Program for the first meeting of BACCT

Here are the program schedule and travel information for the first annual Bay Area Conference on Chinese Thought (BACCT), October 14-15, hosted this year by the University of California, Davis.


Saturday, October 14th

9:45 – 10:15 Coffee, Light Breakfast Items

10:15 – 10:30 Opening Remarks, Justin Tiwald and Thor Harris

10:30 – 12:00 Panel 1: Dai Zhen

Speaker 1: John Ewell (Independent Scholar), “Constitutive Coherence in Dai Zhen’s Classical Vision: Evidence from his Mengzi Commentary”

Speaker 2: Minghui Hu (University of California – Santa Cruz), “Mapping Waterways: Imperial Geography, Classical Knowledge and Hydraulic Engineering in early modern China, 1780-1820”

Speaker 3: Justin Tiwald (San Francisco State University), “Dai Zhen’s More Metaethical Objections to Neo-Confucianism”

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 Panel 2: Further Adventures in Neo-Confucian Thought

Speaker 1: Margaret Chu 朱立芸 (Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong), “Chang Po-hsing: A Neo-Confucian Thinker but not Philosopher?”

Speaker 2: Harvey Lederman (Princeton), “The Introspective Model of Genuine Knowledge in Wang Yangming”

2:15 – 2:30 Break

2:30 – 4:00 Panel 3: Poems, Paintings, and Music

Speaker 1: Meilin Chinn (Santa Clara University), “Music With and Without Images”

Speaker 2: Wei LU (Purdue University), “Religious Elements in Chen Zi’ang’s Ganyu Poems
Two features of Chen Zi’ang’s (661-702) style distinguish his ganyu 感遇 poems”

Speaker 3: Renata McRee (University of California – Davis), “Recognizing Emptiness: Manifestations of Chan Thought in Zhu Da’s Paintings”

4:00 – 4:15 Break

4:15 – 5:15 Panel 4: Ritualized Roles and Selfhood

Speaker 1: James Garrison (University of Bristol), “The Aesthetic Life of Power Chinese and Western Insights into the Rituals of Subject Life”

Speaker 2: Geoffrey Ashton (University of San Francisco), “Role Ethics as Interpretive Paradigm in East-South Dialogue: A Conversation Between Early Confucianism and Traditional Hinduism”

5:15 – 6:30 Free Time

6:30 – 8:30 Dinner


Sunday, October 15th

8:30 – 9:00 Coffee, Light Breakfast Items

9:00 – 10:00 Panel 5: Zhuangzi

Speaker 1: Robert Elliott Allinson (Soka University of America), “The Zhuangzi as a Metaphorical, Transformative Text”

Speaker 2: Stephen Walker (University of Chicago), “Cosmogonic dao and the dao of the Qiwulun”

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:45 Panel 6: Moral Theory

Speaker 1: Meng ZHANG (Indiana University), “Against the Last Superstition: A Sentimentalist Account of Mengzi’s Standard of Virtue”

Speaker 2: L. K. Gustin Law (University of Pittsburgh), “ ‘Ought I undermine Nazi undercover (if the virtuous person would)?’ – a Mengist reflection”

Speaker 3: Thor Harris (University of California – Davis), “Argument by Exemplar: A Defense of the Independent Normativity of Exemplary Persons in Early Confucian Ethics”

11:45 – 12:00 Break

12:00 – 1:00 Panel 7: Moral Psychology

Speaker 1: David H. Kim (University of San Francisco), “Heteronomy and Hegemony in Confucian Shame: A Cautionary Note for Confucian Democracy”

Speaker 2: Sean McAleer (University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire), “Stoic and Confucian perspectives on forgiveness”

1:15 – 2:30 Lunch and Goodbyes



Lodging in Davis

Aggie Inn is perhaps the nicest hotel in town and is within walking distance of the conference venue and downtown Davis.

Best Western University Lodge is more affordable than Aggie Inn and is also within walking distance of the conference venue and downtown Davis.

La Quinta Inn & Suites is the most affordable hotel in Davis but it is not within walking distance of the conference venue or downtown.

AirBnB is also a good option.


There is an Amtrak station in town. It is located five short blocks from Aggie Inn, Best Western University Lodge, and campus.

The closest airport to UC Davis is Sacramento International (SMF).


All sessions will be held in the Andrews Room (SSH 2203), in the Social Sciences and Humanities Building. The building is located on the edge of campus next to the intersection of 3rd street and A street.


The coordinators of this conference would like to thank the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of California, Davis, for their generous support.

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