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    ACLS Public Fellows with Director of Fellowship Programs Nicole A. Stahlmann (third from right) and Program Officer John Paul Christy

ACLS News

ACLS Announces New Program in China Studies Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

8/7/2012

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the launch of a new program in support of China studies, made possible by a grant of $1.2 million from the Henry Luce Foundation. The program aims to assure the continuing vitality of American scholarship on China when the need for understanding one of the world’s oldest continuing civilizations is ever more apparent.  “The Henry Luce Foundation has been a steadfast advocate for and benefactor of the study of China for three-quarters of a century,” said ACLS President Pauline Yu.  “We are grateful for its generosity and particularly honored that the Foundation’s directors chose to designate this new grant as one of the special initiatives marking its 75th anniversary.”

The Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies will aid scholars embarking on careers in research and teaching on Chinese history, literature, culture, and society.  Annually, it will award stipends for pre-dissertation research in China, grants for collaborative reading workshops that unite a number of disciplines and scholarly generations, and postdoctoral research fellowships for scholars within eight years of the receipt of the Ph.D. These awards are designed to compensate for the decline in funding for early-career researchers at many American institutions of higher education.  By supporting research in China, Luce/ACLS awards will also facilitate connections between American specialists and their Chinese counterparts, relationships that reflect the increased scholarly trade between the two countries.

“China is intimately connected to the Foundation’s history and lies at the heart of our Asia Program,” said Michael Gilligan, President of the Luce Foundation.  “We are delighted to continue a relationship with ACLS on the study of China that began with our first grant to the Council in 1971, at a time when the country was still closed to Americans.  With the breathtaking pace of change in China now, it is more important than ever to nurture expertise and encourage contacts.”

“ACLS shares with the Henry Luce Foundation the conviction that understanding China is both a national priority and a vital intellectual goal if we are to thrive in today’s world, and in tomorrow’s,” commented President Yu. “Over the past century American scholarship on China has become enormously strong and capacious, but to remain vital such knowledge must be constantly renewed and extended. This program will assist the scholars who will do that.”  An understanding of the importance of China studies marked the ACLS’s earliest history. The first formal meeting of the ACLS, in 1920, concluded by resolving to promote China studies in the American academy.  Since then, the Council’s work has supported individual and collaborative research, conferences, scholarly associations, publications, libraries, and exchange programs.  ACLS and the Henry Luce Foundation have partnered in many of these areas; the recently concluded program in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History being the most recent joint effort.

More information on the new program ay be found here.  The deadline for applications for the first competition is November 15, 2012.