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Upcoming events from the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies

Webinar: Julia C. Schneider (Cork) - Who belongs to the Chinese nation? Inclusion and exclusion in Chinese Republican historiography. Friday 1 October, noon-1pm. Click here to register


In my lecture, I analyse the formation of the theory of Chinese assimilative power in the first half of the twentieth century, bringing the intimate relation between Chinese historiography and nationalism to the fore. The cohesion between nationalist agendas and constructions of history is particularly revealed in general histories, in which non-Chinese peoples were constructed as "people without history" and at the same time integrated into the Chinese nation by means of Agamben's "inclusive exclusion." By studying more than a dozen general histories, I show how non-Chinese peoples were marginalised by republican Chinese historians who ultimately imagined the Chinese nation and its history as homogenous. A pattern reveals itself that explains how the assimilation theory became to be applied in historiography and why this theory has been crucial for Chinese nation-building. Julia C. Schneider is Lecturer in Chinese history at the Department of Asian Studies at University College Cork. She holds a joint PhD in Sinology from Ghent and Göttingen Universities and an MA in Classical Sinology from Heidelberg University. From 2014 to 2019, she was Assistant Professor at the Department of East Asian Studies, Göttingen University. Her book Nation and Ethnicity, published in 2017 by Brill, won the Foundation Council Award of Göttingen University. Her research interests are historiography, history of ideas, and ethnohistory in Qing and Republican times as well as Jurchen and Manchu studies. She has published in journals such as Journal of Asian History and Global Intellectual History.

Webinar: Linda Tsung (Sydney) - Multi-model approaches in multilingual education in China. Friday 8 October, noon-1pm. Click here to register


China is one of the most multilingual countries in the world. The government of the People's Republic of China promotes the country as a harmonious and unified nation with 56 distinct ethnic groups who speak more than 400 languages. The government has not only legally recognized multilingualism but also publicly encourages a climate in which the using and learning of a variety of languages can flourish. Adopting theories of language ecology and human capital, this talk explores multi-model approaches in multilingual education (ME) and minority language (ML) maintenance in China. In doing so, it provides insights into our understanding of national ME implementation and ML maintenance.

This paper is based on extensive empirical research and case studies in China's multilingual regions and provinces. It examines the application of the Chinese government's ME and ML practices over the last 30 years with its underlying language ideology and practices, revealing de factor language policies. In doing so, it analyses language management at school levels, the linguistic landscape around minority areas and the language attitudes and cultural identities held by present minority students, teachers and parents. The implementation of ME in China is under great challenge: ML maintenance is not static and its movement in one direction or another at macro or micro levels is a result of many influences that require careful consideration.

Linda Tsung is Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney. Her research interests are multilingualism, multilingual education, language policy and cultural identity in Australia and Greater China. She has published widely on these topics. In particular, she has published two sole-authored books: Language Power and Hierarchy: Multilingual Education in China (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Minority languages, Education and Communities in China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Dr Tsung has also co-authored a book Bilingual Education and Minority Language Maintenance in China (Springer, 2019). She has been working as a member of the multilingual education group at UNESCO. In 2019 Dr Tsung was invited by the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva to make recommendations for teaching minority languages, particularly in lesser developed countries. Her recent publication is a co-authored book entitled Language education in the school curriculum: Issues of access and equity (Bloomsbury, 2020).