What is China?

7 May | Round table discussion on Ge Zhaoguang's "What is China?"
9:30 am
5:30 pm
Qu'est-ce que la Chine ?
"What is China? - Nation, Empire, Identity, the question of the relevance of Western theories on China

On the occasion of the publication of the French version of Qu'est-ce que la Chine? in May in the "Asie(s)" collection published by Éditions de la MSH, and taking advantage of Professor Ge's short stay in France, Professor Lun Zhang is organising a round table discussion at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme.

It will bring together the author Ge Zhaoguang and French researchers in various fields related to the themes addressed in the book, including studies of China and its religion, the nation and the empire: Marianne Bastid-Bruguière, Anne Cheng, François Gipouloux, Gil Delannoi, Claire Sotinel, Vincent Goossaert.

The author of the book

Ge Zhaoguang is founder and professor of the National Institute of Advanced Humanist Studies and the Department of History at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He has written around fifty books on various subjects relating to the history of Chinese thought, religion and literature. Since the 1990s, he has been a visiting professor at many renowned universities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and the West. He was the first Global Scholar at Princeton University, where he was a regular visitor for many years. He has won several major national and international prizes.

The book

Through a solid historical examination, the sensitive points of Chinese identity are tackled: What are the fundamental characteristics of Chinese culture? How can we understand the controversies surrounding the thorny question of China's territory? Will the cultural differences between China and the West inevitably lead to conflict, as some speculate? Could the traditional concept of Tianxia, literally "Everything under Heaven", the ideological pillar of the old empire, be a justification for China's conquest of world supremacy and for the re-foundation of a tributary system in East Asia? Will it succeed in its transition from empire to modern nation? And are social science theories still relevant to the analysis of China and, above all, its history? These are important questions that the world is asking, and to which the author attempts to provide his own answers.

Qu'est ce que la Chine ?
© Éditions de la MSH

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