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International Scholars Visit UCalgary and UAlberta for Chinese Studies Research Institute

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

In collaboration with the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) at the University of Alberta, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) is co-sponsoring a Humanities Summer Institute that invites participants to central Alberta to study Chinese Migratory Realities. Twenty visiting scholars from the United States, China, Brazil, Japan, Australia and Nigeria will be visiting the U of C, The Banff Centre, and the U of A to hear lectures and discuss topics around Chinese Migration. 

This Institute will also include a series of free lectures that are open to the public. For more information on dates and times of these lectures, visit the CIH Events Page

Migration of Chinese individuals and families has been a social reality for many centuries, but more recently the numbers have increased dramatically. The current internal move from the interior countryside to the coastal cities constitutes the largest migratory population in world history. This comes on top of many waves of migration in Chinese history, the mid-20th century exodus from mainland China, the much earlier movement of Chinese from the southeast coast to Southeast Asia, and the current migration of Southeast Asians of Chinese descent back and forth between Chinese communities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

Copious research has been conducted on both internal migration in China and emigration out of China, in particular in sociology, anthropology, and political science. These social realignments have also had profound implications in the realm of cultural representation, in such fields as literature, cinema (both feature and documentary), memoir, reportage, historical writing, and media.

This Institute will explore the social implications of Chinese migratory realities with particular emphasis on cultural manifestations such as how migration has been represented in literature and cinema, how migration has been examined in the scholarship of historians, gender studies scholars, literary and cinema studies scholars, anthropologists, sociologists, and others, and how migration is regarded by the State.

The institute will run from June 19 to July 6 and is supported by generous funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (CCKF) and the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), with supplementary funding provided by the VP International at the University of Calgary.

With successful Institutes held in 2016 at the University of Minnesota and last year at the University of Cambridge, our application is the third winning proposal. The CHCI-CKKF initiative explicitly gives priority to proposals that are collaborative, involving more than one Centre or Institute, and multiple academic institutions.

The institute will combine public guest lectures by leading North American scholars on Chinese migration—Julie Chu (Chicago), Tina Mai Chen (Manitoba), Madeline Hsu (Texas)—with a wide range of primary (in translation) and secondary readings to lay the groundwork for discussion. We also will rely on our deep reservoir of China scholars at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary for additional presentations and leadership. This seminar investigates an important social phenomenon with global implications and ramifications even for Canada. The Institute will also provide participants with an opportunity to experience the diversity and landscapes of Central Alberta, as the group moves from Calgary to Banff—at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity—and Edmonton.

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