ESSCS 2022 Applicants: A portrait

The European Summer School in Chinese Digital Humanities will take place on 20-23 June 2022 at Aix-Marseille University (Aix en Provence). The Organizing committee issued the call for applications on 19 January with a deadline for submissions on 20 March. In the course of the intervening two months, we received no less than 100 applications.

While we were pleased to see so much interest in this initiative, it made the task of selecting the participants by the Organizing committee quite delicate. We received for the most part high-quality applications from very motivated applicants, which made us even more sorry not to be able to host more people at ESSCS 2022. We encourage those who were not selected this time to apply for the next editions of ESSCS.

We set the maximum number of participants at 30. The reason for this figure is simply that the summer school will involve presentations by the mentoring scholars, but also a lot of hands-on training. This requires working in small groups for optimal tutoring and exchanges among the participants. The 30 participants will actually divide into two sub-groups of about 15 each (depending on the sessions). Our main concern is to offer the most adequate conditions for training during what will be a very intensive week.

We have decided to present below a portrait of the applicants to give a sense of the challenge we met, but also of the rich pool of young China scholars in Europe. Our selection was based on the assessment of the quality of the applications, without any other pre-determined criteria. At the end of the first round of assessment, in view of the number of high-quality applications above our threshold of 30, we made a second selection that sough to strike a balance between countries, institutions, and disciplines.

We received a total of 100 applications, of which 64 were from women and 34 from men (despite our best efforts, we were not able to identify the gender of two applicants from their material or external queries). Quite clearly, women represent the largest block of young China scholars in this cohort. Are women the future of China studies?

While we received applications from the United States and China, the bulk of applications came from European countries. Three countries send the largest number of applicants: Germany (29%), France (18%), and the United Kingdom (18%). Except for Italy (7%) and the Netherlands (6%), the other countries were represented by 1-4 applicants. Yet, the distribution by country reflects the institutional affiliation of applicants, not their nationality. While it is uncertain to assess actual nationality, it appears from the study of the names and CVs of applicants that this cohorts includes 37 mainland Chinese and 10 non mainland Chinese (Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA), or about one half of all applications.

The field of study or research of applicants was labelled under a wide range of terms that we simplified for the sake of presentation. Chinese Studies — as expressed in CVs — represent the largest number of applications. It is very likely that those who listed East Asian Studies are also involved in Chinese studies programs. The second largest group of applicants came from History. Altogether, these groups constitute 59% of all applications. The next most significant groups of applicants came from Political Science (10%) and Anthropology/Ethnology (4%), and Sociology (4%). While fields like Literature seems to be very low, one should keep in mind that Chinese Studies covers a wide range of topics, approaches, and fields of study. A more detailed analysis of CVs would certainly reveal a slightly different profile.

In the call for applications, we were targeting young scholars from graduate students to early career scholars. As can be seen in the graph below, we received a massive number of applications from Ph.D. candidates (63). They represent almost two thirds of all applicants. The second largest group was formed of Master-level graduate students (15), many of them with remarkable potential. Finally, we received fourteen applications from early career scholars (assistant and associate professors, postdoctoral researchers) and two from more advanced scholars.

Applicants come from a very broad range of institutions, most of them represented by a single individual. Yet, some institutions stand out, such as Heidelberg University (8), EHESS (6), University of Göttingen (4), Leiden University (4), and La Sapienza University (4). We provide below the full list of institutions and the number of applicants.

Distribution of applicants by institution

Heidelberg University8
Georg August Universität Göttingen4
Leiden University4
Sapienza University of Rome4
Oxford University3
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg2
Leipzig University2
London School of Economics and Political Science2
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)2
Queen’s University Belfast2
The University of York2
Université Paris-Cité2
University of Freiburg (Germany)2
Aix-Marseille University1
Bielefeld University1
Business college of North Denmark1
Cergy Paris University1
China Global Strategic Research Institute, Istanbul-Washington DC1
Comenius University1
Dunhuang Academy1
Durham University1
Freie Universität Berlin1
Gent University1
Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IFES RAS)1
IPAG Business School1
Kazan Federal University1
Leibniz-Institut für Buildungsmedien1
Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod1
Lyon 3 University1
Marmara University1
National Chiayi University1
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow1
Peking University1
Polish Academy of Sciences1
Princeton University1
Sorbonne Université-Paris 41
Technical University of Munich / Ludwig-Maximlians-University Munich1
The University of Warwick1
UC Berkeley1
UC Santa Barbara1
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle1
University College Dublin1
University for Foreigners of Siena1
University of Amsterdam1
University of Antwerp1
University of Bologna1
University of Bonn1
University of Bristol1
University of Cambridge1
University of Copenhagen1
University of Erfurt1
University of Exeter1
University of Geneva1
University of Hamburg1
University of Ljubljana1
University of Munich1
University of Oregon1
University of Oslo1
University of Strathclyde1
University of Verona1
University of Warwick1
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam1
Total général100

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Christian Henriot (April 9, 2022). ESSCS 2022 Applicants: A portrait. Elites, Networks and Power in modern China. Retrieved July 22, 2024 from

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1 Response

  1. XJ says:

    It is nice to see so many fellows interested in DH in Chinese Studies. I can see a bright future.

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