Liu Dong

b. 1951
Cultural critic
In 1966, Liu Dong’s schooling was stopped when the Cultural Revolution began. In 1970 he began to attend a middle school, yet in the following year he was assigned to work in a foundry factory as a ‘child labourer’ of sixteen. In these years, Liu Dong studied the high-school and university courses by himself. From 1977 he entered Nanjing University, majoring in philosophy. After graduation in 1982 he taught at Zhejiang and Nanjing Universities. In 1985 Liu Dong started his graduate study at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and obtained the PhD degree in Chinese Aesthetics in 1990.
Afterwards he worked in the Academy. In 2000 he was appointed a professor at Peking University. His research interests have focused on comparative aesthetics and world sinology (the study of China). He has written The Western Aesthetics of Ugliness (Xifang de chouxue, 1986), Descriptions of the Floating World (Fushihui, 1996), Self-Selected Essays of Liu Dong (Liu Dong zixuan ji, 1997), and Theory and Heart-Mind (Lilun yü xinzhi, 2001). His publications also include book-length translations of Max Weber, Wittgenstein, Kant and Rousseau.
In the 1990s, Liu Dong was one of the most active organizers of ‘non-official scholarship’ (minjian xueshu) in China. In 1991, along with Yan Buke, Liang Zhiping, and Chen Pingyuan, he lobbied for the Research Institute for National Studies (Guoxue yanjiusuo, originally called the Institute of Chinese Culture), a non-official academic organization that has aimed at reviving Chinese scholarly and historiographic tradition through solid and independent studies. Currently, Liu Dong is editor of the journal China Scholarship (Zhongguo xueshu) and the Serial of Overseas Chinese Studies (Haiwai Zhongguo yanjiu congshu); director of the ‘Women and Gender Studies Project’ sponsored by the Ford Foundation, and director of the ‘China Scholarship Forum’ at the National Library.
CHEN JIANHUA

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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