Our Mission

The BCCDS-Working Group initiative reflects the current trend of growing international interest in the participation of the Chinese communities on the global stage. It also emphasizes the working group’s commitment to academic research objectives and its openness to the international research dimension.   

The mission of our research group aims to identify the extent to which discourse can provide the common ground or interdisciplinary link between diverse research areas with a focus on the North East Asia Region, in particular ‘Greater China’. Participants will present their field of studies and look for possible synergies of collaboration, taking the interaction between discourse and society as a starting point. To this end the group intends to organize a number of international workshops and colloquia. The first event, organized at the Royal Flemish Academy (KVAB) in November 2010 is an exploratory international workshop, focusing on discourse as the interface between various disciplines studying China. The role of discourse will be examined in the field of political communication, intercultural communication, and in the domain of law (IPR) and human rights. The presentations and discussions in this workshop should contribute to exploring the common ground for future international collaboration. Therefore, the organizers would like to bring together a select group of researchers from the three disciplines, all sharing a keen interest in the North East Asia Region region. 

This particular focus on regional studies should, however, rest on general theoretical insights from each of the disciplines concerned.  To probe into the extent to which discourse can be the interface between the two core domains of interest, the workshop will open with a keynote speech on the role of discourse in society using theoretical frameworks within discourse studies and language pragmatics. Besides embedding the exploration in a deeper theoretical perspective, the workshop will also broaden the scope by looking at comparable research from other regional studies. For example, links will be drawn between political discourse in China and other regions with comparable political histories (such as Romania). Philosophical perspectives on East/West dichotomous discourses can fertilize studies on cultural aspects of communication with and about Chinese communities and vice versa. Similarly, legal issues, such as intellectual property rights, could be approached from a comparative angle. Clearly, the workshop does not intend to limit its geographical scope to the Asia-Pacific region only, although the focus still remains on China.

It is hoped this initiative can offer a solid base to open up avenues for joint research projects on a national and international level.

BCCDS-Working Group Convener

Prof. Lutgard Lams