An initiative of the Centre for Chinese Research (CCR), Institute of Asian Research, UBC, the China Environmental Science and Sustainability (CESS) Research Group project is an attempt to connect China experts with expertise in environmental science and sustainability research and praxis.
Current activities focus on inventorying current initiatives with similar ambitions while also identifying possible synergies within the UBC community and beyond. Future workshops, lectures, and calls for CESS related graduate and undergraduate coursework are also possibilities.
CCR RESEARCH PROJECTS
1) Migration - Dr. Diana Lary
2) Infrastructure - Dr. Samuel Ho
3) Transportation - Dr. Graham Johnson
4) Globalization - Dr. Timothy Cheek & Dr. Pitman Potter
5) Selective Adaptation - Dr. Timothy Cheek & Dr. Pitman Potter
6) Comparative Dispute Resolution - Dr. Pitman Potter
7) B.C. Chinese Historical Language Materials - Eleanor Yuen & Dr. Diana Lary
8) Comtemporary Thought & Society - Dr. Timothy Cheek
9) CCP Centre Party School - Dr. Timothy Cheek & Dr. Pitman Potter
10) Popular Religion - Dr. Daniel Overmyer
11) Chinese Language & Epigraphy - Dr. Keni'chi Takashima & Dr. Timothy Cheek
Timothy Cheek: SSHRC project:
Public Intellectuals in Contemporary China
This project seeks to document and explain the recent changes that have taken place in the roles of China’s public intellectuals—including the leading figures, the issue and arguments they make, and the main avenues of intellectual expression in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today. This will be a study of the writings and employment of intellectuals who are active in the public arena in China during the 1990s and early 2000s. It will seek to inform English readers of developments in Chinese intellectual circles and to explain how elite intellectuals have responded to the profound changes in both Chinese society during the reform era (since the early 1980s) and in the fundamental conditions of their employment. This research will illuminate the current place and significance of China’s intellectuals in PRC and provide a solid basis for assessing their role in such social changes as democratization, the development of civil society, and globalization in China.
Intellectuals, as a social class, have been central to Chinese politics from the scholar-officials of traditional dynasties to public figures in 20th Century China and especially revolutionary intellectuals—most notably, Mao Zedong. Joseph Fewsmith’s study of think tanks and the Central Party School in Beijing underscores that “correct ideas”—ideology—have been crucial to political decisions by the CCP Central Committee in the reform period from the “truth controversy” of the late 1970s to the “Three Represents” of the current administration. He concludes, “… attention to ideological justification remains an important part of the decision-making process.” (Fewsmith, 2003, p. 154).
Building on the list of fifty of China’s top public intellectuals” (gonggong zhishifenzi) profiled in September 2004 in the Chinese popular journal, Southern People Weekly (Nanfang renwu zhoukan), this project will focus on the ideas of a range of leading PRC theorists of public intellectual life and on the institutions of publicity and participation available to them, illustrating these through representative individuals.
This project will proceed in three steps. First, it involves making sense of the vast output of articles, books, and journals (including on-line publications) in Chinese that have burst onto the scene over the past fifteen years. This requires careful collection of materials in China and organizing them. Next it involves reading and analyzing these sources, in tandem with training post-doctoral and graduate student collaborators in order to map out more accurately not only the ideas articulated by China’s public intellectuals but also the roles and jobs available for public intellectual work in China today. This includes mapping the institutions of publicity and channels of consultation available to intellectuals who wish to contribute to public affairs. Finally, it involves testing conclusions in professional workshops and sharing findings through publication of research in scholarly articles, a monograph, and bibliographical resources (a web-based guide to materials).