The 2017-18 Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) has been released here. It includes “specialty rankings” for various areas, including Chinese philosophy. This year, for the first time, I was invited to be among the evaluators, and after wrestling with this a bit, decided to give it a try. As explained at the top of this page, evaluators see lists of faculty and then choose one of the following categories:
- 0 – Inadequate for a PhD program
- 1 – Marginal
- 2 – Adequate
- 3 – Good
- 4 – Strong
- 5 – Distinguished
Evaluators can do this for the program overall, and then for the various specialties. I chose to only rank the Chinese philosophy specialty (I did not select overall rankings). The vast majority I assigned a score of 0. I believe that the highest score I gave was a 3. Programs that have one or even two specialists can be — other things being equal — good places to study. But in my judgment there are no English-language programs that merit “strong” or “distinguished” rankings. In my view, that would take multiple specialists, and others with cognate interests, in the context of an overall strong and supportive department. We may get there one day, but we’re not there yet.
I have mixed views about this whole rankings thing, which has been discussed before on the blog. What we have tried to do here at Warp, Weft, and Way is provide as much objective information about graduate study as possible. But since PGR exists and I was invited to take part, I decided to give it a try.
One other thing. As Bryan Van Norden (another evaluator, and also someone on the Advisory Board) explains here, PGR policy is that programs need to have a certain minimum overall score in order to be ranked. Programs with significant “specialty” strengths but without the minimum overall score end up being listed as “Additional programs not evaluated this year but recommended for consideration by the Advisory Board.” I agree with Bryan’s sentiment that the programs listed under this rubric are as strong as the ones officially ranked, and thus disapprove of this policy, which I find to be highly misleading.
The 2nd Vol. of the VUB-ULB World Literature and Philosophies Lecture Series is taking place on March 16th 2018 (this Friday). The organizers encourage anyone interested to join them at Bozar at the end of your work day and keep our discussions on literature and philosophy going in the streets of Brussels.
The speaker for this event is Dr. Gwennaël Gaffric (ULB-EASt) and he is one of the leading scholars and French translator in the field of contemporary Chinese literature. More information is here.
If you have any inquiries concerning the series, please do not hesitate to contact the organizing members, Takeshi at (Takeshi.Morisato@ulb.ac.be) or Pierre at (Pierre.Bonneels@ulb.ac.be).
Here’s a new profile of the Berggruen Institute’s China Center and its Director, Song Bing. Song Bing discusses some of the current initiatives and future directions for the Center.
The deadline has been extended to April 8th for applications to the Beijing Normal University (BNU) International MA Program in Chinese Philosophy. This is a 2-year master’s degree program conducted in English. The program will provide scholarships for most of the students which will cover their tuition fees and living expenses. For information, please see here.
Bin Song asked me to share this news:
Bin Song has been appointed by Washington College as a tenure-track assistant professor of philosophy and religion, starting from July 1st, 2018. Bin Song has a PhD of philosophy (Nankai University, 2009) and a PhD of religious studies (Boston University, 2018). His research focuses on Ruism (Confucianism), comparative philosophy and religion. Bin Song felt a great respect from colleagues in the college during the interview process, and is allowed to teach some of his favorite areas in the fall of 2018, such as Intro to Ruism. He expresses his genuine gratitude to them, and also to friends and scholars who have supported his Ruist studies in the U.S.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly periodically publishes essays in Chinese or comparative philosophy; in the latest issue, Richard Kim has an essay called “Human Nature and Moral Sprouts: Mencius on the Pollyanna Problem.” Check it out!
The latest issue of Asian Philosophy (28:1, 2018) has been published; see here.
Rectifying the Name of Confucianism, Boston University, September 28-29, 2018
Keynote Speakers: Stephen C. Angle (Wesleyan), Bryan Van Norden (Vassar)
Boston University Confucian Association invites scholars from any discipline to participate in a symposium exploring the prospects for Ruism (Confucianism) in the United States. (For submission information, see below or here.)
Continue reading “CFP: BU Conference on Confucianism in US”
Anna Sun will deliver a lecture at BU Confucian Association on March 17th at 2:00pm; its title is “Towards a Global Confucianism in the 21st Century: Field notes from China, South Korea, and Indonesia.” Respondents include Prof. Robert Neville, Dr. Yair Lior, and Dr. Bin Song.
Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture Vol.29 / February 2018
The full PDF of the issue can be accessed here; the Table of Contents follows.
Continue reading “Latest issue of JCPC”
Readers may be interested in this “Advice to Washington From Ancient China,” based on the Huainanzi.
Call for Papers: International Conference on “Zhu Xi and Zhu Xi Studies”
In order to commemorate the 888th anniversary of the famous Chinese thinker Zhu Xi, the Institute of Sinology at Trier University (Germany) will host an international conference on Zhu Xi and “Zhu Xi Studies” (Zhuzi xue 朱子學).
Continue reading “CFP Trier Conference on Zhu Xi”
The latest issue of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, labelled “March-June 2016, Volume 43, Issue 1-2” has been published. JCP has fallen behind by several issues and is endeavoring to catch up. The Table of Contents is available here.
The Centre for East Asian Studies (EASt) , Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium is organizing a conference in October focusing on the task of translating Asian philosophical texts into western languages. They are hoping to make this conference into a long series and continue to provide a place in which comparative and asian philosophy scholars can help each other in our life-long commitment to the process of making Asian philosophical texts available in western languages. For more information, see this flyer
or this website
I recently became aware of the European Journal of Japanese Philosophy, an annual journal that has published in 2016 and 2017, and is now working on the 2018 issue. Check it out!