NECCT 2016 Schedule & Information

(This post will stay at the top for a few weeks so potential attendees can be reminded to pre-register by emailing Manyul Im.*)

Here are the program schedule and travel information for the 5th annual Northeast Conference on Chinese Thought, November 5-6, hosted this year by the University of Bridgeport.

*For the purposes of facilities and meal preparation, if you are not a presenter or chair in a session, please send a quick note to Manyul Im ( if you are planning or likely to attend. There is no registration fee, however space is limited.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

8:30am: Coffee/tea/juice and light breakfast available (Schelfhaudt Gallery)

MORNING (Schelfhaudt Gallery)

9:00 – 10:30am Panel 1: Human Nature and Motivation

Chair: Nancy Wei (University of Bridgeport)

Speaker 1: Kelson Law (University of Pittsburgh), “Action with Reflection: a Bipedal Way toward Virtue in Mencius 2A2”

Speaker 2: Dobin Choi (Towson University), “The Heart of Compassion: Mengzi 2A6 Revisited”

Speaker 3: Mathew Foust (Central Connecticut State University), “Mencius, Xunzi, and William James on Human Nature and Moral Motivation”


Coffee break: 10:30 – 10:45am


10:45am – 11:45am Panel 2: Mencius – Text and School

Chair: Mark Setton (University of Bridgeport)

Speaker 1: E. Bruce Brooks (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), “The Two Mencian Schools”

Speaker 2: A. Taeko Brooks (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), “The Problem of Mencius 5”


Break: 11:45am – 12:00 pm


12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch Panel: Chinese Medicine & Philosophy (Catered Lunch, ABC Rm. 110)

Chair: Manyul Im (University of Bridgeport)

Speaker 1: Stephen Jackowicz (University of Bridgeport), “Philosophical and Intellectual Landscapes of the Medical Revision in the Song-Jin Period”

Speaker 2: Paul Marks (Eastgate Acupuncture) “Medical Revision in the Song-Jin Period: Zhang Yuansu’s Neoconfucian Inheritance”

Speaker 3: Nancy Wei (University of Bridgeport), “Humor and Prescription: Traditional Chinese Medical Nomenclature in Communication and Politics”


BREAK: 1:30 pm – 1:45pm


AFTERNOON (Schelfhaudt Gallery)

1:45 – 3:15pm: Panel 3: Ethics

Chair: Sam Crane (Williams College)

Speaker 1: Tim Connolly (East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania), “Putting Virtues and Roles Together”

Speaker 2: Jonathan Kwan (The Graduate Center, CUNY), “Ethical and Aesthetic Judgment in the Analects”

Speaker 3: John Ramsey (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), “Confucian Social Roles: Hierarchy, Injustice, and Mutuality”


Coffee break: 3:15 – 3:30pm


3:30 – 5:00pm Panel 4: Comparative Philosophy

Chair: Hagop Sarkissian (City University of New York)

Speaker 1: May Sim (College of the Holy Cross), “Imagination and the Real in Zhuangzi and Plato”

Speaker 2: Bin Song (Boston University), “Methodology of Comparative Religion/Theology/Philosophy in the Context of Christian/Ruist (Confucian) Dialogue”


5:006:00pm Free Time – Optional Tour of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Facilities


6:308:30pm Dinner for speakers and pre-registered attendees (Park City Grill – Holiday Inn Lobby Level)



Sunday, November 6, 2016

8:30am: Coffee/tea/juice and light breakfast available (Schelfhaudt Gallery)


9:00 – 10:30am Panel 5: Rhetoric, Truth, and Metaphor

Chair: Andrew Lambert (City University of New York)

Speaker 1: Thomas Radice (Southern Connecticut State University), “Act or Die: Political Performance in the Han Feizi”

Speaker 2: Alexus McLeod (University of Connecticut), “Truth and Formulations of the Ideal Person in the Huainanzi

Speaker 3: Wes DeMarco (Clark University), “Zhuangzi’s Way to Nature: Metaphorical Process as Natural Process in the Inner Chapters”


