The Humanities and the New Silk Road
Dominic Sachsenmaier – 2020
This chapter provides first an overview of international projects in the humanities launched in the context of the New Silk Road Initiative, including a discussion of key examples; it also touches upon other relevant developments within the Chinese humanities. The second part deals with the question of whether Chinese universities will likely emerge as leading institutions in the humanities globally. The chapter argues that particularly in the humanities, global hierarchies of knowledge remain firmly in place. While many branches of the humanities have grown decidedly critical of Eurocentric viewpoints, older patterns privileging Western universities still persist, perhaps more than in other academic disciplines. For example, in the humanities international citation and academic interaction patterns are almost as Western-centric as they were a century ago. In a final step, the chapter offers some reflections on the question of whether the global standing of the Chinese humanities will eventually change.