Wm. Theodore de Bary

@The most remarkable thing about the history of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation is the breadth and liberality of its programs. Before the death of Chiang Ching-kuo, his name was associated in many Western minds (though not in those well acquainted with his real accomplishments) with a reactionary nationalism, a kind of blind, stubborn anti-Communism, and a one-party state the only legitimization for which derived from a claimed need to "recover the mainland."
Though these impressions of Chiang were mistaken, more than a few scholars in the West could have been apprehensive that the new Foundation would conceive its mission in a narrow ideological frame - one serving the interests of the Kuomintang, of Taiwan, of anti-communism and conservative values. By now, these misconceptions should have been largely dispelled by the actual performance of the Foundation. It has supported a wide range of scholarly and educational programs. Its definition of "Chinese Studies" has been as broad as many in the West, and its research horizons have extended not only to all areas of the China mainland but to all of East Asia touched by Chinese culture or in any way pertaining to the comparative dimensions of Chinese studies. To my knowledge the Foundation's judgments in the making of grants have been based on most of the same criteria used foundations in the West, and for this reason the cooperation of the CCK Foundation in joint programs has sought repeatedly y major American foundations and scholarly associations; the latter have been secure in the knowledge that the practices of the CCK Foundation could not compromise their own.

@I realize that my own familiarity with the Foundation's doings is far from complete, and the experience of others may differ. I can only speak for myself in this. I do so, however, for reasons that go beyond my estimation of the Foundation's performance itself - indeed, I do so in order to raise questions that go beyond this or any other foundation's support of Chinese studies. The most important of these questions is precisely the basis on which such agencies promote scholarly research as an unlimited growth industry. We are all familiar with the jargon that accompanies this unfettered drive to do more and ore research about less and less. It justifies itself by endless resort to such indomitable cliches as "innovative" and "cutting edge." It claims to do what no one has thought or done before, often simply out of ignorance of what others have already done or out of some misrepresentation of the latter - what's "new" actually amounting only to a new misconstruction of the old.

@This view of a compelling need - if not a compulsion - to pursue unlimited research horizons is not of course without some basis, whether in the unquenchable curiosity of humankind and the thirst for new knowledge that has been characteristic of the human species in all ages, or in the present age's unquestioned faith in unlimited growth conceived only in terms of outward expansion. But in the final chapter of my book East Asian Civilizations, based on my Reischauer Lectures at Harvard, I have raised from a traditional East Asian perspective, as well as out of a modern ecological concern, whether we can continue to assume the viability or validity of the underlying assumption: that unlimited expansion will still be the order of the day in the twenty-first century. The very recognition that, in the humanities and social sciences at least, we are producing "more and more about less and less," suggests that the quantitative approach to learning has reached the point of diminishing returns: like the news media and entertainment industry we are more and more engaged in trivialization - occupying our minds with "trivia" ("trivia" quizzes and utterly vapid "Guinness" or sports records) as a distraction from any serious consideration of value alternatives.

@In these circumstances scholarship, and the support of scholarship, will have to become wary of appeals to pursue or promote whatever is recommended as "cutting edge" or "unprecedented" or "new age." Perhaps the proposed project or venture is "unprecedented" because it was never a good idea in the first place.

@It will perhaps sound, to modern ears, altogether too reactionary for me to recall the frequent argument in Confucian discourse that such and such a proposal was unheard of - the usual formulation of such a cautious or skeptical attitude being "I have heard ofK(something right or good deserving of acceptance) but I (we) have never heard of K (something implausible, of doubtful value, or possibly evil, to be rejected as unconfirmed by past experience). Certainly to disallow a proposal as simply "unheard of" would be mindless and unreasonable. Nevertheless it might be worth pausing to ask whether a proposal should not be expected to justify itself no more substantial, long-term grounds than simply innovative or novelty. When we privilege novelty or mere "originality" do we not risk letting scholarship be too much governed or even seduced by the language of the market place or consumerism, always selling a "new" brand or formula?

@If this is not too unconventional an idea - to raise questions about cliches routinely invoked and uncritically accepted in such cases - I might cite others current in the marketplace that have infiltrated academic parlance. One typical of our times and altogether overworked is the adjective "exciting," which betrays a popular mind - and an academic one no less - that is so enervated and so lacking in any deeper running or firmly grounded motivation that it can only be roused by the constant excitation of the senses and firing up of the imagination?

@For scholarship to be held in such thrall to mere emotional titillation or passing fancies is a mark of its abject intellectual and moral impoverishment. But hardly a day passes that one is not asked to read, accept or support a supposedly "new" and "exciting" project, with little else of substance or rationale to back it up.

