History Dept. to host international conference on Chinese culture

poster of China conference at UC Santa Cruz
UCSC associate history professor Minghui Hu
UCSC associate history professor Minghui Hu
A group of internationally renowned scholars will convene to explore and rethink aspects of modern Chinese culture, religion, and society from various Eurasian and global perspectives on September 7-8 at UC Santa Cruz.

Co-organized by UCSC associate professor of history Minghui Hu, the 21 participants will include five UCSC history professors, eight scholars from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and eight additional scholars from North America.

Titled Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950, the UCSC conference is part of an ambitious three-year project, called “Constructing Modern Knowledge in China, 1600–1949,” headed by So-An Chang of Taiwan’s Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica. 

The UCSC event is the second of the project’s three international conferences scheduled for Shanghai (2011), North America (2012), and Europe (2013).

The goal of the project is to examine key aspects of the transformation and construction of modern knowledge in China.

The UCSC conference is free and open to the public. Sessions will take place in the Humanities Building 1, Room 210 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Space is limited and attendees should RSVP in advance.

 “The assumption shared by all participants is that historians have paid far too little attention to the role of foreign ideas in the transformation of Chinese culture during the three and a half centuries preceding the Communist revolution,” noted Professor Hu. 

“We propose to explore the transformation of classical knowledge, legal knowledge, science and technology, forensic medicine, historical geography, race, print, international law, psychology, and national identity along China’s turbulent road to modernity,” he added.

Hu teaches history of early modern China, early modern East Asia, and world history of science at UCSC. Before his arrival in Santa Cruz in 2005, he taught a variety of courses at Korea University, California State University at Long Beach, UC Irvine, and served as an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. His book Cosmopolitan Confucians: The Passage to Modern Chinese Thought, is forthcoming.

Four other UCSC History Department faculty will join Hu at the conference: Nathaniel Deutsch, Gail Hershatter, Emily Honig, and Lisa Rofel. 

For more information, visit the conference web site or call the UCSC Institute for Humanities Research  at (831) 459-3527.