Annual Symposium

The Annual Research Symposium, held at the Harvard Center Shanghai, helps to generate research proposals and promote scholarly exchange between Harvard faculty and their Chinese colleagues.

Past Symposiums


A symposium of the China Project, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM
  • Opening Session
  • Keynote Speech
  • XU Guanhua, Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Introduced by Michael B. McELROY, Harvard University
  • 2:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Panel #1: Impacts of Climate Change in China
  • Moderator: Michael B. McELROY, Harvard University
  • Panelists: DING Yihui, National Climate Center, Chinese Meteorological Administration
  • ZHANG Xiaoye, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences
  • LIAO Hong, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 4:30 – 6:30 PM
  • Panel #2: China’s Air Quality Challenges
  • Moderator: HAO Jiming, Tsinghua University
  • Panelists: ZHAUNG Guoshun, Fudan University
  • WANG Yuxuan, Tsinghua University
  • LIN Jintai, Peking University
  • HE Kebin, Tsinghua University

Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • 8:00 – 9:45 AM
  • Panel #3: China’s Emission Paths: Air Pollutants and Climate Forcers
  • Moderator: Chris P. NIELSEN, Harvard China Projecth
  • Panelists: JIANG Kejun, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission
  • WANG Shuxiao, Tsinghua University
  • ZHAO Yu, Nanjing University
  • 10:15 – 12:15 PM
  • Panel #4: China’s Energy Challenge
  • Moderator: Ali MALKAWI, Harvard University
  • Panelists: LI Junfeng, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, NDRC
  • ZHANG Dingming, China Three Gorges Corporation
  • ZHANG Dongxiao, Peking University
  • LU Xi, Harvard China Project and SEAS
  • 1:15 – 3:00 PM
  • Panel 5: China’s Economic Development and Energy Paths
  • Moderator: Mun S. HO, Harvard China Project; Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science
  • Panelists: ZHAI Fan, China Investment Corporation
  • ZHANG Zhongxiang, Fudan University
  • WU Libo, Fudan University
  • 3:30 – 5:30 PM
  • Panel 6: Paths to a Sustainable 2035
  • Moderator: Michael B. McELROY, Harvard University
  • Panelists: BI Jun, Nanjing University
  • QI Ye, Tsinghua University
  • SZE Nien Dak, 2022 Foundation; Fung Global Institute; Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

Civil Society & Governance

The 2013 Harvard China Fund Symposium

Led by Faculty Chair Anthony Saich and Yu Keping of China’s Central Compilation & Translation Bureau, the 2013 Annual Symposium on Civil Society and Governance was held May 16-17 at the Harvard Center Shanghai. Eighteen faculty panelists from Harvard and China and about 30 special guests were in attendance. The participants had the privilege of hearing from United States Ambassador to China Gary Locke and ZUO Xuejin, the Former Executive Vice (Acting) President of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Topics of discussion ranged from whether “civil society” exists in China to the growing importance of NGOs as a “bridge” between the government and underserved populations. The conclusion from the dialogues was that civic activity does exist in China and is increasing in scope, intensity and variety of expressions; and the comparative study of Chinese civil organizations will continue to be fruitful both for identifying the limits of Western academic definitions of “civil society” and for pointing out where China’s reforms may have something to learn from “global best practices”.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

  • 1:45 – 2:00 PM
  • Symposium Welcome
  • Anthony Saich, Harvard University
  • William C. Kirby, Harvard University
  • 2:00 – 2:30 PM
  • Keynote Speaker
  • The Honorable Gary Locke, United States Ambassador to China
  • Introduced by William C. Kirby
  • 2:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Panel One: Is there a Chinese Civil Society?
  • Anthony Saich, Harvard University
  • Keping Yu, Central Compilation & Translation Bureau
  • Wei Hu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • 4:30 – 6:00 PM
  • Panel Two: NGOs as Service Providers
  • Richard Zeckhauser, Harvard University
  • Nara Dillon, Harvard University
  • Hong Ma, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of NGO Administration
  • Peng Bo, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • 7:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Dinner Keynote
  • “Shallow Urbanization” in China: Challenges and Policy Options
  • Xuejin Zuo, Former Executive Vice (Acting) President of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

