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Translating Tianxia: Confronting Sinophobic Narratives and Reimagining Cosmopolitan Ideals (Joseph Harroff, Religion, Rutgers)
Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 01:00pm
Contact Nancy Rosario (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

You can find the video recording of this talk on our video page.

This talk is co-sponsored by Rutgers Global-China Office. It is open to the public, but registration is required.



In the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic there has been an alarming increase in sinophobic attacks coming from the highest reaches of government in the United States. Such attacks are grounded in an orientalist prejudice that sees China, at least as a political entity, as an unchanging authoritarian monolith incapable of engendering creative democracy and protecting individual rights.  In this talk I will be presenting an overview of a recent translation project of Zhao Tingyang's The Tianxia System as a Possible World: Reimagining Visions of Global Order from the Past and for the Future (University of California Press, 2020). Zhao is a luminary Chinese political theorist and offers a creative readaptation of the "All-Under-Heavens" (tianxia 天下) ideal of a ritually federated, world-inclusive order. I will be arguing that such an ideal at work in Zhao and others theorizing can offer us a most welcome alternative to the nationalistic and imperialistic logics that are on full display in the morally and pragmatically bankrupt solutions being offered to address current world-scale problems and predicaments.


Joseph E. Harroff received his PhD in comparative philosophy from the University of Hawai'i (2018) and a MA in Chinese Philosophy from Shandong University (2008). His research explores creative interpretive horizons made possible for ethical and political theorizing via methods of responsible cross-cultural contextualization as philosophical translation. He currently teaches Philosophy, Religion and Asian Studies related courses at Rutgers, Penn State, and American University.


This talk is open to the public, but registration is required. Please click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.



Location  Zoom (registration required)