@One cannot of course dismiss completely the idea that there are new worlds to conquer or new frontiers of knowledge to be explored, but as we increasingly find ourselves encountering limits to growth and obstacles to the idea of unlimited economic expansion, we have to think of growth in terms - not necessarily of extensive development, but of deeper, more intensive cultivation. The new worlds to conquer may have to be old ones with which we have lost touch, interior spaces that have been neglected, and roots that have gone untended, with the result that we have a shallow, rootless culture that is predicted - like a consumerist, throw-away economy - on the compulsion to trash itself. So overextended by this are our nervous systems and emotions that we have become spastics - stretched to the breaking point and unable to bear up under any strain at all.

@The difficulty in trying to establish any sound standards on which to judge the worth and long-term viability of research projects is that academic discourse itself ha become so fragmented and specialized that little common ground is left, and few consensual standards still shared, on which to base firmer judgements. Thus a modern life becomes ever more complex, it is no wonder that foundations themselves can cope with the problem only by defining still more narrow fields as their own home field - the first obligation of any foundation being to define its specific mission, to delimit its responsibility and to exclude from consideration any proposal that does not answer to its stated criteria. No one wants to deal with things whole, but only by compartmentalizing them to fit one's own limitations.

@The persistent preoccupation with research at the so-called "cutting edge" has increasingly dominated universities and research institutions, as the need to sustain research - has led to the replacement of education by training for specialized research or professional training for technological applications. This is not however simply a phenomenon of so-called "scientific" research or technical institutions, verses the so-called liberal arts, nor a problem of bridging the two cultures - scientific and humanistic - a la C.P. Snow. Even the "humanities" today have become so technologized, and are given to their own technical, disciplinary or ideological jargon, that so-called "humanists" can hardly talk to each other. Much less can one discern in the "humanities" any concern for what might be thought human, or for the human enterprise as a whole in contrast to departmental concerns. Even so-called "multi-disciplinary" or "interdisciplinary" programs rarely go beyond the trading of current gimmicks and buzz-words, so lacking are we in any agreement on shared, central concerns.

@Educationally speaking this is evidenced by the way in which so many "core programs" fail to address any common core, but tend rather to be "distribution" requirements, exposing students to different ways of looking at things from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, wit little discussion of core human concerns or ho consensus might be achieved on a working public agenda.
To be sure, education should indeed expose one to different ways of looking at things, but it ought also to provide a meeting ground for ideas, a method for engaging in dialogue about matters so urgent and compelling that they call for decision and not simply speculation - that is, for practice in school on making value judgements. Actual agreement on ends may be too much to expect, but it should not be too much to hope that both means and ends together would be the subject of continuing dialogue, or that education should develop our capabilities for dealing in a civil way even with matters of profound disagreement about ultimate concerns.

@This to me is the kind of core dialogue that must be continuously sustained in parallel with "advanced" research, so that each contributes to the other, and especially research to the ongoing dialogue. In today's multi-cultural world, the humanistic resources of east Asia, in which Chinese culture - Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist and much else - is deeply implicated, this dialogue must be informed by sharing in the Chinese experience both as part of any undergraduate core curriculum and as essential to the continuing discussion of core values and concerns - a continuing liberal education that should extend this dialogue into the highest ranges of research and not just leave it on the freshman/sophomore level.

@Difficult though it maybe to generate and sustain such a dialogue in the face of the powerful centrifugal forces that operate in academia today, there is always a need to start somewhere and the deliberations of the leaders and advisers of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, who have exercised such wise judgement in the past, should be one good place to start work on this.

@Lest I end on too general and seemingly too abstract or ideal a note, let me suggest a quite specific are in which research could contribute to the enterprise I am talking about - the history of education in East Asia and its reassessment in terms of core values, both traditional and modern. A recent history covering all of East Asia, past and present, that bids fair to be used in many undergraduate courses, makes its first indexed reference to education with the founding of Tokyo Imperial University in the late nineteenth century. Certainly we can do better than that! Education, as almost every scholar of East Asia should know, was a core value of Confucian culture. If it were not for the academic preoccupation with trivia and marginalia, how could a subject of such intrinsic importance be so overlooked?



The European activities of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation
for International Scholarly Exchange

By N. Goran D. Malmqvist

@Individual scholars and institutions engaged in Chinese Studies in no less than 19 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czeck Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine) have benefited greatly from generous grants awarded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.

@@The great majority of these grants, which fall into three main categories of doctoral scholarships, Postdoctoral fellowships and grants for institutional enhancement, have been awarded for individual research or collective research projects in the Chinese Humanities.

@European research in the humanities has for a long time been severely hampered by lack of funding. The CCK Foundation doctoral scholarships have given a great many young European scholars the financial support without which they would have experienced great difficulties in finishing their Ph.D. theses. The Postdoctoral fellowships have enabled many young and promising scholars to engage in serious research without being burdened by financial worries.

