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Program Highlights for 2011-2012

A Message From The Director

Annelise Riles

Prof. Annelise Riles, Clarke Program Director


On March 12, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Clarke Program. So much has happened in ten years: the Program has organized 25 conferences, workshops and symposiums, welcomed over 100 speakers in its colloquium series, hosted more than two dozen visiting scholars from East Asia, and each year brought high-profile speakers from around the world to the Cornell campus to deliver its annual Clarke Lecture.

When the program inaugurated ten years ago, we had two goals: We wanted to become one of the very best programs in Asian law in the US by emphasizing a broad, humanistic, interdisciplinary approach to the study of law. And we wanted to serve as a conduit for a much deeper, stronger connection between the law school and the many other excellent programs within the University from which we could learn and to which we felt the law school could also contribute. In all humility, I think we can claim success in these two goals, thanks to the tremendous generosity and commitment of so many friends, colleagues, and sup-porters at Cornell and around the world. So, for those of you who could not be with us in Ithaca last March: thank you.

So what is the Clarke Program’s goal for the next ten years? We have set for ourselves an even more presumptuous dream: We want to transform the Trans-Pacific dialogue to help create a new regional intelligentsia of academics, professionals and policy-makers suited to taking on the tremendous challenges now facing the region. We called this new initiative, a virtual think tank of leading thinkers from around the Asia-Pacific, now holding discussions in Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, Meridian 180, after the international dateline that divides the Pacific. It was inaugurated at our celebration on March 11.

Meridian 180 is not meant to replace but to complement our ongoing activities at Cornell and around the world. Indeed, we see the potential for new synergies between different kinds of projects.

This report offers an overview of the many ways the Clarke Program has continued to expand in 2012. As always, we are proud of the work of the scholars and experts representing many fields who came to our program to conduct research or present their findings. You will read about new collaborative research projects, and short and long-term academic exchanges inaugurated since 2011. Finally, this report will provide a preview of upcoming events, developments and directions for the program for 2013 and beyond.

As always, we remain especially grateful for the generous gift of Jack G. Clarke that has supported this program since 2002. Other sources of funding include Cornell University’s Jeffrey Sean Lehman Fund for Scholarly Exchange with China, the Cornell Law School’s Clarke Business Law Institute, the Cornell University Institute for the Social Sciences, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, and the gift of Anthony and Lulu Wang.

I would be particularly grateful for your feedback, questions, or suggestions concerning anything you read here. Please write to me directly at ar254@cornell.edu.

Annelise Riles, the Jack G. Clarke ‘52 Professor of Far East Legal Studies; Director, Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture and Professor of Anthropology