Call for workshop participation

Youth in Chinese History
Education and Representations of Young People
in Chinese Sources between Tradition and Modernity

September 14-15, 2023
University of Oxford, China Centre, Lucina Ho room

September 14-15, 2023
University of Oxford, China Centre, Lucina Ho room

Giulia Falato (University of Oxford)
Renata Vinci (University of Palermo)

Workshop topic short description
In China, childhood and education have historically been intertwined with ritual practices and social relations, with their ultimate scope being the construction of an ideal society and the formation of a virtuous elite. While canonical texts and conduct books have constantly played a crucial role in shaping children’s original character, the development of educational theories and practices throughout Chinese history has also been deeply influenced by endogenous and exogenous doctrines such as Daoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Western thought. This workshop proposes to generate discussions around the evolution of educational practices and representations of children across the centuries and literary genres, particularly from a cross-cultural perspective. It seeks to highlight the diachronic correlation between family units and broader society, and how the moral and intellectual cultivation of children aimed at creating pillars upon which the ideal of stability rested.

Workshop fields of interest
The workshop welcomes contributions from all periods of Chinese history. A list of papers’ potential topics includes, but is not limited, to the following:
• Theories and practices of Confucian (and Neo-Confucian) education
• Theories and practices of Daoist education
• Theories and practices of Buddhist education
• Introduction/re-elaboration of the Western thought in the Chinese pedagogical debate
• Texts for the moral/intellectual development of children (translations, prescribed texts, magazines, etc.)
• Young Women’s education

Timeline and instructions
All interested candidates are requested to send a title and a 250 characters words (updated 21 April 2023) abstract via this Google Form. Please submit your individual paper abstract at the latest 5 May 2023. Acceptance notice will be given at the latest 31 May.

This workshop is sponsored by the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants. Successful applicants will receive upon request a £ 300 flat-rate reimbursement for travel expenses. Accommodation will be provided to all participants (further details to be provided at a later stage).

Research Project Website
This workshop is an event related to the research project Education and Representations of Young People in Chinese Sources between Tradition and Modernity. For further information, please refer to the project website homepage.
Alternatively, please email the organisers at

A selection of participants’ contributions will result in an edited volume in English language. 

Picture credit: Bishop, Heber R. The Heber R. Bishop Collection of Jade and other Hard Stones. Handbook no. 10. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1909, p. 41.