Chinese Studies in Venice: A Timeline of Change
Chinese Studies have historically been shaped by change in political, social, and scientific institutions. Since the ’80s, China’s emergence into the world stage and change in scientific paradigms have spurred debate about the epistemological foundations of the field. Sinologists have been confronted with the need of identifying pathways to ensure that the knowledge they produce is relevant for science and society. The engagement with theoretical and empirical approaches employed by different disciplines, most notably the social sciences, has been a key element to their endeavours. This paper contributes to this on-going reflection, by benchmarking recent changes in Chinese Studies at Ca’ Foscari University against global trends of evolution in area studies. Results show that the field has now multi-disciplinary features and has initiated a transition towards inter-disciplinarity. By endorsing the holistic approach to knowledge informing this transition, scholars in the field may strengthen the centrality of Chinese Studies in scientific production processes concerned with the sinosphere.