Center for Chinese Studies (University of Michigan) Records

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Center for Chinese Studies (University of Michigan) Records

This Deep Blue collection forms part of a larger record group for the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies held by the Bentley Historical Library. See the following online finding aids for a more complete listing of materials related to the U-M Center for Chinese Studies:

Includes audio recordings of participants from a 2010 symposium sponsored by the Bentley Historical Library and the U-M Center for Chinese Studies in conjunction with the Sixth Joint Seminar on Archival Methods co-organized by the Bentley Library and the State Archives Administration of China.

The one-day symposium on Archival Advances and Historical Research: Shanghai Municipal Archives and Beyond was held on October 28, 2010 at Palmer Commons on the U-M campus.

Presentations by representatives of the Shanghai Municipal Archives were followed by commentaries from U-M faculty, Bentley Library archivists, the city archivist of Copenhagen, Denmark, and China scholars from the University of Toronto and Dickinson College. A total of thirty-six archivists from throughout China attended the event.

The Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) was formed in 1961, and grew from an "area studies" tradition that was pioneered at the University of Michigan. Area studies are cross-disciplinary in nature to encourage broad and integrated understanding of various cultures. The area studies tradition at the university started in 1936 with the development of the Oriental Civilizations Program, which included instructors from eight different departments who were all specialists on Asia. The Center for Japanese Studies was formed in 1947 and has served as the model adopted by the Center for Chinese Studies as well as other area studies programs around the nation. At the University of Michigan the two centers have always enjoyed a close working relationship and jointly share many administrative tasks. Interest and financial support for area studies programs increased in the late 1950s with the passage of the National Defense Education Act and the Ford Foundation's decision to commit substantial funds for training and research in the field of Chinese studies. Initial funding for the CCS came from a ten year-Ford Foundation grant which was supplemented by a National Defense Education Act East Asia Center grant.

Over the years the CCS has gained national recognition due to the efforts of its first two directors, Albert Feuerwerker and Alexander Eckstein. Both men served on a variety of national, professional and governmental committees relating to the study of and interaction with the People's Republic of China. The papers of Eckstein and Feuerwerker are housed at the Bentley Historical Library and are a source of additional materials for the researcher. A complete list of directors of the CCS since its inception is found on page iii.

The center serves a variety of roles and is responsible for coordinating most activities on the University of Michigan campus relating to China. Pertinent departmental classes are coordinated by the CCS which also administers several interdisciplinary classes. The undergraduate and master's degree programs in Asian Studies, the Asia Library, and the Project on Asian Studies in Education (PASE) are administered by CCS in conjunction with other area centers. PASE is a pioneer university outreach effort designed to improve the quality of study of East Asia in small midwestern colleges and secondary schools, as well as to educate the American public on the societies, traditions and problems of East Asia.

The CCS encourages research on China by awarding research funds to both Michigan faculty and to scholars from around the world who come to Ann Arbor to conduct their research. Research findings are often published by the CCS in Michigan Papers in Chinese Studies, a quarterly journal, or in a monograph series, which was formerly published by the University of California Press but is now "issued by" the University of Michigan Press.

The center provides a variety of services to its students. It administers a graduate fellowship program to help offset the financial burdens experienced by graduate students who pursue an advanced degree in an area studies program. Fellowships are awarded to assist promising students to study in Asia. Since the interdisciplinary nature of the program results in a certain amount of faculty decentralization, the center serves as an important meeting ground for students and faculty. This role is supported primarily through the ‘brown bag’ lunches and colloquia programs.

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Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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