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Insiders and Outsiders in Chinese History

Yale University presents a conference in honor of Jonathan Spence.

May 8, 2009 1:30pm to May 9, 2009 5:00pm

No scholar in the last half-century has done more to stimulate Western interest in Chinese history than Jonathan Spence; and few, if any, have brought to life such an extraordinary range of people, themes, events and atmospheres. His 13 books, dozens of articles, and innumerable lectures have not only informed a generation of readers and listeners, but have inspired many of them to a much deeper engagement with China.

In recognition of Professor Spence's remarkable achievements, one group of those he inspired -- his Ph.D. students -- have organized a conference on "Insiders and Outsiders in Chinese History" to be held May 8-9, 2009 at Yale University.  This conference is sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies and the History Department at Yale University and will take place at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT.

The conference is broad in scope, but is unified by a concern with how historical actors and scholarly observers understand differences in perspective among people inside, outside, or on the edges of "Chinese society." The specific topics, to name just a few, range from the lives of Chinese employed by Western firms as compradors, to how Chinese dealing with ethnic minority groups developed a sense of themselves as 'Han Chinese'; from Chinese
students who were encouraged to study in the United States while Chinese laborers were being excluded, to how doctors, scientists, and laypeople have explained qi to audiences in China and America; from Beijing police trying to "reform" troubled families to Chinese sojourners clashing with the law as they built networks across Southeast Asia.  A roundtable discussion, featuring academics, writers, and business people, will examine ways of improving communication between academics and those outside of academia with an interest in China; and Harold Bloom, a long-time friend and colleague, considers how Professor Spence's writings work to create a unique blend of academic rigor and literary appeal.
This event is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC; all panels include time set aside for questions from the audience.
Please contact to REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT BY FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009 and provide your name, title, institutional affiliation, email address, and details regarding the specific conference sessions you plan to attend.


FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2009

1:30 PM                     WELCOMING REMARKS
1:45-3:15 PM                 KNOWING CHINA

Ruth Rogaski, Vanderbilt University -- "The Question of Authentic Knowledge: Understanding qi in China and America"

Ryan Dunch, University of Alberta -- "Rethinking the Origins of Protestant Missionary Science in Chinese, 1840-1860"

Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College -- "The Siren Song of Altaicism in Qing Studies"
3:15-3:30 PM                COFFEE BREAK
         2nd Floor Common Room, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue
3:30-5:30 PM The Exceptional & The Workaday in Chinese Cities

Norman Kutcher, Syracuse University -- "The Three Loves of Eunuch Wang Jinxi"

Janet Chen, Princeton University -- "Guilty of Indigence: An Orphan's Life in Republican Beijing"

Peter Carroll, Northwestern University -- "Homicide and Lesbian Panic During the Nanjing Decade"

Johanna Ransmeier, McGill University -- "The Compassionate Constable and His Household Inspection: Street Corner Judgments on Family Life in Republican Beijing"

5:30 PM                    CELEBRATORY REMARKS

Harold Bloom, Yale University

6:00 PM               RECEPTION/DINNER - for all participants
           2nd Floor Common Room, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

9:00-10:30 AM   Beyond the Empire: China & Its Neighbors Before 1900

Tonio Andrade, Emory University -- "Expanding Peace: Zheng Chenggong and the First Taiwan War, 1661-2"

Eric Tagliocozzo, Cornell University -- "At the Margins of the Law: Chinese "Transgressions" in the Malay World, 1850-1900"

Pat Giersch, Wellesley College -- "Borderlands History and the Rise of 'Han' as Social Category and Identity in Modern China"

11:00 AM-12:30 PM  China & the Wider World in the 20th Century

Madeleine Hsu, University of Texas, Austin -- "Chinese Migration to the United States: Exclusion and Its Exemptions"

Sherman Cochran, Cornell University -- "The Comprador in Twentieth-Century China: Insider or Outsider?"

James Carter, St. Joseph's University -- "Travels with Tanxu: Looking for China in Religion, Politics, and Architecture"

12:30- 1:45 PM           Lunch
       2nd Floor Common Room, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue
1:45-3:45 PM      Roundtable China for Audiences Beyond the Academy

Robert Kapp, Robert Kapp & Associates

Robert Oxnam, President Emeritus, The Asia Society

Stephen Platt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kenneth Pomeranz, University of California, Irvine

Yi-Li Wu, Albion College

3:45- 4:00 PM             Coffee Break
        2nd Floor Common Room, Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

4:00 PM                      Conclusion

Susan Naquin, Princeton University -- "The Question of Who?"

Jonathan Spence, Yale University -- "Reprise"