Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies: Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

The Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies seeks to maintain the vitality of China Studies in the US and Canada through fellowships and grants designed primarily for scholars early in their careers.  Studies on and in China have developed over the last 30 years in North America into a robust field, but current conditions pose daunting problems, especially for scholars just before and just after the dissertation.

Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants provide opportunities for scholars of different disciplines to share in-depth investigation of texts that are essential points of entry to Chinese periods, traditions, communities, or events in contemporary or historical times.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Henry Luce Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • Administrative Documents from the Three Kingdoms State of Wu Excavated at Zoumalou, Changsha  |  Abstract

    This workshop will explore the importance of the Zoumalou texts for understanding the economic, social, environmental and legal history of the Central Yangzi region in the two decades following the fall of the Han Dynasty.

    Brian G. Lander
    Brian G. Lander

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology, Harvard University

  • Is There a Socialist Way of Governing in China? Governing as a Social Practice in the PRC  |  Abstract

    In this workshop, we will investigate a series of documents produced out of a sample of well-defined “scenes of governing” in the People’s Republic of China. In consultation with our participants, we have selected a focused and manageable set of documents that emerge out of precisely those situations in which stated goals, techniques of implementation, and the grain of social life meet. We will read these texts with the intention of extracting from them something like a “taxonomy” or “tableau” of the elements (categories, methodologies, tactics, concepts, etc.) from which they are composed. Doing so would make possible the beginning of a historical genealogy of socialist governing in China, if such a thing can—after all—be said really to exist.

    Fabio Lanza
    Fabio Lanza

    Associate Professor, History/East Asian Studies, University of Arizona

  • Literary and Historical Approaches to Fifth Century Historical Documents  |  Abstract

    This workshop will use literary, historical and historiographical perspectives to explore the vast documentary record preserved in the History of the Liu-Song (compiled 488). The workshop will encourage literary scholars to rethink the literary work in terms of its role in the historiographical tradition, and historical scholars to look more closely at the structural and ornamental features of historical source materials. The workshop will produce high quality translations, along with a guide to the documents contained in this source. The workshop will also offer an opportunity to reconsider our understanding – literary and historical – of the first three-quarters of the fifth century.

    Zeb Raft
    Zeb Raft

    Assistant Professor, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica

  • Records of the Dead, Records for the Living: Reading Muzhiming  |  Abstract

    This workshop aims to generate fruitful exchanges on three main issues: 1) the development of the context, rhetoric, and aims of epitaph composition, 2) epitaphs as sources for exploring cultural values, social mores, and identities, 3) emotions and relationships reflected and represented in epitaphs, and 4) new directions of utilizing epitaphs in social history and family history. Overall this workshop will provide a great opportunity for the participants who have used epitaphs extensively in their researches to explore the richness and utility of epitaphs and the importance of such texts in the study of imperial China.

    Ping Yao
    Ping Yao

    Professor, History, California State University, Los Angeles

  • Re-Envisioning the Nation: Texts from Occupied China, 1932 to 1945  |  Abstract

    “Re-envisioning the Nation: Texts from Occupied China, 1932-1945” is an international, bilingual (C:E) workshop to be hosted by the Institute of Asian Research at UBC. Attendees will convene to examine and translate representative texts by Chinese intellectuals and politicians who sought to articulate new national visions while under Japanese occupation in mainland China, from the establishment of Manchukuo in 1932 until the Japanese surrender in 1945. Panels designed to shed new light on Chinese cultural and social life during the occupation focus on "Culture and Society," "Law and Politics," and "Science and Education."

    Norman Smith
    Norman Smith

    Professor, History, University of Guelph

  • Texts on Calligraphy by Zhang Huaiguan  |  Abstract

    The workshop will do close readings of a number of texts on Chinese calligraphy authored by Zhang Huaiguan, who was active in the first half of the 8th century: Discourse on Calligraphy, Discussion on Writing, and the first fascicle of the author's Judgments on Calligraphy. All are included in the Tang dynasty compilation Fashu yaolu (Essentials on Calligraphy, 9th century), and provide an important window on how the art of calligraphy was viewed and described during a transitional period between the consolidation and establishment of orthodoxy of the earlier part of the Tang and the emergence of radical aesthetic transformations that began around the middle of the 8th century.

    Peter C. Sturman
    Peter C. Sturman

    Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Towards a Scholarly Edition of the Tarikh-i Hamidi, a Chaghatay Chronicle of Modern Xinjiang  |  Abstract

    Mulla Musa Sayrami's 1908 Tarikh-i Hamidi is the richest and most significant Uyghur source for the history of Xinjiang in the nineteenth century. While Sayrami has been praised as a careful historian himself, and the work has great evidentiary value, a closer reading of the text reveals it to be a strange, polyphonous, transcultural text reflecting Turkic Muslims' struggle to situate themselves in a rapidly changing empire. Sayrami draws on Islamic sacred history and local oral culture to explain Chinese power in a periapocalyptic new age. The text is open to multiple readings, including postcolonial, Islamicate, and Sinocentric. Ultimately, we plan to produce an edition of the Tarikh-i Hamidi to bring this text to a broader audience.

    Eric T. Schluessel
    Eric T. Schluessel

    Doctoral Candidate, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University