Coffee break: 10:30 – 10:45am


10:45 – 12:15am Panel 6: Metaphor

Chair: Alexus McLeod (University of Connecticut)

Speaker 1: Bryan Van Norden (Vassar College), “‘Like Loving a Lovely Sight’:  Simile and Metaphor in Chinese Philosophy”

Speaker 2: Michael Harrington (Duquesne University), “Proximity and Knowledge in Confucian Yijing Commentary”

Speaker 3: Joshua Mason (West Chester University of Pennsylvania), “Walking the Moral Path: Divergent Trails and Cross-Cultural Metaphors”


Lunch & Planning Meeting: 12:20-2:00pm (Marina Dining Hall with meal tickets)

2:00pm: End



Lodging in Bridgeport – If you stay within the City of Bridgeport at the Holiday Inn (, there will be a University shuttle that can pick you up and drop you off.

(Added 11/3) Approximate UB shuttle pick up times: at Holiday Inn – 8:10 a.m. / at ABC bldg. – 6:00 p.m. (11/5) and 2:00 p.m. (11/6).

All sessions will take place in the Arnold Bernhard Center (ABC), University of Bridgeport

The Arnold Bernhard Center is located on the western edge of campus, on the corner of University Ave. and Iranistan Ave. The address, for mapping purposes, is 84 Iranistan Ave. Bridgeport, CT. Parking is free and open either on the street or in the parking lot next to the Center.

5 replies on “NECCT 2016 Schedule & Information”

  1. I wonder what more could be done in the future to attract participants from beyond Philosophy departments. I see a small number of participants who are historians (Radice plus Brooks & Brooks), two acupuncturists (Jackowicz and Marks), one participant in political science (Nancy Wei), and one in religious studies (Bin Song). Literally all the rest are in either a Philosophy department or the philosophical wing of a Philosophy & Religion department.

    Nothing against philosophers, but if the idea (and the reason why we say NECCT and not NECCP) was to hold interdisciplinary conferences on Chinese thought, it seems that the project has started to diverge from its original mandate.

    Maybe the rest of us haven’t done an adequate job of publicizing the event among our cohorts? Or maybe–and I don’t mean this sarcastically–the upshot of previous conferences that made more overt gestures toward interdisciplinarity was that we’re all talking past one another and we may as well give up?

  2. Paul,

    I’d say that your count of seven participants who are from beyond Philosophy departments isn’t bad, but of course more would be nice. It may be that “Thought” reads as “Philosophy” to non-Philosophy people, so “NECCT” isn’t producing the intended effect over and against “NECCP.” Maybe in future calls for abstracts, we should be more explicit about the broad range of what “Thought” means for the purposes of this conference. Perhaps some discussion of this subject should be taken up at this year’s event.

    For what it’s worth, the “NE” part of “NECCT” is also an important part of the conference, and I do think that the meetings have generated a sense of community within this (broadly defined) region. (Not that you have suggested anything to the contrary.)

  3. Although I have not been involved in this year’s NECCT (owing to being out of the country), based on past experience my bet is that the biggest practical obstacle to a better resolution of the problem that Paul has raised stems from the “inadequate job of publicizing” issue. Although the CFP is public and in principle anyone can find it and respond, networks of people who focus on other approaches to Chinese thought are less well tied in to the NECCT and to Warp, Weft, and Way, I’d say. John Berthrong attended at least once before his retirement, and his students have been involved, but other graduate-level teachers (e.g., Martin Kern, Michael Puett, Peter Bol, …) have not, and we haven’t had many of their students. So maybe that suggests a way to direct outreach in the future?

    I say that this is a practical obstacle, but it’s also relevant that interdisciplinary is hard, and takes extra work. Sometimes we *do* talk past one another — folks on all different sides can fail to see what the point of other folks’ research programs are. I don’t think this is a reason to give up, though!

  4. I like the conference a lot. The size is manageable, and really conducive to discussion. Although I am a scholar of religious studies, to study religions from a philosophical point of view is one of my focuses. But I do hope there are at least more historians to participate. This can not only add historical support for philosophical discussion, but also facilitate dialogues with our current historian participators, whom I also love a lot.

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