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Prof. Dr. Dandan Chen

Dandan Chen

Fellow in the project "A Translingual Conceptual History of Chinese Worlds" (June – August 2023)

Short Biography

Dandan Chen received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is currently a full professor in History, Politics, and Geography Department at Farmingdale State College, State University of New York, and has taught for Science, Technology, and Society Department since 2013. She is an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, a Senior Fellow at the Inter-Civilizations Institute of East China Normal University, and the founder of the global scholarly platform “Global Studies Forum”(globalstudiesforum.com). She is one of the series editors for the Brill's Series on Modern East Asia in a Global Historical Perspective. Dr. Chen’s interdisciplinary areas of research and teaching include global and Asian history, Chinese history, politics, literature and law in a global context. A bilingual writer, her articles have appeared in various journals. Her book Cultural Worlds of Late Ming-Early Qing and Late Qing-Early Republican China is forthcoming in 2024. Dr. Chen has received awards including the SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities(2022), the SUNY Nuala Drescher Award (2016), and the 2016 Academic Excellence Award from Chinese Historians in the United States.


Politics and Ethics: The Search for a New Ethical World in Modern China

Based on my previous research, I have a larger project that aims to examine the transformation of politics and ethics and their interaction in modern China by exploring the dialogues and dynamics of several intertwined intellectual trends, including conservativism, constitutionalism and New-Confucianism, whose complex interactions still need deeper investigations with new perspectives. While examining the complexities and tensions between various intellectual discourses, this project explores the interplay between global constitutionalism and global conservatism in modern China, with a focus on their treatments of politics and ethics. I examine the mixed ideas of intellectuals who crossed boundaries with global visions, including the pioneering thinker and politician Liang Qichao, Qing loyalists such as Shen Zengzhi, Wang Guowei, and Chen Sanli, other cultural conservatives, and constitutionalists such as Zhang Junmai. I investigate these intellectuals’ understandings and reflections on constitutionalism, the nature of traditional Chinese politics and how they provided various blueprints for a new world order and China’s political and ethical modernities.