@The topics of research undertaken by the Ph.D. students and the Postdoctoral scholars are chosen form an exceedingly wide range of disciplines within the large field of Chinese Studies, such as ancient and modern literature, poetics, musicology, theatre, pre-modern and modern political and social history, intellectual history, historiography, painting, popular art, synchronic and diachronic linguistics, philology, bibliography, traditional Chinese medicine, religion, ancient cults, law and education.
The main criteria applied in the severe screening process are academic excellence and the applicants' ability clearly to define the scope and relevance of their topics. Unlike many other research foundations the CCK Foundation gives equal weight to Classical and Modern studies.

@Institutional enhancement: has been achieved by grants enabling a great number of European Universities and institutes of learning to appoint staff in specialized fields, such as a Lectureship in the Social Anthropology of China, Cambridge University; a Chiang Ching-kuo Lectureship in Classical Chinese, Edinburgh University; a Lectureship in the History of Chinese Science and Medicine, London University; an Instructor of Chinese Language, Oxford University; a Dr. Hu Shih Visiting Professorship, Leiden University; a Distinguished Lectureship: Culture and Society in Contemporary Taiwan, Heidelberg University; a Lectureship in Chinese Archeology, London University; a Lectureship in Classical Chinese, Helsinki University; The Re-establishment of the Graduate Program in Modern Chinese Literature at Charles University, Prague; and a Lectureship in Chinese Art, University of East Anglia.
Several European learned institutions and centres of documentation, such as College de France, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, London University and the University of Leeds, have received handsome grants for the cataloguing of and research on important collections. Of particular interest in this connection are the data bases which have been made available at the British Library (A Complete Database of the Stein Collection in the British Library), Heidelberg University (Dynastic Histories Computerized Database, and the Thirteen Classics Data Base). Of great importance is also the Dynamic Data Base of the Holdings of Chinese and Sinological Periodicals in the Major European Collections, European Association of Chinese Studies.

@The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, has received a generous grant for the continued publication of its Bulletin. Among other recipients of publication grants may be mentioned The Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, for The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, for the publication of the Catalogue of the Chinese Dun-huang Manuscripts in the National Library.

@The following list shows the great variety of important research projects which have been sponsored by the CCK Foundation: Visual Documentation and Presentation of Traditional Chinese Culture, Leiden University; Southeastern China and its Relations with the Nanyang, Leiden University; Research on the Contemporary Theatre of Taiwan, University of Leeds; Danish-Chinese Relations 1723-1990, Copenhagen University; The Austronesian Arrival. Research Project to Study the Connections between Taiwan and the Papua New Guinean Populations of the Trobrianders and the Roro, Ma-Planck-Society, Germany, and A Collaborative Programme to Assemble and Edit Plays and Lyrics from the Classical Min-nan Theatre, String Puppetry and Art Song, Oxford University.

@By sponsoring conferences organized by the European Association of Chinese Studies and national associations the CCK Foundation has played a very active role in strengthening the cooperation between European scholars in the important fields of Sinology. I feel greatly honored to have been given the opportunity to be associated with the CCK Foundation activities in Europe.

Report on the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation's Support for the
Asia-Pacific Region, 1991-1997.

By Wang Gungwu

@The Foundation began to support the study of Chinese culture in the Asia-Pacific Region in 1991. It began modestly with three projects in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. Since then, its contributions to the region have been extended to Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia and Israel.

@The two major areas of support have been in institutional enhancement and in grants for worthwhile research. In the former, the encouragement to universities to expand their teaching of Chinese language and culture has been most successful. It has also led more institutions, especially in Australia, to develop the field of Taiwan studies, an area often neglected in the past. Another new area of note is the Foundation's support of Chinese diaspora teaching and research.

@Where grants are concerned, the range has been particularly impressive. Clearly, the Foundation has encouraged the region to stretch its research interests into some new an exceptional fields. For example, a comparative study of early modernities in China, India and Japan has led to considerable international interest. The stimulus given to maritime archaeology for the study of Chinese maritime trade has been valuable. Also, several groups of scholars have been enabled to work on the many aspects of Chinese business and economic development, including the role of Taiwan, a subject that continues to grow in importance in East Asia. Other subjects may not be topical, but they add depth to our understanding of China. Among them, the study of China's relations with Southeast Asia has been given attention, also the Chinese southern dialects and social organizations, and the ethnic and religious minorities within the Chinese world. A number of historical studies, including ritual theatre, Taoist lives, diplomatic papers, Manichaeism, have certainly underlined the variety and richness of Chinese society and identity.

@In addition, the support given to conferences, seminars and publications deserve mention. For example, the place of Chinese culture in countries like Vietnam and the Philippines, and how Chinese outside China dealt with varieties of legal ????? systems brought together scholars who would not have normally met and thus enabled these fields to receive the attention they deserved.

@During the seven years of support for China studies in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Foundation ha not only identified areas of research strength and weakness, but also discovered new enterprising efforts to explore fields that have not been studied with care in the past. Perhaps the most encouraging has been the steady growth in Chinese language and cultural studies at various centres of higher learning and the rising standard of competence in their teaching at many levels.


