Olomouc, Czech Republic

Contested geographies: old and new connections between the Middle Kingdom and its neighbours

when 6 June 2016 - 11 June 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC

Our one-week intensive summer school will bring together scholars and students to discuss and learn about the Central Asia as well as other neighbours of the Middle Kingdom. This summer school will take place at the second oldest university in Czech Republic, in beautiful UNESCO city of Olomouc.

Course leader

Prof. Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania)
Professor Mair has been teaching at the University of Pennsylvania since 1979. He specializes in Buddhist popular literature as well as the vernacular tradition of Chinese fiction and the performing arts.

Target group

Undergraduate, Graduate and postgraduate students of Asian Studies, Anthropology, Social Sciences, Politics or any relevant field. Individuals interested in the summer school's topic are also welcome.

Course aim

The aim of this one-week summer school is to introduce students into the complex web of relations that China has had with its neighbours throughout the history. It introduces students into the complex relationships that China has with its neighbours, its difficulties and intricacies. Also, a goal of this summer school is to show that, beyond the contemporary international relations of China, there is a cultural and social component in the interactions between China and its neighbours that should not be neglected. Changes of perspectives between China and its neighbours give place to reflections on “contested geographies”: how space and place are constructed and elaborated by contemporary and historical actors. How “Chinese” is a Uighur laghman? Does China share political philosophies with its neighbours and, if not, how China´s approach differs from the ones of its neighbours’? Is the presence of Chinese people in the neighbouring states intensifying or testing the relationship between China and its neighbours? In a way, the continuities and discontinuities of contested geographies give clues in the reflections of what “China” and “the neighbours” are supposed to be.

Credits info

4 EC
This summer school is accredited by the Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts Palacký University Olomouc and students can receive four credits for successful participation. However, these credits are not ECTS Credits. Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Student will be asked to write 5-10 pages “take-home” essay on one of the given topics and submit it by July 6, 2016. Essays will be evaluated and marked and successful participants will obtain certificate of participation and transcript of record.

Fee info

EUR 0: Tuition for the whole week is free of charge. Participants will however need to cover all their personal costs, including transportation, accommodation, visa, trips etc.