United We Shall Eat/Read: A Bite of China in the Printed Form

Chienwei Pan | 9 January 2017

To begin, let me share a photo I took when I first visited the Confucius Institute for Scotland. As one can see in the picture, three books are arranged with deliberate care, with Shejian shang de Zhongguo (A Bite of China, 2012) displayed in front of the book-length Introduction to the Confucius Institute (2010) and accompanied by Kongzi mingyan lu (The Famous Remarks of Confucius, 2006).

Read Article →

Trying to Research the History of China and Japan While Knowing Absolutely no Chinese or Japanese. (And never going to China or Japan.)

November 1, 2015 | Adam Cohen.

I’ve now written two dissertations during two different degrees with a grand total of 25,000 words on Japanese and Chinese history and yet whenever I tried to tell anyone what I was working on I would, without fail, have the following conversation: ‘Oh so how well do you speak Japanese/Chinese?’ I don’t, and I sure as hell can’t read it. ‘When are you going out to China/Japan?’ I’m not, at least not before the deadline. These were fair enough questions to ask and no doubt someone who did speak the language would have written a much better thesis than the one that I churned out. I know a lot of people though who started to narrow down a global research area, came up against these language/travel barriers, and immediately veered away from non-English history entirely, and I think this leaves a wealth of potential scholarship unexplored.

Read Article →