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Politics professor to participate in residency at City University of Hong Kong

February 22, 2017

Peng YuAssistant Professor of Politics Peng Yu has been invited to participate in a residency at the Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the City University of Hong Kong.

An expert on Chinese political thought, Yu will spend his pre-tenure leave at the university to advance his research interests, work with faculty and graduate students, and give a lecture.

“The center is a wonderful place and internationally recognized for its research on Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy,” Yu says. “The university is also very active in promoting faculty research.

“This will be a great opportunity to meet scholars in my field and exchange ideas about Chinese philosophy and political theory,” he says. “My purpose is to learn something that is on the cutting edge of this field, see what courses they are offering, and bring back that knowledge and teaching to Earlham.”

Yu arrived at Earlham in the fall of 2015. He teaches courses on comparative politics, political theory and international relations.

“When we talk about globalization we often talk about the western world, but the truth is that the westernization is only one part of the story, it’s not the whole part,” Yu says. “The reason you want to study Chinese political thought is that you need different perspectives and cultural context to understand the big picture.

“In my classes, we talk a lot about words like ‘state,’ ‘community,’ ‘freedom,’ liberty,’ ‘rights,’ ‘sovereignty’ and ‘democracy.’” He says. “But how do people from outside the western hemisphere understand those terms? Do they agree with them? Do they have a similar understanding?”

Yu is a rising star on Earlham’s faculty and contributes to the College’s commitment for excellence in undergraduate teaching and integrative learning.  Last year, he co-led a five-week research trip to China for students to study the country’s one-child policy and migrant workers. The research trip was funded by a grant from ASIANetwork.

“We did an intensive research project by interviewing local people — migrant workers, young adult professionals, professors and college students —  to see how they understand this policy and how this policy work for different social groups,” Yu says.

Earlier this year, Yu was a faculty adviser for the Earlham College Model United Nations Conference, which was attended by hundreds of students attending high schools across the Midwest.

Planning is also underway for Yu to embark on a second research expedition with students that examines China’s relationship with its closest neighbors, including Tibet and Taiwan. The project was suggested by a student who recently participated in Earlham’s Tibetan Studies program in Northern India.

“I’m working with students to see how this topic could be more interesting to explore.”

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.







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