The Center for Asian Studies is the recipient of a 3-year Asia Responsive Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the project China Made: Asian Infrastructures and the ‘China Model’ of Development. Asia Responsive Grants provide opportunities to improve understanding between the United States and the Asia-Pacific region, supporting collaborative research, creating new scholarly and public resources, and promoting the exchange of ideas and information between Americans and Asians. The China Made project will be a collaboration between CAS and the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. “The field of infrastructure studies is emerging as a new research paradigm in the humanities and social sciences,” says project director Tim Oakes, “but until now this field has largely ignored the world’s paradigmatic infrastructure state.”
Over the past decade, China has invested tremendously in infrastructure development, resulting in dramatic social and cultural changes in both rural and urban regions. It has also promoted an infrastructural development model beyond its borders as part of a newly aggressive foreign policy. China Made will explore both of these domestic and international dimension of China’s infrastructure development. The project is also meant to shift the academic focus from broader geopolitical and international relations perspectives to a finer grained analysis of the infrastructures themselves and the on-the-ground social and cultural dimensions of their construction.
China Made will involve three academic conferences – two of which will be hosted by CAS – postdoctoral and graduate research positions, and the development of online scholarly resources for project participants and the broader academic community. “We’re really excited to have the support of the Luce Foundation on this project,” said project director Oakes.