UC Irvine Receives $330,000 Luce Foundation Grant

The grant will support a network of critical theory scholars in Asia, the Global East, and other parts of the world.

The University of California, Irvine has received a three-year, $330,000 grant to support the Asia Theories Network (ATN), a global scholarly community that functions as a platform for exchanges and collaborations among University of California human science (humanities and interpretive social science) scholars with those in Asia, the Global East, and other parts of the world.

ATN was first initiated by several associated groups of Asian critical theory scholars who were concerned with the epistemological, cultural, and socio-political changes and possibilities of Asia in the contemporary age of globalization. Together with UCHRI, they established ATN in 2017 and are now co-administering the Network. Hung-chiung Li (National Taiwan University) and David Theo Goldberg (director of UCHRI) lead the initiative; the advisory board consists of representatives from the participating countries.

“The Asia Theories Network brings together scholars to explore how humanities research shapes and is shaped by contemporary and historical movements in the Global East,” states David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI director. “We are excited to partner with global scholars in support of thinking together about the critical place, role, and conditions of global easts in our world today.”

ATN initiates, conducts, coordinates, orchestrates and participates in projects advancing critical theory concerning the Global East, including meetings, exchanges, residences, research, networkings, platforms, and publications. It organizes workshops, forums, theory camps and other activities at partner venues, including Taiwan, UCHRI, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, South Africa, and Poland.

A key objective of ATN is to develop new ways of critical collaboration and knowledge formation. “The Asia Theories Network is committed to creating new paradigms of Asian critical theory studies,” argues Hung-chiung Li, ATN’s co-administrator. “We engage in dialogues and collaborations with scholars and cultural workers around the world, with the view to contributing productively to the global critical theoretical humanities.”

To date, meeting themes (to be) addressed include “Island Life” (in Taiwan); Political Dread” (in South Korea); “Souths of Asia: Aesthetics, Theory, Archive” (in Taiwan); and “What’s Up with the Weather?” (in Japan).

About UCHRI: Recognized nationally and internationally as a premier location for humanities research, the UCHRI bridges the gap between disciplines and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers across humanities as well as with the social and natural sciences, technology, art and medicine through public and digital projects. In addition to humanistic research support and programming, initiatives include providing training to faculty and graduate students across academic disciplines on how to write and place opinion pieces and engage in public discussions; best practices for using metadata when converting paper letters, lists, maps and other documents into electronic format; advising on the creation and organization of archival materials; and professionalization for careers outside of the professoriate.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.


Beth Greene