About this Project

2013 – 2016

History-writing in China often strikes U.S. readers as nationalistic and therefore “out of step” with Euro-American common practice. Our assumption was rather that the historiographic conventions differ, and require a reading that engages, as do Chinese humanists, with philosophical questions drawn from both Chinese and non-Chinese traditions. Among the profound, long-term social particularities of the Chinese intelligentsia are an appreciation of philology and a ready circulation among disciplines usually kept separate in our academy: history, aesthetics, and metaphysics. We located the maximal contrast in styles of understanding history in the currently-influential scholarly movement known as “New National Studies” (Xin Guoxue). By engaging Chinese scholars through an on-going series of short-term visiting scholarships, this project sharpened our understanding of humanities and social scientific research being conducted in China today and helped UChicago scholars reflect on the protocols and implicit frontiers of their own arguments.


History, Philology, and the Nation in the Chinese Humanities Workshop Kicks Off Three Year Project

September 23, 2013

The Sept 16-17, 2013 planning workshop at the UChicago Beijing Center brought together Chinese scholars from Asia and the West to consider the problem of how history-writing contributes to the ongoing constructions of a present. 

Project Updates

Professors Judith Farquhar and Haun Saussy met at the Beijing Center in September, 2013 with a group of four cooperating researchers in the China-oriented humanities to begin conversations pertaining to their three year Collegium project which will consider the problem of how history-writing contributes to the ongoing construction of a present.


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