Ten Years in Review: The Impact of Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Grants on Chinese Studies in the United States and Canada

By David Dean

@The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation is celebrating its Tenth Anniversary this year in ceremonies and academic seminars in Taipei, Prague, and Washington D.C. Originally the concept of leading Chinese-American professors, the Foundation ahs become a major source of funding for Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences in Europe, Asia, and North America. Its overall objective is to encourage the integration of the best of Chinese culture within an emerging global culture. As part of this process the Foundation has extended more than 50 million dollars in academic grants worldwide during the past decade.

@This article will concentrate on the impact of the Foundation's grants on Chinese studies in the North American region. From its inception in 1989, the Foundation's North American Committee has been composed of a rotating number of well-known scholars in the fields of Chinese archaeology, history, literature and language, philosophy, religion and sociology, political science, legal studies and economics, all teaching at American and Canadian universities. These scholars have given freely of their time to encourage the expansion of Chinese studies. They have applied rigorous intellectual standards in judging the academic merit of each application for a grant. These professors have, through their unselfish efforts and expertise, contributed greatly to the success of the Foundation. Their focus has been on higher education and the long term impact of the Foundation's grants. The importance of each proposed project in its field has also been a major consideration as has originality and feasibility, especially in research applications.
__ __ __

@Most observers of the emerging global culture have commented on the increasing dominance of Western cultural forms and economic models. The Foundation is committed to supporting a more pluralistic future of cultural exchange. The CCK Foundation supports the dialogue between scholars of Chinese studies across the world. By enabling research and expanding teaching about Chinese culture, the Foundation hopes to provide the tools of understanding that will lead to genuine cultural interaction. Chinese cultural resources have an essential role to play in the evolving global culture.

@The world economy has in fact already shifted many familiar terms of reference. Many technological and managerial innovations are arising in Asia, rather than in Europe or North America. Asian intellectuals, artists, religious and civic leaders are responding to the pressures of globalization with creativity and insight. Chinese area studies no longer can be restricted to the model of a provider of empirical evidence for Western theoretical elaboration. On the contrary, many of the most important new theoretical responses to globalization are arising in Asia, where these questions are often most acute. These developments call for new forms of comparative cultural theory, rather than simplistic conceptions of the inevitability of a 'clash of civilizations'.
The past decade has seen an extraordinary expansion of research in Chinese studies in Asia. The amount of new publications in Chinese in every field of the humanities and social sciences grows very rapidly every year. New and important archaeological discoveries are reshaping our understandings of early Chinese culture. Innovative research in history, literature, social science, and ethnography have greatly enriched these fields. A large number of new Chinese periodicals carry the latest research findings in Chinese studies. There is an urgent need for Chinese studies in North America and around the world to recognize and respond to these new materials and new viewpoints. By supporting fundamental research on Chinese studies, the CCK Foundation seeks to further this academic and critical dialogue. By expanding the institutional base of Chinese studies in North America, the Foundation hopes to provide more teaching positions that will provide more and more people with the means to enter into a truly global dialogue.

@One dimension of this new theoretical interaction can be seen in recent collaborative research between Chinese and Western scholars. The Foundation has supported many such collaborative projects. Another concrete sign of support for dialogue has been the sponsoring of academic conferences and workshops, which will be discussed in more detail below.

@Beyond the recognition that Chinese and Asian thinkers are now active interlocutors in a global cultural exchange, the Foundation supports the view that critical Chinese studies and Asian studies in general can present a credible and stimulating challenge to complacent assumptions of the Western humanities. Taking Chinese studies seriously means confronting the historicity of Western critical models. While not promoting any kind of culturalism or nationalism, we can nonetheless use the confrontation between cultures as starting points in the explorations of underlying assumptions and the limits of foundational texts. Cultures are porous, and interaction leads to hybridity. The emerging global culture is strongly marked by volatile mixtures and mutability. These developments in turn challenge our traditional understandings of cultural systems.
___ ___ ___

@The Foundation has been assisted by its North American Advisory Committee composed of distinguished scholars at leading American universities. Members of the Advisory Committee, assessing the impact of the Foundation's grants, have concluded that grants for new teaching positions are among the most valuable and long-lasting grants provided by the Foundation. In North America funds for sixty-eight new teaching positions have been given to sixty-four colleges and universities over the past ten years. In each case the Foundation has provided funds covering salary and fringe benefits for a new assistant, associate, or full professor for three years. By prior agreement, the college or university concerned has committed itself to raise future funding for this new, tenure track position. A recent survey indicates that recipients of these grants have lived up to these commitments.

