Professor Haiyan Lee receives Humanities Seed Grant

Professor Haiyan Lee and colleagues have received a Humanities Seed Grant from HSDO's "The Changing Human Experience" Initiative: 

New Civilizationisms

Thomas Hansen (Anthropology); Haiyan Lee (East Asian Languages and Cultures & Comparative Literature); Lerone Martin (Religious Studies); and Serkan Yolacan (Anthropology)

In the past two decades, there has been a world-wide resurgence of discourses that define a people in terms of their unique civilizational identity and call for states to refurbish their timeless civilizational glory. These discourses, or “new civilizationisms” as we call them, both draw on and react against an older, Enlightenment-inspired, and Eurocentric notion of civilization. Thomas Hansen (Anthropology), Haiyan Lee (East Asian Languages and Cultures & Comparative Literature), Lerone Martin (Religious Studies), and Serkan Yolacan (Anthropology) are part of an international research network setting out to map the overlapping ecosystems of new civilizationism. We ask: How has talking about civilization instead of nation made authoritarian populism respectable again? Who are the originators of new civilizationisms and what political and intellectual resources do they draw on? How have civilizationist ideas ricocheted across the globe through new media technologies and platforms?

This ambitious, “big-picture” project will span multiple years and entail both scholarly and public-facing engagements. The former includes academic conferences, small working group discussions, and summer seminars. The centerpiece of our public humanities endeavor will be “The Civilizationism Project” website, a clearinghouse for multimedia resources designed to inform and engage the scholarly community, educational professionals, and the broad public.