2Oth ACPSS International Conference Was Successfully Held at SUNY-Buffalo State and 20th Anniversary of ACPSS Celebrated
By Jieli Li
Hello, Buffalo! Hello the Great Niagara Falls! It was a colorful autumn of mid-October that the ACPSS community gathered together to hold the 2014 international conference and also to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of ACPSS. Thanks to our veteran member Dr. Zhang Jie’s generous assistance, the conference was hosted at the SUNY-Buffalo State campus and co-sponsored by the Buffalo State Center for China Studies and the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute. As always, this year’s ACPSS conference again attracted over 60 scholars from the United States, China, and other regions of the world.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Huang Shaorong, President of ACPSS and Dr. Zhang Jie, Director of the Buffalo State Center for China Studies jointly kicked off the event and they were followed by Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner, President of SUNY Buffalo State who delivered warm welcome remarks to all the attendees. Dr. Yu Jiyuan, Professor of Philosophy also made a welcome speech on behalf of the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute. This year’s keynote speaker was Professor Ouyang Kang, former vice president and currently dean of the Institute of State Governance at Huazhong University of Science and Technology and the topic he presented was “paradox and Introspection: Cultural Conflict and Value Selection in the Process of Diversification”. Right after the keynote speech, all the attendees were invited to dinner reception where Dr. Mark Severson, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences at SUNY-Buffalo State welcomed all while introducing some on-going exchange programs between the Buffalo State and its partner institutions in China.
This year’s conference theme was on Challenges and Opportunities of Sustainability in China and Beyond: Environment, Health, Justice and Other Emerging Social Issues and research papers revolving around the theme were presented and discussed at 16 panels that lasted for two days. As in the past, the conference served as a venue for a vibrant interdisciplinary discourse and new idea sharing among scholars of China Studies in the fields of humanities and social sciences. The event also attracted professors and students from the Buffalo State campus to join the panels.
At the conference site, a special art performance was organized to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ACPSS where a local choir sang popular Chinese songs which was accompanied by a dance performance and Solo Guzhen (古筝). Dr. Li Xiaobing, a founding member and the second president of ACPSS, was invited to give a talk in which he recalled the history of ACPSS and those memorable stories of our members and our community at large. The most touching moment at this event was that Dr. Ji Jiangguo, currently vice president and veteran member of ACPSS, absent due to serious illness, sent a phone message instead to all. While congratulating on the 20th anniversary, he emotionally called ACPSS a “family” which he regards not only as “a source of intellectual inspiration” but also as “a spiritual paradise” for his life in the U.S. In return to his message, we all wished him God-speed recovery and get well soon. The celebration went on until very late at night.
During the break of the conference, all the participants had a Charter Bus tour to the world-famous Niagara Falls where we all were stunned by the overwhelming power of the water and a fantastic autumn view of tree color changes surrounding the Falls.
When we hugged good-bye to each other at the time of departure, we all look forward to meeting again at the next year’s ACPSS conference.