@Initially, for the first three years, the North American Committee emphasized new teaching positions for Chinese language instruction. For the second three year period emphasis was given to new teaching positions in the humanities and social sciences. The North American committee wanted to concentrate on encouraging long-term scholarship in Chinese studies and was concerned that many undergraduates, after a year's language study, would not continue in the field. A second view is that a general course in Chinese history and civilization given to pre-engineering, pre-medical and other pre-professional students would introduce them to a different but important society in the rapidly changing global culture. This knowledge would be useful to them in almost every profession. Subsequently, the number of these new teaching grants has been gradually reduced although the demand for these grants remains high. Fortunately, other foundations have become interested in this type of grant. The Luce Foundation, for example, is seriously considering similar grants to provide start-up funds for new teaching positions in the humanities at liberal arts colleges. In addition East Asian alumni support for Chinese studies in American universities is growing. This support is particularly welcome because U.S. government funding of Chinese studies is falling sharply.

@Institutional enhancement grants for new teaching positions have been awarded to both small colleges and large universities in the United States and Canada. The Foundation ha also deliberately spread its grants over a wide geographic pattern from the east coast to the west and in the midwest, southwest and south. In a special effort to help create a center for Chinese studies in the south, the Foundation provided funding for four new teaching positions at Duke University, and one each at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. These three universities are in close proximity to each other and have cooperative programs. Duke University, aided by support from alumni and other sources and using its own funds, has increased its faculty tenure track positions in Chinese studies from twelve to twenty-four over the past ten years.

@I think it is fair to say that without the Foundation's supporting grants many of these new positions would not be in existence today. Judging from the large number of institutional enhancement applications received by the North American Committee each year, there is an increasing interest in Chinese studies at many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The new tenure track positions at these schools will provide insights into Chinese history and culture, philosophy, religion, economics, art and many other fields of study to thousands of students in the years ahead. These grants will provide more information to individual students about the contributions of Chinese culture to the west and about western influence on Chinese society.

@A list of the universities and colleges in the North American area which have received grants for new teaching positions is included at the end of this article.
The second most long lasting type of grant provided by the Foundation is its subsidies for publication. These grants are given to university presses and museums to help support the publication of academic books on some aspects of Chinese studies. Normally only several hundred copies of such books are printed. The university press can recover part of its cost by selling the book to libraries and to a few specialists. The Foundation provide grants which allow university presses to publish these academic books without suffering a loss. The books will be available for many years at many libraries and they form an invaluable source for scholars and researchers. Over the past ten years, the North American Committee has helped university presses publish fifty-two books on Chinese subjects. The titles range from translation of modern Taiwan fiction, to issues in Chinese dialect description and classification, to Confucianism and human rights. In "Confucianism and Human Rights" edited by W. Theodore de Bary and published by Columbia University Press, for example, eighteen Western and Chinese scholars use Confucianism as a lens to evaluate the strengths and limitations of the principles of human rights. They seek to answer questions like: What is the place of human rights in a society shaped by Confucian principles; and, can Confucianism offer useful perspectives on the Western conception of human rights? Another example of a book to which the Foundation contributed is He Li's "Chinese Ceramics, a New Comprehensive Survey." The book is based on the collection of Chinese ceramics in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. He Li, in his acknowledgements, quotes his mentor in Japan, Professor Mikomi Tsujio, who advised him "To be a bridge between the West and the East in the quest for cultural understanding among peoples of the world." For a relatively small investment the Foundation is helping to provide future generations of scholars with the benefit of the ideas, concepts, and research of today's writers. The long term effect of this program is to encourage the publication of books which might not otherwise be printed and to provide future scholars with important research. The North American Committee's subcommittees, which are responsible for the review of the subsidies for publication applications, pay careful attention to the readers' comments which accompany each university press application. The sub-committees select the most interesting and scholarly and valuable books in their fields of specialization.

@It is difficult to judge the overall effect of the Foundation's grants on Chinese studies in North America. Certainly, without the Foundation's support, many scholars would not have the funding to pursue their research projects. Many students would not have the benefit of new teachers and new courses, many graduate students would not have the backing to complete their dissertations, and a number of distinguished senior scholars would not have the necessary support to pursue their research and writing. The Foundation's awards to colleges and universities have helped to crate new jobs for promising assistant professors. More books on Chinese subjects have been published. Separate articles in this publication discuss the developments in specific fields, such as history and the social sciences, which the Foundation has encouraged. But the Foundation has not had an agenda. We have not tried to channel research in any particular direction. Our panel of scholars is interested in supporting academic excellence and not political causes. Members of the North American Committee have visited universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to lecture and to join workshops and conferences on specific aspects of Chinese studies. The Foundation has tried to influence other foundations in North America and Taiwan to help support more Chinese studies. American corporations like General Electric and Citibank have also contributed to this effort.

