2009 Melbourne Conference on China: 60 Years of the People’s Republic - Transformations and Challe

Venue: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Event Date/Time: Jul 13, 2009 End Date/Time: Jul 14, 2009
Registration Date: Jun 12, 2009
Early Registration Date: May 31, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 17, 2009
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The Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne invites researchers, policy makers and advisers, educators, and specialists working in any area of China studies to spend a cool summer/winter in Melbourne, the recognised capital of culture in Australia and a designated UNESCO “city of literature”, to explore the many challenging questions posed by the ongoing and rapid changes that have occurred in China’s economy, politics, culture, and society in the 60 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.

In traditional Chinese chronological systems the 60-year time unit is one of the key ways of classifying and dividing temporal periods from human lives to historical eras. The 60 years since 1949 provide an excellent framework for examining and analysing China’s development, especially in relation to the country’s future direction. Despite the profound and accelerating changes taking place in the PRC over the last 30 years of structural reforms, all of the major transformations in Chinese society since the founding of the PRC 60 years ago need to be examined if we are to have a full understanding of the serious challenges that China is currently facing.

The Melbourne 2009 Conference on China is designed to bring together China scholars, policy makers and advisers, educators and other specialists from throughout the world to discuss and analyse these 60 years of change from a combination of socioeconomic, sociopolitical, cultural, and institutional perspectives. The theme of this inclusive and interdisciplinary conference is: 60 Years of the People’s Republic –Transformations and Challenges, and questions it will discuss include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Cultural transformations and challenges: Cultural transformations in China over the past 60 years, with particular attention to the country’s recent past and its present-day conditions

2. Local transformations and challenges: Regional systems, the relationship of the central government to regional or local institutions, and their transformations over the past 60 years, with a particular focus on the recent past

3. Political transformations and challenges: Mao’s political legacy, Deng’s approach to politics, and the current ideal of a harmonious society; China’s transition towards a developed economy and the question of political democracy; China in the post-Olympic period, and the rise of China in the new international political climate

4. Economic transformations and challenges: Economic development from the first-five year plan to the era of economic reforms - achievements, constraints, and prospects; the international financial meltdown and China’s economic and commercial future

5. Legal transformations and challenges: China’s transition from a renzhi (rule by persons) society to a fazhi (rule by law) society, and new systems of law and governance

6. Transformations and challenges in the field of higher education and research: Market mechanisms, funding limitations and changing directions in higher education and research

7. Social transformations and challenges: Socioeconomic and sociopolitical forces behind the perceived expansion in individualism, materialism and the idea of a “moral crisis”; the shift from national nihilism to patriotism; increased public participation, community development and the formation of a civil society

Leading scholars and policy advisers from China, Australia, Britain and America have been invited to address the conference.

Papers on all thematic issues and historical periods or events are welcomed. Each presentation will be for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

The conference will be conducted in English, but a few sessions will be bilingual and conducted in both English and Chinese with interpreters.

All sessions will be held on the University of Melbourne campus on Monday, 13 July 2009, and Tuesday, 14 July 2009.

Those attending the conference will be responsible for organising their own travel and accommodation, and some meals. (The Conference Organising Committee will soon post more information about hotels located within a 15 minute walking distance from the University of Melbourne).

Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words, no later than Friday, 17 April 2009, to the following email address: Conference-on-China@unimelb.edu.au

The abstract must be in English and must contain the proposed title of the paper, the author’s name, home institution, a brief bio of no more than 150 words, along with contact details including postal address in English, or Chinese if applicable. All submissions will be acknowledged in writing upon receipt via email. Other inquiries may also be sent to the above email address, or to the contact people listed below.

We are currently exploring opportunities to publish an edited book in either Australia or China.

Submission of abstracts: Friday, 17 April 2009
Notification of acceptance: Friday, 1 May 2009
The conference programme: Sunday, 31 May 2009.
“Early-bird” registration: Sunday, 31 May 2009
Standard registration: Friday, 12 June 2009

All attendees should either register online after receiving both postal and email acceptance notifications, or send a completed registration form to the Conference Organising Committee by email to contact persons.

A standard conference fee of AU$100 is payable when you register. Postgraduate students are entitled to a discount of 50% on their registration fee.

More information about the registration form and fee, as well as hotels located within walking distance of the University of Melbourne, will be available in February 2009 on the official Asia Institute website at: http://www.asiainstitute.unimelb.edu.au/

Please contact the Conference Organising Committee, Asia Institute, the University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia, or email Conference-on-China@unimelb.edu.au

If you have other questions about this conference, please feel free to email Dr Lewis Mayo at lmayo@unimelb.edu.au and Dr Gao Jia at jia@unimelb.edu.au

Information on this particular conference may be found on various websites, but the Asia Institute website can be taken as the most up-to-date source: http://www.asiainstitute.unimelb.edu.au/


The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia