Chinese Philosophy to Return to Michigan

I am thrilled to be able to share the news that, thanks in part to a gift from Don and Ann Munro, the University of Michigan will be re-establishing a tenure-track line in Chinese philosophy, to be housed jointly in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy. The support that the Munros have shown for the study of Chinese philosophy—in addition to Don’s distinguished career, the Munros have established the Tang Junyi Lecture Series at UM, the Munro Fund at the ACLS, and now this—is truly exemplary. Full text of the announcement follows.

Gift by Donald and Ann Munro Helps Establish Tenure-Track Professorship in Chinese Philosophy

Oct. 1, 2016—A generous new gift from University of Michigan Professor Emeritus Donald J. Munro and Ann P. Munro will facilitate the establishment of a tenure-track position in Chinese philosophy at Michigan. The position, which will be housed jointly in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will make Chinese philosophy an important element of the programs of the two departments.

“Over his long career at the University of Michigan, Donald Munro set the paradigm for the study of Chinese philosophy in the American academy, bringing the Chinese and European philosophical traditions into fruitful conversation without sacrificing their richness or their complexity,” says Donald Lopez, the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and the chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. “I am delighted that, through this generous gift, his legacy will continue.”

The new professorship will ensure that Chinese philosophical schools, which are underrepresented in departments of philosophy in Europe and North America, will have a prominent place in teaching and scholarship at the University of Michigan in perpetuity.

“The Department of Philosophy is pleased to be able to restore its distinguished tradition of scholarship in Chinese philosophy through the great generosity of Professor Emeritus Don Munro and Ann Munro,” says Elizabeth Anderson, the chair of the Department of Philosophy. “For decades, Professor Munro made U-M a major center for the study of Chinese philosophy and trained numerous students who went on to distinction in this field. As the discipline of philosophy evolves in the global academic scene, inclusion of the Chinese philosophical tradition is increasingly important. We are proud to join the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in this vital endeavor.”

Munro, an expert in classical Chinese philosophy and neo-Confucian thought, served as a professor of Chinese philosophy and as the chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. He retired from the University in 1996. Munro is the recipient of ACLS, Ford Foundation, Guggenheim, National Academy of Sciences, and Social Science Research Council fellowships during his career, and has long been active in establishing and maintaining intellectual and cultural exchange with China.

“Chinese philosophy has opened new challenges and perspectives not widely found in the content of traditional philosophy courses,” says Munro. “Ann Munro has accompanied me when I have taught and lectured in this country and in Asia, and she is mindful of the enthusiasm of students and educators in China to interact with their foreign counterparts who understand both traditions. The ideal candidate for this new fund’s support combines sinology—knowledge of the original texts and spoken competency—with philosophy.” He went on to say that he believes that the faculty position will increase scholarship and collaboration on Chinese philosophy with partners across the globe.

Andrew D. Martin, the dean of the College of LSA expressed his support: “Professor Munro’s gift will be a terrific new resource that allows us to teach a subject with important implications for both Philosophy and Asian Languages and Cultures.”

13 replies on “Chinese Philosophy to Return to Michigan”

  1. baitongdong says:

    Great! Hopefully, next year, I have a program to recommend students from my MA program to go to.

  2. Aaron Stalnaker says:

    Wow! This is great news. Does anyone know when they might actually search? And will it be junior or open rank?

  3. Terrific news! Major kudos to Don! Aaron–seems as though the job is tenure-track.

  4. Steve Angle says:

    The search will be this year; the ad should be up within a few days. Tenure-track, as far as I know.

  5. By next year (if this position is in place that soon), the list of PhD programs in the US in Chinese Philosophy (within philosophy departments that is) will have just about doubled what it was last year. That’s pretty awesome.

    • That is: UCSD (assuming they hire in Chinese–I forgot it’s a general “Non-Western” position), Michigan, CUNY Graduate Center, and UConn. Am I missing anyone? (I very well might be–this last year has been wild).

  6. re: “For decades, Professor Munro made U-M a major center for the study of Chinese philosophy and trained numerous students who went on to distinction in this field.”

    What are the names of some of his students I might know of? Chad Hansen? …

  7. Kim Ramsey says:

    Here is the posting:


    The University of Michigan invites applications for a tenure-track position in Chinese Philosophy beginning September 1, 2017. This position is held jointly between the Department of Asian
    Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy.

    All applicants should possess a high level of oral and reading proficiency in Chinese and supply evidence of a research program in Chinese Philosophy. Successful candidates are expected to teach a range of courses in Chinese thought, from introductory undergraduate lecture courses
    through graduate seminars; to supervise doctoral dissertations in Asian Languages and Cultures and in Philosophy; and to participate actively in the programs of the departments as well as in area studies initiatives within a larger university community that encourages interdisciplinary efforts.

    The Ph.D. is expected at the time of appointment. Evidence of excellent teaching and research abilities is essential. Please submit a letter of application, CV, statement of teaching philosophy and experience, teaching evaluations (if available), a statement of current and future research
    plans, representative publications or writing samples, and at least three letters of recommendation.

    Application materials must be submitted electronically. Please go to to apply.

    To be assured consideration, applications must be received by November 22, 2016. This is a university year appointment. The University of Michigan is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The University is supportive
    of the needs of dual career couples. All applications will be acknowledged.

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