Friday, May 17, 2013

  • 8:30 – 10:00 AM
  • Panel Three: Grassroots Service Provision
  • Robert Weller, Boston University
  • Youmei Li, Shanghai University
  • Songyan Chu, Chinese Academy of Governance
  • Ningli Long, Central Compilation & Translation Bureau
  • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Panel Four: Social Organization and Social Innovation
  • Stephen Kosack, Harvard University
  • Archon Fung, Harvard University
  • Zengzhi Shi, Peking University
  • Jialiang Xu, Shanghai Jiaotong University
  • 1:30 – 3:00 PM
  • Panel Five: Future Research Directions
  • Chairs: Tony Saich and Keping Yu
  • 4:00 – 4:30 PM
  • Breakout Sessions of Panels
  • 4:30 – 5:30 PM
  • Breakout Summaries and Conclusion

The Current Situation of Health in China

The 2012 Harvard China Fund Symposium

Led by Faculty Chair Arthur Kleinman, the 2012 symposium was held May 8-9 at the Harvard Center Shanghai and focused on “The Current Situation of Health in China.” Attendees included 24 faculty panelists from Harvard and Greater China, along with 62 local academics and special guests, and 11 members of the Harvard China Advisory Group.

Download Program summary

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • 9:10 – 9:50 AM
  • Keynote Speech
  • CHEN Zhu, Minister of Health, China
  • 9:50 – 11:00 AM
  • Panel #1: The Lessons of China’s Health System Reforms for the World
  • Moderator: William C. Hsiao, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Introduced by William C. Kirby
  • Progress and challenges of China’s rural health reforms
    XU Hengqiu, Health Department of Anhui Province
  • Developments of health information systems in China
    LIU Yuanli, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Summary of Chinese lessons for the world
    William C. Hsiao, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Panel #2: Major Health Challenges
  • Moderator: Barry Bloom, Harvard School of Public Health
  • The Unfinished Agenda of Infectious Diseases
  • WANG Lixia, National Center for Tuberculosis and Prevention, Chinese CDC
  • Megan Murray, Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Public Health
  • Joseph D. Tucker, University of North Carolina
  • The Coming Agenda of Non-Communicable Diseases
  • David Christiani, Harvard School of Public Health/Harvard Medical School
  • WU Tangchun, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • 1:00 – 2:30 PM
  • Luncheon Keynote
  • Health System Design and Natural Disasters: Lessons from Haiti
  • Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School
  • 2:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Panel #3: Mental Health in China
  • Moderator: Arthur Kleinman, Harvard Medical School/Harvard University Asia Center
  • Panelists: Michael Phillips, Shanghai Mental Health Center
  • XIAO Zeping, Deputy Director General, Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau
  • XIE Bin, Shanghai Mental Health Center
  • 4:30 – 6:00 PM
  • Panel #4: Aging Challenges in China
  • Moderator: Joan Kaufman, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Kennedy School
  • Panelists:CHEN Hongtu, Harvard Medical School
  • PAN Tianshu, Fudan University
  • PENG Xizhe, Fudan University
  • Jeanne Shea, University of Vermont/Fudan University
  • ZHAO Yaohui, Peking University
  • 7:30 – 9:30 PM
  • Dinner Keynote
  • Challenges Confronting Asian Nations in Reforming Their Health Systems
  • William C. Hsiao, Harvard School of Public Health

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

  • 8:30 – 10:00 AM
  • Panel #5: Ethics in Medicine, Public Health, and Biotechnology
  • Moderator: Arthur Kleinman, Harvard Medical School/Harvard University Asia Center
  • Discussant: NIE JingBao, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Breakout Sessions of Five Panels
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Breakout Summaries and Plenary Session
  • 1:00 – 2:30 PM
  • Luncheon Keynote
  • SUN Chao, Party Secretary, Shanghai Minhang District

Humanities and Higher Education

The 2011 Harvard China Fund Symposium

Led by Faculty Chairs Mark Elliott and David Wang, the first symposium was held March 17-18, 2011 and focused on“Humanities and Higher Education. Attendees included 22 faculty panelists from Harvard and Greater China, along with 23 local academics and 11 special guests/members of the Harvard China Advisory Group.

