Dr. Lin Chin-hui

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Dr. Lin Chin-hui 林欽惠

Dr. Lin Chin-hui holds a PhD from Leiden University Centre for Linguistics LUCL (2014). From 2001 to 2012 she worked as lecturer of chinese language and head of the chinese training program at the University Leiden’s Department of Chinese Studies. Since October 2013 she is lecturer of chinese language at the Department of East Asian Studies in Göttingen. Continue reading

Prof. Dr. Sarah Eaton

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Prof. Dr. Sarah Eaton
Society and Economy in Modern China

Dr. Sarah Eaton holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Toronto (2011). Prior to arriving at Göttingen, she was an Associate Professor of Chinese Political Economy (2013-2014) at the University of Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo (2012-2013) and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford (2011-2012). Her research interests and teaching expertise centre on Chinese political economy, inclusive of its regional and global dimensions.
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Qinqin Peng

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Qinqin PengMeet our Researchers
Qinqin Peng

I studied Chinese literature and language in Nanjing. In 2013 I finished my Master in Theory of Literature and Art. Currently I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of East Asian Studies and my research focuses on Chinese Buddhism and Buddhist History. more

What are your main research interests?

My research interests lie primarily in Chinese Historiography of Buddhism, Buddhist history in Late Qing and Republican era and the history of Chinese historiography. I am also interested in issues of religious and historical recomposition in modern china, such as the revitalization of Buddhism, the reinvention of traditional historiography and the intertwined progress of modernity, secularization and religiosity.

What are your current projects?

Currently my project is focused on modern expressions of Chinese traditional religious heritage, with particular emphasis on the historiographical transition of Buddhist studies in early 20th century. To examine the process of the making of “history” and “religion” in China’s modernity, I study some of the most important historians who wrote Buddhist history from their own academic and faith backgrounds but shared a common historical awareness that Buddhism need to be re-identified in modern context. By comparing the differences in their aims, attitudes and methods, I want to illustrate how Buddhism became the object of history study and gained its legitimacy in the modernization of Chinese scholarship; how Buddhism dealt with the relationship between academic tradition and new ideological orders and how it controlled or modified its discourses, representations and resources to fit in the modern category of “religion”.

What led you to pursue this research?

My initial interests in Buddhism come from personal reading experience of Abhidhama texts. I was attracted to Buddhist cosmology and teleology. After reading several books of Buddhist history written in early 20th century I gained an impression that one treatment of China’s religious questions is to switch religion from the margin of Chinese history to the center. Buddhism historiography is a direct outcome of processes set in motion with the transformation of historical and temporal conceptions and can be considered as an interpretation to the transition of Chinese Buddhist landscape.

How is your research unique?

Most recent studies in the field of modern and contemporary Chinese Buddhism are based on single tradition or ethnographic observations from fieldwork and other primary sources derived from specific locales and contexts, however, my research is intended to adopt a framework of the history of scholarship. My goal is not to draw a chronological lineage of Buddhist history studies in modern China. Instead, I purposely choose to cast a wide net under historiographical perspective in investigating which role the threefold influence of religious conceptions, historiographical traditions and modern intellectual trends has played on Buddhist history and with which elements the category of Buddhism has been imposed, rejected, appropriated and assigned a place in academic area.

How would you describe your work’s importance to an interested lay audience?

An astounding revival of Buddhism has occurred in China since 1890s. Although continually besieged by political ideologies and social change, Buddhism now has the largest population of religious believers, fast-growing global communities and active institutions, both religious and academic. To understand the situation of Buddhism in China, it is fruitful to leave the concrete phenomenon of religious practices and think about it in the broader historical context of modernity. My research is trying to elucidate the approaches with which historians made their contributions to understanding the term of “being modern” and searching the modern definition of religion since late 19th century. Historiography, as one of these approaches, shows that scholars were pursuing a “modern” civilization of their own design by change their thought, ideology and political systems. Since China is still on this historical track, I hope my research can provide an explanation for the religious questions faced by China up to contemporary times.

Julia Schneider

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Julia Schneider

Julia Schneider studied classical sinology and musicology in Heidelberg, Berlin (HU) and Wien, including a stay abroad in Beijing. 2013 Julia Schneider finished her PhD thesis at the University of Ghent and the University of Göttingen.more

What are your main research interests?

Nationalism and nationalist historiography, Chinese historiography and historical theory (late imperial and Republican times), Chinese concepts of ethnic identity and assimilation, non-Chinese ethnicities in East Asia in Chinese historiography.

What are your current projects?

I have not yet begun with my post-doc research, which will possibly be an analysis of the Manchu-Chinese world order (17th to 19th century).

