Ronggui, one of our long time blog followers, writes:
I’m interested in other’s thoughts on the role that Confucius Institutes might play in the (future) development of the field.
I know, for instance, that some of them have been inviting scholars to speak on issues related to Chinese philosophy. (I believe Eric Schwitzgebel recently spoke at the Confucius Institute of Scotland and Zhang Longxi will be speaking there later this month.)
More importantly, I recently came across this job ad http://chronicle.com/jobs/0000626659-01 , which is a search for an endowed chair (Chinese poetry) at the Confucius Institute at Stanford (I didn’t even realize there was an Institute there. And where’s the funding coming from for this position?).
Having heard the government official partially responsible for the Confucius Institutes speak on the topic, it’s quite obvious that these institutes have little to do directly with Confucius (let alone Chinese philosophy); but does anyone else get the sense that there could be something significant going on with these Institutes as far as the future of the field is concerned? Could we, for instance, see an endowed chair of Chinese philosophy at the University of Michigan, or at least research fellowships and conferences sponsored by these institutes?
I’m sure some here have more direct exposure to a Confucius Institute, and so could perhaps shed some light on this, but I’m interested to know what others have heard and/or think.