First All-Mediterranean Chinese Studies Conference–cfp

The Department of Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Malta and Confucius Institute at the University of Malta present the

First All-Mediterranean Chinese Studies Conference
“Chinese Studies Beyond the Centre of Gravity”

The geographical location of Malta has made it a gathering place for peoples across the world. As such, it has become a salient point of contact between Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean. The Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Malta was established in 1999. The Chinese studies programme was formalized in 2009 with the help of the Confucius Institute. Since that time, the Department has been dedicated to Chinese language teaching and research in Chinese area studies and has recently been renamed the Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures. The Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures, in conjunction with the Confucius Institute, warmly extends an invitation for scholars around the world to participate in its inaugural conference on Chinese studies to be held in February 2023.

The theme of the conference is “Chinese Studies Beyond the Center of Gravity.” Through this theme, we encourage participants to begin a larger discussion about what it means to pursue Chinese studies outside of a cultural nucleus centered in East Asia. By the same token, some countries in Europe as well as the UK, US, and, more recently, Australia, have historically exerted a strong gravitational pull for students and scholars of Chinese studies. These are the places where one might expect to find robust research about China happening across disciplines. What happens when knowledge of Chinese language, history, and culture is generated from beyond these centers of gravity? As a means of answering this question, we invite scholars from the so-called center(s) and periphery(ies) to participate in what we hope might be a fruitful exchange of insights, expertise, and methodologies pertaining to Chinese studies around the world. To that end, our primary objective is to foster and develop the role that peripheral localities play in the circulation networks of Chinese studies research and communication.

We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels of 3-4 people from across the Humanities, especially where they relate to the conference theme of recognizing work from or about Chinese studies beyond the center. Research about or involving comparative methodologies are particularly welcome. The following topics may be used as a guideline for the kinds of issues the conference may cover, but it is by no means an exhaustive list:

  • The history and development of Chinese studies around the world, including contrasts and entanglements in Philosophy and Intellectual History
  • Chinese as a second language and its pedagogy
  • Religion, Literature, History, and Comparative Literature
  • Transcultural/transnational methodology
  • The intersections between International Relations, Economics, Politics, and Chinese or International Law
  • The “Belt and Road Initiative” progress and issues
  • Geography and environmentalism
  • Translation studies

Finally, we aim to produce an edited volume of selected papers focused on new understandings generated within the conference about Chinese studies beyond the centers of gravity.

Instructions for abstract submissions:

Individual abstracts (200-250 English words or 300 Chinese characters) should be submitted in a Word document and must include the paper title, 2-3 keywords, the author’s name and affiliation, email address, and a brief bio.

Panel proposals should be submitted in one Word document and must include a provisional panel title and 3-4 paper abstracts, each no more than 250 words (or 300 Chinese characters) with their own title. Please also include the name of the panel organiser, chair and participants, along with a short bio and the contact details for each person.

All abstracts and panel proposals must be sent to amcs@um.edu.mt by 1 October, 2022. Requests or queries may be addressed to Dr. Lehyla Heward or Ms. Wei Chen.

Presentations may be given in English or Chinese. Please indicate your language preference/comfort for presenting.

Conference location: University of Malta, Valletta campus
Conference dates: 1-3 February
Deadline for abstracts: 1 October 2022
Notification of acceptance: 15 November 2022
AMCS Conference Committee: Dr. Lehyla Heward, Ms. Wei Chen, and Dr. Dennis Mizzi
Conference website: https://www.um.edu.mt/events/chinese2023/

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