What led you to pursue this research?

Curiosity.

How is your research unique?

My PhD research is unique insofar as it is not only the first attempt to trace the origins and early development of the sinicization theory which had and still has an immense impact in Chinese and sinological historiography, but it is also the first analysis which finds direct links between late Qing Chinese nationalist thinking and early Republican historiographical approaches with regard to inner-Qing non-Chinese people, their history and their integration in the Chinese nation-state. Embedded in the general analysis of nationalism and nations my work provides a strong argument in favor of the social constructionist argument, interpreting the nation as being an “imagined community”. This holds definitely true for Chinese nationalist thinking and its desire to integrate non-Chinese territories and peoples into the nation.

How would you describe your work as importance to an interested lay audience?

Understanding how China’s history is produced makes us aware of its constructivist character and enables us to question accepted paradigms (like the sinicization theory, that is, the theory that all non-Chinese dynasties and people become Chinese when they come into contact with Chinese culture and people) and their impact on the Chinese understanding of the world.

Huang Weishan

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Huang Weishan

Currently Huang Weishan is a guest researcher at the Centre for Modern East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen. Before she was research associate at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen. more

What are your main research interests?

My research interests focus on religious movements, migration and religion, and migration and cities.

What are your current projects?

Taiwan has served as an important source of emigration contributing to the religious revival in China since the latter nation’s opening to outside influences. My research will examine process of the deterritorialization and the localization of religious practices carried out by Taiwanese entrepreneurs at the intersection of transnational migration and the global division of labor in Shanghai in last 20 years. This project is situated in the previous literature about, first of all, globalization and place-making and, secondly, about conversation in religious movements about place-claiming and political strategy. The religious movements I am studying, Tzu Chi and Local Church, were brought to Shanghai by transnational Taiwanese entrepreneurs in the early 1990s. Due to governmental restrictions in the province-level municipalities, religious practices are invisible in public spaces, but they show vitality in private spaces in Shanghai. The roles urban religious institutions play in adapting to city regulations are especially pressing for faith groups. There are two dimensions of research interest in this project. My first task will be to understand the dynamics of cross-strait migration and the strategies of religious practices among Taiwanese immigrants in Shanghai. The second will be to understand the shift of religious practices and discourses among newly converted local Chinese practitioners.

What led you to pursue this research?

I have started cultivating my interest on China since I joined MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversities in 2009. Since I am a Taiwanese, it is nature for me to pay more attention on the expansion of Taiwanese Buddhism/Religion.

How is your research unique?

This is not just another project on religion on China. The research is designed to understand the relationship between the wider city and the strategical manifestation of religious groups in the alternative realm – in the spatial, sociological and political senses. It is also a comparison between my research on New York and Shanghai.

How do you want to use your grant for your research?

My research method includes participant-observation, formal and informal interviews, and focus groups. I will need to conduct ethnography in Shanghai and Beijing in next 2 years. I plan to use CCK research grant for fieldwork and publish a book based on the data I collect.

Wong Tsz

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Wong Tsz, M.A.

PhD Student
Expert Cultures from the 12th to the 16th century
CeMEAS Associate
University of Göttingen

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What are your main research interests?

Among my various research interests, I would say my main interests would be comparative musicology, ethnomusicology, cultural studies and translation studies.

What are your current projects?

My current research project deals with the very early musical encountering between China and Europe in 16th century; where Jesuit missionaries, led by Italian Priest Matteo Ricci, had contributed to some early examples of musical knowledge transfer.

What led you to pursue this research?

I love music, being a violinist myself, I was educated under the western system of musicology, which later when I experience the western impression of Chinese music, if finds me intriguing of how the orient is being represented and undertaken from a western perspective; that leads me into a further interest of investigating how this cross-cultural music encountering begins.

How is your research unique?

In the case of musical encountering between China and Europe, the importance of missionary was seen influential mainly in 18th century, yet one shall not neglect that Jesuit missionaries started certain musical activities early in 16th century already, despite the limited scale, they carried great significance to later musical work between Chinese and European musicians.

How do you want to use your fellowship for your research?

First of all, it is definitely an honour to be one of the Research Fellows in CeMEAS, the fellowship enables myself to meet many other colleagues in relevant field of studies, and could further share ideas between different scholars. With more shared perspectives, it brings more opportunities to access to different sources, and may eventually better researches.

How would you describe your work’s importance to an interested lay audience?

Compared with Matteo Ricci and his fellows’ scientific and technical contributions, their musical achievement is often overlooked. Yet, by analyzing these very early models of musical encountering, one may find a great panel in understanding how two completely different musical systems meet and further evolve.