@Americans have been interested in China even before the American Revolution. Clipper ships from Salem and other ports in Massachusetts traveled to Macao and Canon carrying trade goods and silver. They returned months later with cargoes of silk, porcelain, tea, and Chinese flowering plants and flowers, like peonies and chrysanthemums. American missionaries flocked to China in the 19th and early 20th century and sent back fascinating accounts which were eagerly studied by church congregations. Chinese art and culture, Confucianism and its teaching all aroused great interest in the West. This interest in China and its history and civilization has captured the imagination of Americans for the past two centuries. Today Americans have a genuine interest in Chinese traditions and culture. Every year hundreds of U.S. and Canadian students go to Taiwan and Mainland China to study and travel. And every year thousands of Chinese come from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to study at university in North America. Two way trade, although affected recently by the Asian economic crisis, has flourished, providing an additional reason for Western interest in Chinese societies.

@Under these circumstances it is not surprising that Chinese studies in North America are attracting more students, some of whom are sons and daughters of Chinese immigrants who are searching for their cultural roots. The Foundation hopes to encourage more study and understanding of Chinese society. We believe that a better understanding will lead to the use of more reason and less contention and emotion in helping to solve international issues.

@To help achieve better understanding, the Foundation emphasizes scholarly research on all aspects of Chinese society and supports conferences and workshops in Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences. On April 16 and 17, 1999, for example, at the Foundation's commemoration of its Tenth Anniversary in Washington, D.C., an academic conference jointly sponsored by the Library of Congress will include a panel on new developments in Chinese art and archaeology. Separate panels will discuss the susceptibility of Chinese culture to absorb influences from the West; Chinese influence on the global civilization; and emerging trends in Chinese religion. The conference will also feature their panels formed by the American Association for Chinese Studies which will hold its annual meeting concurrently with the Tenth Anniversary celebration.

@The Foundation has concentrated on higher education with grants to colleges, universities, professors and graduate students. However, many of the grants for new assistant professors are intended for teaching undergraduate classes. If the Foundation had greater resources a strong argument could be made to sponsor courses in Chinese language, history and culture at the high school level as the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has done by marking grants to high schools for Chinese language teachers. Many graduates from these classes continue their Chinese studies in college. However, there are many colleges in North America which do not have a specialized faculty in Chinese studies. To help fill this need the Foundation is helping to support a far ranging program initiated by the University of Pittsburgh, which is developing an innovative interdisciplinary course, in an electronic format, to introduce undergraduate students to contemporary Chinese cultures and societies. The course is designed to encourage undergraduates not only to learn about Chinese society and culture but also to make use of interactive media to create an active learning situation as opposed to the more traditional classroom in which students listen passively to faculty lectures. This curriculum program will allow instructors who are not China specialists to select themes and supporting materials suited to their interests. As Pittsburgh's interactive curriculum nears completion, the Foundation plans to explore ways it can help make this new program available to colleges and even to interested high schools.

@Support for research in the humanities and social sciences has been the major focus of the Foundation's North American Committee. It is rare for any foundation to persist, over a long period of time, with support for research in the humanities. The humanities are frequently overlooked while the hard sciences receive substantial funding. But the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation's Board of Directors decided from the very beginning to emphasize research in Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences. For the past ten years the North American Committee's panels of scholars have considered applications for research grants from assistant, associate and full professors with care and attention. The scholars, all experts in their own field of Chinese studies, have recommended the most thoughtful and promising applications to the Board of Directors each year. As part of the foundation's tenth Anniversary celebration, a separate publication includes descriptions by eighty-two researchers of their projects. This volume gives the reader some insight into the wide ranging intellectual achievements stemming from these research grants. In the future, the Foundation intends to continue its emphasis in supporting research in Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences.

@Connected with this emphasis on research are three other types of grants which the Foundation makes annually. These are pre and post doctoral grants and grants to senior scholars. For several years the pre and post doctoral grant program was administered for the Foundation by the American Council of Learned Societies. The North American Committee now reviews these applications together with other applications received. The pre-doctoral grants are important for graduate students who have completed all their requirements for a doctoral degree except for their dissertations. The Foundation's grants give these graduate students the opportunity to devote their full time to writing their dissertations. It is distressing that a large number of graduate students, after completing all other requirements, do not finish their dissertations because of other pressures, including lack of funds.

@Postdoctoral applications are usually submitted by assistant or associate professors who can apply to their colleges or universities for a semester off to conduct research. This research usually leads to the publication of valuable books or monographs and adds to the pool of knowledge concerning Chinese society in all its aspects. Similarly, senior scholar grants allow professors on sabbaticals to pursue research and writing. In Canada, the Canadian Asian Studies Association (CASA) administers a pre- and post doctoral grant program for the Foundation for graduate students and assistant professors at Canadian universities and colleges. All of the research, pre and post doctoral, and senior scholar grants are designed to advance scholarly research in Chinese studies. This effort described in other articles in this book, has given a much needed boost to research on Chinese society and culture. The Foundation has supported valuable advances in the understanding of many different disciplines. It has also encouraged multidisciplinary studies of Chinese history and culture. In fact, there are a growing number of multidisciplinary applications for research which, for example, combine religious, political, social and economic trends into one study. In the past some area specialists narrowed their research to only one aspect of Chinese society. Now these specialists run the risk of not taking into account the totality of the Chinese experience. In our view a multidisciplinary area studies approach remains the more productive course and we welcome research applications that cross the conventional borders of specific disciplines.

