for the Future
(Published in Jan, 1999)
Chinese Studies ¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@Wm. Theodore de Bary
European Activities of the Chiang Ching-kuo
Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange¡@¡@N.
Goran D. Malmqvist
on the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation's
Support for the Asia-Pacific Region ¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@ ¡@¡@¡@Gungwu
Years in Review: The Impact of Chiang
Ching-kuo Grants on Chinese Studies in the United
States and Canada ¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@ ¡@¡@David Dean
in Area Studies ¡@¡@¡@¡@ ¡@¡@¡@¡@¡@ ¡@¡@¡@¡@Cho-yun Hsu
Whither Chinese Studies?
Theodore de Bary
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.
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.
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 of¡K(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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
European activities of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation
for International Scholarly Exchange
By N. Goran
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
on the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation's Support for the
Asia-Pacific Region, 1991-1997.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Years in Review: The Impact of Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Grants
on Chinese Studies in the United States and Canada
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.
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.
__ __ __
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
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.
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.
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.
___ ___ ___
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
¡@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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!