Program for the 16th Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought

16th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
Wright State University (Virtual)
April 30-May 1, 2021
Attendance link (open to the public):

Friday, April 30 (all times are Eastern Time)


  • 12:30-1. Julianne N. Chung (Assistant Professor, York University): “Creativity without Originality: A Zhuangist Approach”


  • 1-1:30. Stephen C. Walker (Instructor, University of Chicago): “Aristotle and Zhuangzi 2 on Contradiction”


  • 1:30-2. Kevin J. Turner (PhD candidate, Peking University): “On the Relationship between Qi and Humans in the Zhuangzi


  • 2-2:30. John R. Williams (Lecturer, Chinese University of Hong Kong): “Comparing Wang Xianqian and Qian Mu on Zhuangzi”


2:30-3:30        Break


  • 3:30-4. Colin J. Lewis (Instructor, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs) and Jennifer Kling (Assistant Professor, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs): “Proud Vermin: Modern Militias and the State”


  • 4-4:30. Avital Rom (Ho Peng Yoke Fellow, Needham Research Institute, University of Cambridge): “The Inner Ear: Deafness in Early Chinese Thought”


  • 4:30-5. Christopher Yang (PhD candidate, Brown University): “Cosmic Excursion and Exercises of the Imagination in the Zhuangzi


  • 5-5:30. Susan Blake (Visiting Assistant Professor, Skidmore College): “Semantic Externalism and Early Chinese Philosophy”


5:30-6:30        Break


6:30-8:00        Keynote Address


  • Robin R. Wang (Professor, Loyola Marymount University): “Dao of Rou柔 (Suppleness): Proprioceptive Knowledge and Its Epistemological Value in Early Daoism”


Saturday, May 1


  • 9:30-10. Xiangnong (Herbert) Hu (PhD candidate, Chinese University of Hong Kong): “Why Is Mengzi’s Moral Philosophy Incompatible with Kant’s Moral Autonomy: A Critique of Mou Zongsan and Li Minghui”


  • 10-10:30. Timothy Gutmann (Instructor, University of Chicago): “Mediated Engagements: Political Commitment in Scholarship in Light of Mengzi”


  • 10:30-11. Naiyi Hsu (PhD candidate, Indiana University): “The Ritualized Body and Role Performance in Early Confucian Thought”


  • 11-11:30. Bin Song (Assistant Professor, Washington College): “How Does a Ru (Confucianist) Do Comparative Theology Today”


11:30-12:30    Break


  • 12:30-1. Ryan Nichols (Associate Professor, California State University-Fullerton) and Nicholaos Jones (Professor, University of Alabama-Huntsville), “Chinese Buddhism & Cognitive Style”


  • 1-1:30. Li Kang (Assistant Professor, Washington and Lee University): “How to Be Free from Oneself: Lessons from Chan Buddhism”


1:30-2:30        Break


  • 2:30-3. Joanna Loeb (PhD candidate, University of Warsaw): “Are the Min 民 the Common People? Another Look at the Daodejing


  • 3-3:30. Hao Hong (Assistant Professor, University of Maine): “Simplicity as the Maximum Indeterminacy”


  • 3:30-4. Roy Porat (Visiting Scholar, Brown University): “Move toward the Darkness: The Evolution of Vision Metaphors in Early Daoism”


  • 4-4:30. Anthony Casadonte (PhD student, University of Kentucky): “Seeing the Subtlety and Seeing the Contours of Things: Wang Bi’s Phenomenology of Generation and Reification”

Paper abstracts available here.

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