@The North American Committee has supported seventy-three conferences, seminars and work shops in the pat decade ranging from Harvard University's conference on Culture, Media, and Society in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, to the University of Washington's conference "Taiwan on the Eve of the 21st Century: Aspects of Identity and Political Economy". Other conferences have discussed subjects as diverse as Chinese art, linguistics, book culture, telecommunications, historical change, and hermeneutic traditions. Certain conferences have focused on globalization and its impacts in Asia, gender studies and women's roles in Asia, international relations, and transnational, inter-Asian forms of popular culture and technological exchange. These conferences and seminars have drawn together specialists in particular fields and have promoted a face to face exchange of ideas and theories. Workshops combined with some conferences have benefited both undergraduate and graduate students. Travel grants have enabled a wide group of scholars from North America to attend these conferences. Many of these conferences bring scholars based in Asia together with North American scholars.

@Many forces work against cultural exchange. These include pressures toward cultural homogenization associated with the spread of Westernization, isolationist tendencies in the United States, and all forms of nationalist, racist, or culturalist discourse. The CCK Foundation is committed to working for open forms of cultural exchange, and has struggled to convince other funding agencies, foundations, and corporations to support this vision. Through our various programs, we have sought to strengthen the institutional base for teaching and research in Chinese studies in North America. Our support of fundamental research in the humanities and social sciences has enabled new advances in understanding in many areas of inquiry and encouraged the publication and dissemination of rich and divergent new viewpoints. We have also promoted cultural exchange between individual scholars from around the world. The essence of cultural exchange is personal interaction, whether between scholars, teachers and students, or artists and critics. We welcome comments and suggestions on our work. We also welcome your support in further opening a genuine global dialogue in which Chinese cultural resources can make a contribution to the future.


Changes in Area Studies

By Cho-yun Hsu

@The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. One decade is not a short time-span; this is probably an appropriate occasion to review our mission, which is always the promotion of Chinese studies in international scholarly communities. I do not intend to give an account of our tasks in the past decade, since various charts and tables about our grants are included in this volume and can be used for evaluation. Instead I prefer to report some of my observations on changes taking place in the field of area studies in general and that of Chinese Studies in particular. Although the applications received by this Foundation by no means represent sufficient samples of development in area studies on China and Chinese culture, some trends of change in this field are visible.
Institutional Enhancement has always been one of the most important categories in our grant program. A sizable number of new tenured-track faculty positions have been create at colleges and universities in North America. During earlier years, applications were mostly for teaching positions in Chinese language and literature. As time went by, there were more requests for slots in social sciences, such as history, sociology, and anthropology. Then, in recent years, cultural studies, religious studies, intellectual history, and art history appeared to be the new positions which institutes of higher education wished to add to their faculties. Such a trend demonstrates moves in a period of one decade, which are visible in schools of various sizes and at different locations, and probably reflects a general shift of the intellectual atmosphere in this part of the world rather than changes in any particular area studies per se.

@Another trend we observed is in the themes of research projects. In the earlier years, it was fairly easy to assign an application to a certain sub-committee to review, because the disciplinary identity was rather obvious. Now, a good proportion of applications, including research projects or conference requests, need to be reviewed by more than one sub-committee in order to have a fair and just evaluation. This trend of development toward multidisciplinary inquiries clearly is a common feature in both the humanities and the social sciences.

@Obviously, other foundations, such as the Ford Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation, with whom we have maintained close communications, have also responded to such patterns of change. Inter-area studies are being encouraged to investigate issues that only now are noticeable in a larger context. These issues include, but are not limited to, the interflow of population, resources, and ideas between areas and across national or cultural boundaries.
Colleagues at my campus, for instance, are joining those in neighboring universities to conduct research on trade and migrations across the Atlantic. Such projects involve scholars whose special research interests are variously in European, American and African studies. Likewise, their academic disciplines vary in a broad span of humanities and social sciences. Diaspora, a term originally referring to the dispersion of the Jewish population, now is adopted by scholars to study dispersions of Africans, Europeans, and peoples of the Pacific islands, etc. Indeed, some colleagues in Chinese studies also use the Diaspora term to describe not only the long history of Chinese migration to Southeast Asia, but also the recent dispersion of Chinese to various places after World War II. Chinese Studies also seems to be sharing with other area studies a similar pattern of the expansion of geographic delimitations.

