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Shanghai Seminar program concludes first year,

readies for new call for proposals

Year One of the Shanghai Seminar Program resulted in $30,000 in grant funding for conferences in China that ranged from language education to voice medicine to environmental conservation to intellectual history. 

In November, the Wisconsin China Initiative will prepare for Year Two of the program, by releasing a new Call for Proposals to disperse another $30,000 in funding.

“I am particularly pleased with the diversity of the winning proposals, across humanities, educational science, environmental science, and medicine,” said Wisconsin China Initiative Director Nicole Huang of the awards for 2013. “The awarded proposal for the spring call, ‘Situating Utopias,’ for instance, brings together colleagues in China studies, Japan studies, and Korean studies from the UW-Madison, with participants from East Asia, fulfilling our goal of taking UW-Madison to that entire critical region.”

The Shanghai Seminar Series was developed in conjunction with the opening of the Shanghai Innovation Office in 2012 as an opportunity for UW–Madison faculty to host seminars in Shanghai with participants from across China and beyond. The series is designed to encourage both new and ongoing scholarly collaborations between UW–Madison faculty and colleagues in East Asia.

In May, a proposal by François Victor Tochon and Catherine Compton-Lilly, professors in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, received the first Shanghai Seminar award. (Click here to read the related story.) The opening round of proposals was reviewed by a committee of the Center for East Asian Studies chaired by Director Quitman Phillips, which selected the Tochon/Compton-Lilly project. In the fall of 2012, administration of the Shanghai Seminar Series was transferred to the Wisconsin China Initiative (WCI). The WCI awarded the Tochon/Compton-Lilly project $10,450 to collaborate with Shanghai International Studies University (SHISU) to co-host the "2013 International Conference on Language Education Policy: Global Perspectives and Local Practice."

A second call for proposals in Spring 2013 resulted in the following three awards, selected by a faculty committee appointed by the Wisconsin China Initiative:

  • $7,500 to professors Viren Murthy, History, and Se-mi Oh, East Asian Languages & Literature.  Their conference, “Situating Utopia: East Asian Imaginaries and Beyond,” will look at how premodern conceptions of the future influenced visions of the ideal society in China, Japan and Korea.  The conference is scheduled for October 26-27 at Shanghai University.
  • $7,500 to Professor and Director Janet Silbernagel, Environmental Conservation Professional Masters Program, and Nathan Schulfer, Professional Programs Director, both of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.  Silbernagel and Schulfer will be hosting a two-day workshop on environmental conservation in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in March 2014 that will address how to protect biodiversity in a critical region while at the same time balancing the needs and priorities of the surrounding human community.  Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins will join this workshop, and will also be at an open house related to the conference that will be held afterwards at the Shanghai Innovation Office.
  • $4,500 to Jack Jiang, Surgery.  Dr. Jiang will be leading the conference, “Voice Medicine in China,” to be held at Fudan University’s affiliated Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital in Shanghai November 1-2.  Dr. Seth Dailey, Chief of Laryngology at the UW School of Medicine, will be a featured speaker at the conference.

The 2014 Call for Proposals is now available by clicking here.  The deadline for proposal submissions is March 3, for grant money that will need to be used by May 2015.


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Click here to learn about President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” to increase the number and diversity of American students studying in China.



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