Engaging China (Symposium 2022)
Public debate on China and relations between Western democracies and the People’s Republic have become more tense and polarized in recent years. China is ascending to become the world’s leading economic power and its global political influence is on the rise. What challenges does this pose for academia?
- The Engaging China symposium took place Wednesday 11 May. Watch a recording of the symposium here.
INCREASING TENSION IN political and diplomatic relations between China and the West appear to have negatively affected academic cooperation on research and teaching, with adverse consequences for mobility and exchange of scholars and students. How do we manage to cope with deteriorating relations? How do we assess current Chinese political and social developments? And how can we improve our knowledge and insight on China to further build and develop competence?
THE ACADEMIC CHINA Forum of the University of Bergen invites to a discussion on the status and prospects of academic cooperation with Chinese institutions.
- Official hashtag: #UiBChina22
PUBLIC DEBATE ON China and relations between Western democracies and the People’s Republic of China have become more divided and polarized, especially during the recent two years. Communications between China and the West have been further constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic, building steadily since early 2020. More tense political and diplomatic relations appear to have negatively affected academic cooperation on research and teaching, with adverse consequences for mobility and exchange of scholars and students. How do we manage to cope with deteriorating relations? Is academic cooperation threatened, and if so, what do we do about it? Is it important to maintain and develop academic cooperation? Why? How do we assess current Chinese political and social developments? And how can we improve our knowledge and insight on China and further build and develop competence?
CHINA HAS ALMOST 20 per cent of the world’s population. China’s position in world politics and the global economy has rapidly become far-reaching and of great importance. There is a general consensus among governments and scientists that international cooperation is necessary to solve global problems. Cooperation of some scope is obviously necessary for mutual development of knowledge and competence. But cooperation between academic institutions and scholars across democratic and authoritarian states is not unproblematic and not without risks, especially in the current global political atmosphere. How can scientific collaboration be developed to our mutual benefit in challenging political times?
The Academic China Forum of the University of Bergen invites to a discussion of the status and prospects of academic cooperation with Chinese institutions through four distinct thematic sessions at the symposium:
• Mitigating Climate Change: On Academic Cooperation on Climate Change and Policies
• Transreading Chinese Literature as World Literature
• Understanding China: Sociopolitical Changes in China and Implications for Academic Cooperation
• Knowing China: How to Build and Develop Competence on China?
The Academic China Forum of the University of Bergen is an advisory forum for academic environments and the University leadership in the work with building solid collaboration with Chinese institutions and research environments. The forum is chaired by Professor emeritus Stein Kuhnle.
WEDNESDAY 11 MAY 2022
(Registration from 08:15am)
09:00-09:10: Opening address and introduction
- Margareth Hagen, Rector of University of Bergen
Introduction to symposium
- Stein Kuhnle, Chair of Academic China Forum, University of Bergen
09:10-10:40: Session I - Mitigating Climate Change
Mitigating Climate Change: On Academic Cooperation on Climate Change and Policies
MODERATOR: Tore Furevik, Director of Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen, and Professor of Physical Oceanography, University of Bergen
Description: China is by far the largest emitter of climate gasses, but also the world’s leader in renewable energy and electric transportation. It has the second largest and fastest rising scientific production and is expected to be number one in few years. What can Norway learn from collaboration with China on climate change and climate policies? And can they learn from us?
- Shengping He, Researcher, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre: Norway-Chinese collaboration on climate change research
- Gørild Merethe Heggelund, Research Professor, Fridtjof Nansen Institute: On Chinese energy and environment policies
- Julia Christine Marinaccio, Postdoctoral Fellow, China studies, University of Bergen: The Politics of Time in China’s Natural Resource Management
11:00-12:30: Session II - Transreading Chinese Literature
Transreading Chinese Literature as World Literature
MODERATOR: Huiwen (Helen) Zhang, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies (Literature and Philosophy), University of Bergen
How has ancient Chinese literature inspired and influenced cultural developments in our modern multilingual societies? What motivated certain Western and Chinese writers to respond to each other’s traditions and new trends in modern times?
- Peter C. Perdue, Professor of History, Yale University
- Haun Saussy, Professor of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, University of Chicago
- Wang Bo, Professor of Philosophy, Vice President of Peking University
13:30-15:00: Session III - Understanding China
Understanding China: Current Political Development in China and Implications for Academic Cooperation
MODERATOR: Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr, Senior Researcher, University of Bergen and Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
The conditions for academic work in China are changing. The Chinese state is investing ambitiously in more and better research and education, creating greater incentives for some forms of research, but also introducing stricter regulations, delimiting the spaces for other activities. How do active, experienced and China-focused researchers assess and deal with the changing conditions?
- Anna Lisa Ahlers, Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin)
- Stine Jessen Haakonsson, Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School, and Sino-Danish Center
- Chunrong Liu, Executive Vice Director, Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, University of Oslo, and Associate Professor, Fudan University
- Tommy Shih, Associate professor, Lund University
- Tim Summers, Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong
15:00-16:00: Session IV - Knowing China
Knowing China: How to Build and Develop Competence on China?
MODERATOR: Martin Paulsen, Head of Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen
Without doubt China will be a crucial geopolitical actor in the 21st century. What kind of knowledge and skills does the Norwegian society need to meet this situation? How shall the required competences be developed, and who shall provide this capacity building? What should be the role of institutions of research and higher education in this process? How can different actors work together with the aim of strengthening research, teaching and academic cooperation?
- Camilla Brautaset, Dean of Faculty of Humanities, University of Bergen, Professor of Modern Economic History
- Mette Halskov Hansen, Vice Rector for Climate & the Environment and Cross-Disciplinarity, University of Oslo, Professor of China Studies
- Ulf Sverdrup, Director of Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)