@Fundamental changes are taking place in our intellectual pursuits. Cross-disciplinary, cross-religion, and interpretative approaches are to be the trend of developing research projects and pedagogic perspectives for the next decade or even beyond. The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, being concerned with a particular area studies, must face such a pattern of research interest.

@First, we need to define the boundaries of the concept of "China" ("Chung-kuo"). In the recent century "Chung-kuo" has been considered to be a state (which is a political entity), a nation (which is an assembly of population), and a cultural system. In the past "Chung-kuo" was identical with "tien-hsia", which is virtually a world system by itself. As a concept, "tien-hsia" was a political order with a hierarchy of power and a universal cultural system. Extension of Chinese culture differentiated the core and the peripheries, as well as the degree of Chinese-ness and non-Chinese-ness. But by the last century, China entered a multi-state world system. The concept of nation-state displaced that of the Chinese world system. The significance of a Sino-centric "tien-hsia" suddenly lost its meaning. The trinity of China as a culture, a nation, and a political entity needs to be redefined. Ironically, at this moment when the Chinese are barely beginning to rethink the concept of China, the tide of globalization is now turning around to other directions which will have an impact upon many aspect of our life. Scholars have to face such a change and are doing so. Recently, for instance, a symposium was organized at my campus to discuss post-national Europe. A new order with a certain resemblance to the "tien-hsia" in Chinese history now seems to be in the process of taking shape.

@We are now in an age of re-defining our identities. In this new global system, how do we deal with the issues of multi-ethnicity, and cultural pluralism? How do we compromise between nationalism and the concept of the global village? To Chinese who lived in a "tien-hsia" universal cultural system, the Chinese experience has some special significance. But how can such an experience be interpreted and even transferred creatively?

@The content of a culture also demands re-thinking. The elite culture includes ideology and religion, political institutions and refined cultural activities (such as literature, fine arts, etc.). Anthropologists, however, define culture much more broadly to include anything created by human minds and human hands. Recently, scholars who are interested in cultural studies have discovered a whole array of research topics such as studies on popular cultures and their interaction with the elite culture. The assemblage of Chinese culture now can be investigated from perspectives quite different from those we are used to.

@The boundaries of China, and those of Chinese culture, should be redefined so that both can be discerned in a better perspective to answer questions which are now being raised by a new generation of students. In the world today, where democratization is a universal aspiration and the market place is almost the entire reflection of everyone's economic behavior, the anthropological definition of culture seems especially appealing to an ordinary member of any society. Chinese culture needs to be viewed from the perspective of commoners rather than that of the elite. Nevertheless, the former should not elbow out the latter, because the interaction between these two respective levels must be understood so that the dynamics of cultural formation, and cultural change, can be properly appreciated.

@In a previous paragraph, inter-area and inter-cultural studies are noticed as a current tendency of expanding the content of area studies. In the field of Chinese studies, for too long have we posed questions completely within China and the Chinese cultural sphere. Yet, China has always been surrounded by neighbors and Chinese culture has been the product of interaction with other cultures. Just as in the Atlantic world, there is a world around the Pacific, which needs to be perceived as an integrated region. Only by broadening the horizons of our view points, is it possible to have a better understanding of others, as well as of oneself.

@Thus, comparative studies should serve the function of identifying characteristics of any particular culture and, also, of demonstrating some commonalities that are shared by different human societies. To carry out such functions, inter-disciplinary collaborations are indispensable in order to comprehend the multi-dimensional complexity of a given culture.

@Chinese studies, just s other area studies, is now entering a new era, because the scope and content of cultural studies are more broad and more complicated than earlier area studies has been. Methodology for area studies needs to involve all these steps: analysis, description, interpretation, and presentation so that we are able to reach a better discerning of the current state of the development of human societies.
Scholars in humanities and social sciences are committed to intellectual endeavors which, hopefully, are helping to enrich human experiences. However, for every generation, specific sets of questions demand answers. Scholarship needs constantly to adapt to the specific need of a given space and time. Our mission of promoting Chinese studies, therefore, also must be prepared to be adjusted.

@Looking into the lit of programs which our North American Committee supported in past years, we are pleased to take note that, for illustration, some of the grant programs are designed to meet such changes. The series of conferences and research on "Becoming Chinese", organized by scholars at the University of California (Berkeley), represent an effort to chart the course of changes that Chinese experienced in the recent century. Our concentration of resources to support the development of a multi-year program of Chinese Studies at Duke University has led to the growth of a strong team of inter-disciplinary collaboration as one of the top universities in the U.S.A. A multi-media teaching module project at the University of Pittsburgh is designed for college students to comprehend Chinese culture from various view points. These modules are easily organized and reorganized to make several possible combinations so that the users are able to appreciate the complexity of the content of Chinese culture. We hope, in the future, that applicants will bring to our attention intriguing projects which will cast a new light on the appreciation of Chinese culture. And we believe such wishes will be fulfilled!