“This is a birthday party,” John J. Barceló, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law and Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director of the Berger International Legal Studies Program, said as he addressed fellow guests at an elegant reception on March 12. “We have two birthday children: a ten-year-old and a newborn.”
The event, held in the new wing of the Johnson Museum of Art, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, founded by Annelise Riles, the Jack G. Clarke Professor of Far East Legal Studies and professor of anthropology. The event also observed the official launch of the program’s latest initiative, Meridian 180.
In June 2011, shortly after the catastrophic events resulting from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Meridian 180 website launched in “beta.”In the past year, as the initiative evolved from conceptualization to practice, intellectuals from the Asia-Pacific region, the United States, and around the world were invited to participate in substantive, challenging, and interdisciplinary conversations. Participants can converse remotely in English, Chinese, or Japanese, and all dialogue is translated by postdoctoral fellows at the Clarke Program. The resulting summaries from the first forums are available on the site, and individuals with extensive backgrounds in law, legal scholarship, business, economics, anthropology, policymaking, sociology, philosophy, and theology can apply for access to participate in the forums. As stated on the Meridian 180 site, the initiative aims to “work toward solutions for the next generation of transpacific relations, and to devise innovative ways of confronting new challenges and tensions that threaten the Pacific Rim region.”
The Clarke Program, funded by a gift to the Law School from Jack and Dorothea Clarke, sponsors a variety of activities and events, including fellowships, conferences, lectures, collaborative research projects, and scholarly exchanges, as it seeks to expand the purview of legal scholarship and to develop new ways of thinking about transnational law, politics, and culture.
Joining Barceló in toasting the “incredible amount of interchange and intellectual vibrancy” created by the Clarke Program and bolstered by its newest project were Stewart J. Schwab, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law; Yuji Genda, professor at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Hirokazu Miyazaki, director of the East Asia Program and associate professor of Anthropology, Cornell University; and Clarke Program director Annelise Riles. Looking on was Jack G. Clarke LL.B.’52 himself, whom Riles thanked for his “phenomenal commitment.”
See also: Meridian 180 Unites East-West Thinkers in Online Think Tank (Cornell Chronicle)