Visiting Fellow at the Dahlem Humanities Center
January 2018 – September 2019
World as Method. Cosmopolitan Thinking in German and Chinese Modernist Cultures
This project seeks to compare cosmopolitan thinking in Germany and China in the first half of the twentieth century from a global perspective. In the current theoretical debates on cosmopolitanism, scholars point out that it is not necessarily always the nations or local cultures that construct incommensurable values and cause irreconcilable conflicts. Rather their approaches to envision global orders and their expectations from others on an international scale give rise to disputes and disagreements. The vibrant intellectual exchanges between Europe and China and the cosmopolitan impulses among German and Chinese thinkers from the 1890s to the 1940s provide us rich resources for exploring possibilities to meet the current theoretical challenges and imagine cosmopolitanisms with greater equality.
Chunjie Zhang is currently associate professor of German at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism (Northwestern UP 2017). Her research interests include the global eighteenth century, postcolonial theory, comparative modernisms, and Asian-German studies. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University, USA, after earning a Magister degree at Universität Tübingen and a BA from Peking University, China.