East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

Fei Xiaotong Roundtable – Human Nature and Habits – Thursday, May 2, 2019


“Human Nature and Habits” Roundtable

Academic Exchange with Fei Xiaotong (Fei Hsiao-Tung)’s Followers


THURSDAY MAY 2, 2019 – 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

1st Floor Lecture Hall 142, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago IL 60637

The renowned Chinese sociologist and anthropologist Fei Xiaotong (Hsiao-Tung, 1910-2005)’s early works, Peasant Life in China (1939), From the Soil (1947/1993), Earthbound China (1945) and China’s Gentry (1945), are widely known at home and abroad. However, his many later works failed to be systematically introduced to the English-speaking world. For decades, Professor Fei’s disciples (PhD students or Postdoctoral researchers) have built on different aspects of his academic legacy and developed their own research expertise.

This roundtable will feature Professor Fei Xiaotong’s disciples and will provide an opportunity for them to introduce their own research, as well as seek comments and advice on, “Humanity and Habits,” a joint research project undertaken by the Institute of Art Anthropology of China Academy of Arts and the Hengyuanxiang Group launched in 2018. With the subject of this research project having been of great interest to Professor Fei, this roundtable will explore questions of where people’s habits and cultures come from, thereby understanding the future development of human civilization through the relationship between human beings and culture.

Although Professor Fei pioneered the methods of local people doing fieldwork in their own home environments, he made a large number of observations and travel notes during his studies and academic visits in the United Kingdom and the United States, which influenced his ideas about “cultural self-consciousness” in his later years in the context of globalization. His “sixteen characters” have methodological implications for promoting understanding and respecting the cultures and traditions of other countries on the basis of knowing one’s own culture.  Professor Fei also valued the method of comparing “self” with “other”, so the members of the research team have studied “humanity and habits” in China, Japan, India, Middle East, Europe and the United States. By following in Fei Xiaotong’s footsteps on visits to the United States and United Kingdom for academic exchanges between Chinese and non-Chinese scholars, this delegation hopes to deepen and widen existing research and participate in the construction of human knowledge on this and a wider range of topics.

Event sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies 

and the Council on Advanced Studies – East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society


Lunch will be provided to all guests


Mr. Liu Qirui, President, Hengyuanxiang Corporation. Co-PI of the project ‘Human nature and habits’. Chairman, Presidium of China Federation of Industrial Economics (CFIE); Vice-President of China Trademark Association. He is known as the “first person of Chinese brands” and “a master of Chinese business”. In recent years he has been interested in ‘cultural assets’. He has published more than 10 papers, and is author of Brand and Culture (2015), co-author, Research on National Brands and National Soft Power(2014), co-author, Research on National Brand Strategy (2012). He is also Consultant Professor of Fudan University,Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and East China University.

Professor Fang Lili, Director, Institute of the Anthropology of Arts, China Academy of Arts; Director of the Institute of the Anthropology and Sociology of Arts, Southeast University; President, the China Association of the Anthropology of Arts; Co-PI of the project ‘Human nature and habits’. Her publications include Cultural Consciousness and Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2015), The Native Vision of Art Anthropology (2014), Art Anthropology (co-author,2013), Chinese Ceramic History (2 volumes, 2013), Tradition and Change – Fieldwork of New and Old Folk Kiln Industry in Jingdezhen (2000); co-editor and translator,Globalization and Cultural Self-Awareness, by Fei Xiaotong (in English) (2015).
Professor Wang Yanzhong, Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Executive Director of the Chinese Sociological Association. His publications include Research on the Construction of a Well-off Society in an All-round Way in China (2018), China Social Security Development Report (2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2010, 2007, 2004 and 2001), Economic and Social Survey Report of China’s Ethnic Regions (co-editor, 2016, 2015, 2014), Annual Report on the Development of Ethnic in China (co-editor, 2015), Social Security Survey on Income Redistribution Effect in China (co-author, 2013), Research on China Labor Union Security Issues (2004), A Study on Relations between Infrastructure and Manufacturing Development (co-author, 2002), WTO and SME Development Strategy (2000).

Professor Liu Neng, Deputy Head of the Department of Sociology, Peking University. History publications include Village Administration in the Perspective of Hierarchy and Social Networks: A Case Study of Beizhen (North Twon) (2008). Public Welfare Project Evaluation: Teacher Training Programme in Hope-Project and Overall Performance Evaluation on Lucent Class (2004). Edited work: The Power of Joining Hands: Open Bidding Project Evaluation on China Red Cross Foundation 5.12 Disaster Relief (2012), China Minsheng (People’s Livelihood) Development Report (2012). Translator and publisher, Frontiers in Social Movement Theory, eds. Aldon D.Morris and Carol McClurg Mueller (2002).
Professor Zhao Xudong, Director of the Institute of Anthropology, Renmin University of China. His publications include Anthropology of Cultural Transformation (2018), On the Edge of the Indigenous and Foreign Lands: Self, Culture and the Other in Anthropological Researches (2011), Cultural Expression: Anthropological Vision (2009). Co-editor: WeChat Ethnography: Knowledge Production and Cultural Practice from the Media Age (2017), editor, Fei Xiaotong and the Study of Rural Society (2010), co-translator, Sociology (7th Edition), by Anthony Giddens et al., published in Chinese in 2015; Sociology Matters, by Richard T. Schaefer, published in Chinese in 2011; Popular Religion in China: The Imperial Metaphor, by Stephan Feuchtwang, published in Chinese in 2009.

Professor Ding Yuanzhu, Deputy Director of the Department of Social and Ecological Civilization, National Institute of Administration. His publications include Volunteer Service Index System Research (co-author, 2018), The Logic of Society (2017),  Basic Theory and Method of Community (2009), Society Building: Strategic Thinking and Basic Countermeasures (2008), The Century Seeking for a Good Society (2007), Management of Social Development (2006), Reconstruction of China’s Social Safety Net (2001), China 2010: Risk and Avoidance (co-author, 2005), Research on Volunteer Activities: Types, Evaluation and Management (co-author, 2001), Fei Xiaotong’s Academic History and Works Summary (co-author 1996). 
Professor Xu Ping, Culture and History Department, Central Party School. Vice-President of Chinese Society of World Ethno-National Studies. His publications include A Survey of Cultural Identity and National Identity in China’s Ethnic Autonomous Regions (co-author, 2018), Western Development and Stability and Development of Tibetan Farming and Pastoral Areas (co-author, 2012), Fei Xiaotong’s Biography (co-author, 2009), Cultural Adaptation and Change(2006), Tibetan Secrets – Going to the West of China (2001), Living in the Himalayas (1997), Yi Village Society (1993). 
Mr. Zhang Zhe, Deputy Secretary-General, Centre of Social Survey, Advisory Office, State Council, People’s Republican of China; The only grandson of Professor Fei Xiaotong (Fei Hsiao-Tung).

Professor Xiangqun Chang, Honorary Professor of University College London; President of Global China Institute, UK. She has published nearly 100 Chinese and English items, nearly three million words, includingOn Marxist Sociology (580,000 words; 2018; 460,000 words, 1992), Guanxi or Li shang wanglai? — Reciprocity, Social Support Networks, & Social Creativity in a Chinese Village (simplified Chinese version, 540,000 words, 2009; English and traditional Chinese versions, 2010); editor, Society Building — A China Model of Social Development (English edition, 2014; English new edition, Chinese new editions, 2014-18); co-editor, Fei Xiaotong Studies (three volumes, in English and Chinese with Feuchtwang et al., 2015-18).

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