Conference at LSE: Chinese Ways of Thinking: Imagining the Global

A conference will take place next week in London that may be of interest: “Chinese Ways of Thinking: Imagining the Global” at LSE. All are welcome. Please read on for details!

Chinese Ways of Thinking: Imagining the Global

London School of Economics

26-27 June 2014


Conference Convenors:

Leigh Jenco (LSE) and Gloria Davies (Monash)


Sponsored by

LSE Department of Government

Australian Centre for China in the World

LSE, Office of the Provost


What do Chinese ways of thinking offer today, not only to Chinese societies but to the world in general? While China’s economic rise has significantly altered the arrangements of international power, the influence of Chinese ideas on how we see the world remains marginal. This conference attempts a creative rethinking of Chinese ideas. It replaces “the world” with “the global” to highlight the need for re-examining received views of the world. It invites participants to engage with debates taking place within and about China and to reflect critically on the assumptions and dangers of Eurocentrism and Sinocentrism alike.

By focusing on “Chinese ways of thinking,” conceived in terms not only of institutionalized knowledge (“Chinese thought”) but also of broader currents of criticism and inquiry that have appeared as essays, op-eds, and social commentary in print and online, we seek to identify important elements of an emerging transnational conversation. Our hope is for productive and robust discussion about how China’s rise is changing or may potentially change our sense of what counts as knowledge and what matters as politics.

Conceptually, we invite participants to respond to the precarious status of “universal” and “particular”: the particular, articulated recently using terms such as the “Chinese model,” or now “the Chinese path,” promises emancipation from homogenizing universalism, but also threatens to collapse into Chinese exceptionalism or even promote a new Sinocentric imperialism. At the same time, particular Chinese experiences and ideas may deeply enrich global discourse, as well as offer productive ways of articulating (and constructing) shared values. Without carefully attending to how Chinese and other kinds of non-Western experiences might become reformulated as general theories for planetary cooperation, our existing ways of thinking about the global will surely remain Eurocentric and impoverished.



Schedule and List of Abstracts


All panels will be held on the LSE campus:

Day 1: morning panels in Tower 1, Room 2.04; and afternoon panels in Vera Anstey Room, Old Building

Day 2: all panels at Vera Anstey Room, Old Building


Day 1, Thursday 26 June

9:30-9:45 Welcoming remarks (Leigh Jenco and Gloria Davies)


Panel 1: Chinese “worlds,” past and future

9:45-11:15am, Tower 1, Room 2.04

Chair: Hans Steinmuller, LSE


How Confucianism Should Imagine the Global

Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University


Mediated Thinking:  

Sites and Paradigms of Republican Chinese Imaginaries of the World

Wen-hsin Yeh, University of California, Berkeley



Panel 2: Dreaming of a Global China

11:30-1pm, Tower 1, Room 2.04

Chair: Mayling Birney, LSE


History, Tradition and the China Dream:

Socialist Modernization in the World of Great Harmony
William A. Callahan, LSE


Locating China Under Heaven

Mark Elliott, Harvard University

Panel 3: Self, Others, and Politics

2:30-4:30, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building

Chair: Ernest Caldwell, SOAS


Travel experience and political imagery: following Kang Youwei from Beijing to Mexico

Pablo Blitstein, University of Heidelberg


Westernization as Barbarization: Culture and History in Chinese and Western Contexts

Leigh Jenco, LSE
Day 2, Friday 27 June


Panel 4: Rising China

9:30-11:15am, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building

Chair: Tim Barrett, SOAS


The Rise of China and Prospects of a New Cosmopolitanism

Liu Qing, East China Normal University


Confucianist Militarism

Chris Hughes, LSE


An Examination of Historical Narratives Used for the China Model

Madeleine Yue Dong, University of Washington


Panel 5: Embodied Thinking in Interculture

11:30-1:00pm, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building

Chair: Michel Hockx, SOAS


On Argument at Play Alive

Kuang-ming Wu, University of Colorado-Boulder (in absentia)
Embodied Thinking and Its Uses

Gloria Davies, Monash University



Panel 6: Chinese Marxism and Global Theory

2:15-3:45pm, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building

Chair: TBA


Why do the Chinese Accept Marxism, or Vice-Versa?

Tong Shijun, East China Normal University


Looking at Chinese Thinking in terms of Global Theory:

Taidu and the Emotion Work of Social Mobilization

Timothy Cheek, University of British Columbia


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