April Symposium on Chinese Culture and the Humanities

East-West Center, Hawaii Ames and Murashige head Symposium bill in April

April 20 and 21, 2012

Directed by
the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP)
Funded by
a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, ASDP,  and PCC

This workshop introduces participants to Chinese Philosophy and Art, focusing on how each affects Chinese identities and their transformations over time.  The symposium (principal lectures given by Dr. Roger Ames, Asian Philosophy, University of Hawai’I, and Dr. Stanley Murashige, School of the Art Institute of Chicago),  is open to all interested faculty, students, and community members.  In addition to the public events, two special sessions will support the core group of PCC faculty - “The China Cohort”  - as they design courses and add modules to existing courses focused on China.

Schedule of Events

April 20, Friday -- Cascade TH 122
12:30-1:00pm
Coffee and chatting
1:00-2:15
First Curriculum Workshop with Cohort Members – Focus on CHN 260, Chinese Culture
2:15-2:30
Coffee break
2:30-4:45
Dr. Stanley Murashige lecture on Chinese Art
(Open to the PCC and general community)
Description of Murashige's lecture:
How did Chinese painting respond to upheaval in the past? The central question for elite painters was what models should one emulate? And how should one adapt and transform these models? If China was understood to be constituted in the creative participation and contribution of its cultural elite, then how did one "practice" China? In this presentation, I’ll look at how painting--the literati tradition in particular--responded to the 14th century Mongol occupation, and later, to the collapse of the Ming dynasty under the Manchu occupation. What happened under the Mongols was a quest for the most appropriate models of the past, models that would serve as the basis for an effective praxis that would enable the continuity of China. During the Ming-Qing transition, literati artists responded in similar ways, but in this later case, the literati masters of the Mongol period had become the chief models, and actual practice had become a conservative orthopraxy, one that a number of artists, often called "individualists," challenged. These challengers never wholly rejected the past, but instead favored different models, and through them, a return to the drama and narrative of nature's physical metamorphosis, an approach that they believed returned painting to its origins and to its fully creative participation with nature.
4:45-6:30
Dinner on own
April 20, Friday evening -- Cascade TH 122
6:30 to 7:00
Reception
7:00 to 7:30
Welcome by Craig Kolins, Campus President, Extended Learning, and Introductory remarks by Dr. Peter Hershock
7:30 to 8:30
Dr. Roger Ames speaks on "Confucian China in a Changing World Order"
(Open to the PCC and general community)
Description of Ames' lecture:
A perfect storm is brewing: climate change, food and water shortages, environmental degradation, pandemics, energy shortage, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, gross income inequities, and so on. An effective response to this human exacerbated predicament requires a radical change in values, intentions, and practices. The rise of China has precipitated a sea change in the world economic and political order, but what about the prevailing cultural order long dominated by a powerful liberalism? Confucian philosophy is being actively promoted both domestically and internationally by a collaboration of academic and political forces. Question: What impact will Confucianism—a philosophy that begins from the primacy of relationality—have on world culture in the ensuing decades?
April 21, Saturday -- Cascade TH 122
8:30-9:00am
Coffee
9:00-11:45
Roger Ames speak on "Confucian Role Ethics: A Challenge to the Ideology of Individualism"
(Open to the PCC and general community)
Description of Ames' Second Lecture:
In the introduction of Chinese philosophy and culture into the Western academy, we have tended to theorize and conceptualize this antique tradition by appeal to familiar categories. Confucian role ethics is an attempt to articulate a sui generis moral philosophy that allows this tradition to have its own voice. This holistic philosophy is grounded in the primacy of relationality, and is a challenge to a foundational liberal individualism that has defined persons as discrete, autonomous, rational, free, and often self-interested agents. Confucian role ethics begins from a relationally constituted conception of person, takes family roles and relations as the entry point for developing moral competence, invokes moral imagination and the growth in relations that it can inspire as the substance of human morality, and entails a human-centered, a-theistic religiousness that stands in sharp contrast to the Abrahamic religions.
11:45-1:00
Lunch (You are welcome to join us by contacting sgray@pcc.edu by April 17 and prepaying $11.45 for an Asian Salad, or you may bring your own lunch. Location is TH 112.)
1:00-3:00
2nd Curriculum Workshop – for cohort members
3:00-3:30
Peter Hershock ends the session

This symposium is part of a three-year faculty and curriculum development initiative funded by a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education and directed by the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP).  This includes six participating institutions of higher education – three universities, and three community colleges – of which PCC is one.  The project mission is to establish and accelerate the integrated development of undergraduate Chinese language and culture.  It focuses on the introduction and development of Chinese language courses while simultaneously building complementary humanities and social science curricula, including adding modules on China to other courses. 

The PCC China Cohort is comprised of the following twelve faculty members:

  • David Armontrout, History, SE Campus
  • Martha Bailey, Philosophy, CA
  • Kathy Casto, Composition and Literature, SE
  • Kathleen Doss, Speech, CA
  • Sylvia Gray, History; Cohort Leader, SY
  • Bryan Hull, Composition and Literature, SY
  • Dorothy Payton, Architectural Drafting, SY
  • JulieAnne Poncet, Art History, CA
  • Hsiao-yun Shotwell, Chinese, CA and SE
  • Michael Sonnleitner, Political Science, CA
  • Grace Van Ness, Health, RC
  • Catherine Zimmerman, Sociology and Gerontology, SY

Other schools also part of the same grant include: Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS); Middlesex Community College (Lowell, MA); Missouri State University (Springfield, MO), and University of Texas, El Paso (El Paso, TX).