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.

Related Links

Search for Fellows and Grantees

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

  • "How Can We Talk about the Ritual of Yin?" Warring States Perceptions of Shang Civilization in the Light of the Tsinghua Manuscripts | Abstract

    This workshop centers on the Tsinghua manuscripts some of which seem to make claims about the Shang from the perspective of the Warring States. This reading-workshop adopts the somewhat unusual approach of initiating a dialogue between the period when the sources were written down and one of the moments to which they refer, between the Warring States and the Shang. We do not assume that there is a connection between the two. Instead, we simply ask the following questions: Is there any basis in reality in Warring States imaginations of the past? How should the standard approaches to the study of the Shang (paleography, archaeology, and others) be used for testing hypotheses generated by the new sources? What (if any) is the relevance of these new sources for the study of the Shang?

    Uffe Bergeton
    Uffe Bergeton

    Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chinese Divination Traditions in Conversation: "Maheśvara’s Divination Explanations" (Moxishouluo bu) in Chinese and Transcultural Contexts | Abstract

    This workshop brings together Sinologists, Tibetologists, and Buddhologists to translate and properly contextualize "Maheśvara’s Divination Explanations"(Moxishouluo bu), a Chinese Buddhist divination text from Dunhuang that dates to the ninth or tenth century CE. The text, which prescribes the use of dice to arrive at one of sixty-four oracular responses, occupies a fascinating place between Chinese traditions of numerical trigram divination on the one hand, and Indian and Tibetan dice divination traditions on the other. Performing a close reading of its fascinating contents, the workshop situates the Moxishouluo bu both with respect to continuities with long-standing Chinese divinatory traditions, and in the context the Chinese assimilation of transregional divination traditions.

    Brandon Dotson
    Brandon Dotson

    Associate Professor, Theology, Georgetown University

    Constance A. Cook
    Constance A. Cook

    Professor, Modern Languages & Literature, Lehigh University

    Zhao Lu
    Zhao Lu

    Assistant Professor, Global Studies, New York University Shanghai

  • Global Reception of the Classic Zhuangzi: Song to Ming | Abstract

    The classic Zhuangzi has deeply influenced cultural life in East Asia and beyond. A key text in East Asian religious and literary history, it is still routinely cited in discussions of ethical living in the context of Chinese philosophy, and informs diverse practices such as calligraphy, landscape painting, and meditation practice. Yet, current engagement with the Zhuangzi in classrooms and journals around the world tend to reduce the classic to a text of philosophy. In this reading workshop, we plumb the depths of its diverse reception history during the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties in order to create a critique of this philosophical paradigm by shaping out some of the themes that dominated the reception of the Zhuangzi during China’s middle and early modern period.

    Tobias Benedikt Zürn
    Tobias Benedikt Zürn

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Religious Studies Program, Washington University in St. Louis

  • Revolutionary Routine: Grassroots Sources on Work, Family, and Private Life in Maoist China | Abstract

    This workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to undertake intensive reading and discussion of selected 'grassroots sources' from the Fudan Social Life Data and Research Center. Through systematic readings of family letters, personnel dossiers, private diaries, work notes, and work unit archives, we explore questions of how the routines of political Maoism were enacted, mediated, and performed in everyday contexts as social routine. Our workshop engages this rich new stream of historical sources to draw attention to the rituals of Maoism as ordinary affairs, focusing on the banal settings of socialist life—the workplace, the school, and the family—as dynamic sites of structure and ideology.

    JM Chris Chang
    JM Chris Chang

    Mellon Fellow, Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University

    Yanjie Huang
    Yanjie Huang

    Doctoral Student, History, Columbia University