Announcement and Call for Papers
2010 Melbourne Conference on China: Chinese Elites and their Rivals – Past, Present and Future
Date: Monday, 19 July and Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Venue: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Organiser: Asia Institute, Faculty of Arts, the University of Melbourne
Print: The Programme (To be available after 1 June 2010)
Following the success of the 2009 Melbourne Conference on China, The Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne is pleased to announce the 2010 Melbourne Conference on China, to be held at the University of Melbourne on Monday, 19 July 2010 and Tuesday, 20 July 2010.
We welcome researchers, specialists, policy makers, policy advisers and educators working in anywhere in the world and in any area of China studies to come to the southern hemisphere to meet in Melbourne, the acknowledged capital of culture in Australia, to explore the various questions posed by the ongoing and rapid changes that have affected Chinese elite groups and their rivals in the past, the present and, most importantly, in the future.
Elites – and rivals to them – are found in all complex human societies. The struggle between elites and their rivals is one of the most powerful forces shaping human social and cultural systems. China’s traditional elites were among the first in the world to be selected on the basis of educational attainment, and the collapse of the old Chinese elite structure in the modern era had profound implications for almost every aspect of Chinese life, from politics to economics to culture to language. The emergence of a new Chinese elite system in the course of the twentieth century constitutes one of the most complex processes in the recent history of humankind. Analysis of the various kinds of elites in China (political, military, economic, technological, cultural, ethnic, social, educational, linguistic and even environmental) - and of their rivals - provides a powerful tool for understanding that country’s past and present, as well as the likely direction of its future development.
The issues that will be discussed in the conference Chinese Elites and their Rivals – Past, Present, and Future include, but are not limited to, the following:
• What is the current state of scholarly understanding of China’s elites and their rivals, and what new theoretical and empirical perspectives on these questions have emerged in recent years?
• How are China’s current elites, including political, economic, technical, military, ethnic, social, educational and cultural elites, connected to the twentieth century processes of nation-building and revolution?
• What are the likely future developments in China’s elite groups, and what new challenges will those elites face in the coming decades? Specifically, which elites will take the lead in China’s future development, and how will this occur?
• Are there long-term continuities and common and persistent characteristics in China’s elite cultures, in particular, continuities spanning the imperial era, modern times and the present?
• How is the power of different types of elites contested? Are there any unique features in the contests between different types of elites that have hitherto been ignored or misunderstood? How do the various types of elite groups in China – past and present – relate to each other?
• What is the status of the new, and still emerging, urban classes? In what ways are they culturally, economically, socially and politically significant? What is the role of China’s new rich?
• What is the role of the descendants of the members of privileged social groups? Will the emergence of private ownership in China produce a ‘silver-spoon’ elite, with elite status becoming inheritable?
• What has been the role of overseas Chinese elites in China’s modernisation? How should the role of foreign-trained returnees, both old and new, be defined?
• What is the status of ethnic minority elites in Han-dominated China? Who are these minority elites? How are they affected by the larger economic, linguistic, political and cultural institutions that shape Chinese life?
• What is the impact of the Internet on the rivalry between the elites and the masses? How, and to what extent, is the power of elites contested in the virtual world?
• Are educational elites, both foreign-trained and China-trained, still highly regarded in China? What changes have taken place in Chinese systems of cultural/intellectual capital? How have these been affected by engagement with systems from outside, for example in the learning of foreign languages?
• What connections, similarities and differences are there between China’s elites, ancient and modern, and elites in other parts of the world?
(Papers examining any other aspect of this broad theme, from any other perspective that is not mentioned above, are also welcome.)
Leading scholars and policy advisers from Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States have been invited to address the conference.
Papers on any aspect of Chinese elites and their rivals and any related thematic issue or historical period are welcomed. Each presentation will be for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for discussion.
The conference will be conducted in English, but a few sessions will be bilingual and conducted in both English and Chinese.
All sessions will be held on the University of Melbourne campus on Monday, 19 July 2010, and Tuesday, 20 July 2010.
Those attending the conference will be responsible for organising their own travel and accommodation, and some meals. The Conference Organising Committee will soon post more information about hotels located within a 15 minute walking distance from the University of Melbourne.
Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words, no later than Friday, 30 April 2010, to the following email address: Conference-on-China@unimelb.edu.au
The abstract must be in English and must contain the proposed title of the paper, the author’s name and home institution, a brief bio of no more than 150 words, along with contact details, including postal address in English, or Chinese (if applicable). All submissions will be acknowledged in writing upon receipt via email. Other inquiries may also be sent to the above email address, or to the contact people listed below.
Deadlines: Submission of abstracts: Friday, 30 April 2010
Notification of acceptance: Friday, 14 May 2010
The conference programme: Friday, 28 May 2010
Standard registration: Friday, 18 June 2010
Registration: All attendees should either register online after receiving both postal and email acceptance notifications, or send a completed registration form to the Conference Organising Committee by email to contact persons.
A standard conference fee of AU$100 is payable upon register. Postgraduate students are entitled to a discount of 50% on their registration fee.
More information about the registration form and fee, as well as hotels located within walking distance of the University of Melbourne, will be available in February 2010 on the official Asia Institute website at: http://www.chinastudies.unimelb.edu.au/conferences/2010/index.html
Contacts: Please contact the Conference Organising Committee, Asia Institute, the University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia, or email Conference-on-China@unimelb.edu.au
If you have other questions about this conference, please feel free to email Dr Gao Jia at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Lewis Mayo at email@example.com
Website: Information on this particular conference may be found on various websites, but the Asia Institute website can be taken as the most up-to-date source: http://www.chinastudies.unimelb.edu.au/conferences/2010/index.html
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