Thursday, March 17, 3-5:30PM

  • Session 1: A Crisis in the Humanities?
  • Discussants: Peter Bol (Harvard University), Chen Lai (Academy of Chinese Learning, Tsinghua University), Emma Dench(Harvard University), Bill Kirby (Harvard University), James Lee (HKUST), Qu Weiguo (Fudan University), Diana Sorensen(Harvard University)
  • Moderator: Angela Leung (Hong Kong University)
  • Over the last decade, voices expressing concern over a “crisis in the humanities” have been growing steadily louder, both in the United States and in China.  While much of the discussion reflects recent trends, social as well as economic (e.g., increased competitiveness, the global financial meltdown of 2008), it is worth pointing out that such worries are nothing new.  Indeed, one of the best-known books on the subject in English is J.H. Plumb’s A Crisis in the Humanities, published in 1964, itself a response to a perceived turn toward technology in education after the end of WWII.  In thinking about the current “crisis in the humanities,” we might begin by asking a few questions:  What are the dimensions of the present crisis?  How is it measured?  What, if anything, distinguishes the current crisis from crises in the past?  Are the humanities perpetually in crisis? (and if so, are we really dealing with a “crisis”?)  Is a crisis necessarily a bad thing?  We might then go on to consider additional issues:  What is at stake in a discussion of the importance of the humanities for society at large?  Where does this discussion take place?  Who shapes it?  What role do scholars have to play in this debate?  What are the points of similarity and difference in these debates as they unfold in China and in the United States?

Friday, March 18, 9-11:30AM

  • Session 2: Critical Approaches in the Humanities
  • Discussants: Chen Pingyuan (Peking University), Mark Elliott (Harvard University), Ge Zhaoguang (Fudan University Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies), Angela Leung (Hong Kong University), Li Hsiao-ti (Institute of History and Philology, Academica Sinica), James Robson (Harvard University), Xu Jilin (Si-mian Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, East China Normal University), Yang Nianqun (Institute of Qing Dynasty History, Renmin University of China)
  • Moderator: Peter Bol (Harvard University)
  • The gradual liberalization of intellectual discourse in the Chinese world represents a sea change from the situation of a generation or two ago, when the theoretical and conceptual frameworks available to scholars in the humanities were often severely constrained by political limitations.  Where once it required significant effort to cross the discursive divide that separated Western scholarship in such fields as literature, religion, philosophy, and history, now we find that we are often quoting from the same pool of thinkers – so that even if we are not literally speaking the same language, figuratively we share a great deal of vocabulary.  Yet we should not be lulled into thinking that the work of sorting out how best to approach problems of common concern is over.  Nor has the old problem of trying to fit theoretical approaches developed in a European context to Chinese realities gone away.  These issues remain of central importance, and raise some fundamental questions:  Which conceptual or theoretical tools appear to be most influential today, and why?  What are the important new developments in humanistic inquiry that will most profoundly affect thinking and research in our various fields?  What does the study of the humanities in China have to contribute to this emerging critical discourse? What possibilities do we see for training the next generation of scholars?  How do we imagine our fields in twenty years’ time?

Friday, March 18, 2-5PM

  • Session 3: Humanities in Higher Education and the Media
  • Discussants: Cheng Yu-Yu (National Taiwan University), James Engell (Harvard University), Jay Harris (Harvard University), Lu Zongli (Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Billy So (Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), David Wang (Harvard University), Eugene Wang (Harvard University)
  • Moderator: Ge Zhaoguang (Fudan University Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies)
  • Even if there is agreement that the humanities have a vital role to play in society, considerable differences of opinion remain as to how best to make this case to the students who attend our institutions of higher learning and to the public at large.  In liberal arts colleges in the United States in particular, the question of maintaining the integration of humanistic studies in what seems to be an ever-greater preoccupation with a pre-professional curriculum is notably urgent.  Such concerns were clearly voiced, for example, in the most recent revamping of the general education program at Harvard, as evident in the Report of the Task Force on General Education that was published in 2007.  These are questions that Chinese universities face as well.  What, then, are the lessons of the American experience, and how might they be of value to colleagues in Greater China?  As for humanities in the media, one might well ask how it is that lectures on literary, philosophical, and historical topics find enormous audiences in China via such programming as “Lecture Room” (Baijia jiangtan 百家讲坛)?  Is there a model here for the US?  How might we in the humanities better exploit social media to convey our message to the public?  How can we do so in such as way as to remain “intellectually respectable”? Is this one solution to the “humanities crisis”?