Tansen Sen, director of NYU Shanghai’s Center for Global Asia (CGA), along with Maria Adele Carrai, assistant professor of Global China Studies and an affiliated faculty at CGA, and Dr. Adhira Mangalagiri, a former CGA postdoctoral fellow, are among recipients of a £1.5 million grant from the British Academy Global Convening Programme’s call for Chinese Global Orders. Funds from the grant will support their individual research as part of a multidisciplinary and international 20-person team tasked to articulate new conceptualizations of global order centered on historical and contemporary China.
“Meeting with different scholars is quite interesting and important in figuring out how, from different perspectives, we look at the role of China in the past and its role in the contemporary world while asking, ‘Does China present an alternative way of thinking of the world order, other than the Western one?’” Sen said.
The scholars will convene three times a year over the next three years, making their way through London, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Pretoria, Lahore, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and Taipei. As they engage in discourse with other academics, policymakers, and think tanks around the world, they will be creating documentaries, exhibitions, websites, and databases that trace global connections, leverage local knowledge, and analyze Chinese global orders through textual evidence, empirical data, and visual representations.
The collaboration includes a forthcoming workshop co-hosted by NYU Shanghai and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou related to the Chinese philosophical concept of Tianxia (all-under-heaven), which connotes an inclusive and harmonious world where everything under heaven equally belongs to everybody, without territorial divisions. “The idea is to see the evolution of that concept and its application in pre-Modern China as well as contemporary times,” Sen said.
NYU Shanghai CGA will also be partnering with the New York Center for Global Asia and the NYU Abu Dhabi Global Asia Initiative in organizing “Asia and the Mediterranean World,” a conference that will be held at NYU Florence this coming June, supported by a Global Opportunity Grant and a Global Research Initiative Grant from NYU Global Programs. The conference will provide a unique opportunity for developing future collaborative research projects, curriculum, and courses that involve study away sites such as NYU Florence and which can be taught across NYU’s three degree-granting campuses.
“The objective is to look at existing scholarship on Eurasia connections, find out what people in our global network are doing within the broader context of global Asia, and invite scholars from Florence to Shanghai next year for a smaller workshop,” Sen said.
“For our Center as well as for NYU Shanghai’s Global China Studies program, I think it’s quite important–not only what we get but also what we can provide to others. We have a very important platform at NYU Shanghai where people can come and engage with the scholars that we already have in Shanghai.”