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2024群学肄言·青年论坛 02

主  题


Ethics of Commitment: Vows and Endurance in a Precarious World

时  间

2024年5月20日  20:00—22:15

2024年5月21日  20:00—22:00

地  点




沈阳 / 浙江大学

吴迪 / 牛津大学


Anna-Riikka Kauppinen / 日内瓦国际关系及发展高等学院

Eugene Yu Ji 纪语 / 芝加哥大学

Fred Lai / 伦敦政治经济学院

Lea Taragin-Zeller / 耶路撒冷希伯来大学

Jay Ke-Schutte / 浙江大学

柯晓宇 / 浙江大学

杨颖而 / 密歇根大学

朱昉晟 / 昆山杜克大学


黄剑波 / 华东师范大学

范笔德Peter van der Veer / 马克斯普朗克宗教与族群多样性研究所


We live in a time of precarity, shaped by late-capitalist conditions and intensifying geopolitical instabilities. As individuals and communities navigate through fluctuating uncertainties in both private and public lives, traditional notions of making long-term commitments are at a crossroads. In previous times, a failure to commit or follow through one’s obligation was likely met with moral skepticism. But nowadays in both Euro-American and East Asian societies, the reluctance to commit does not necessarily invoke the same judgment. This shift in social attitudes underscores a profound transformation in the temporality of ethical projects. Moreover, with the new transformations in social media usage, alongside its profound impact on short attention spans, the need to re-evaluate the mechanisms of lasting commitment is more urgent than ever.

The panel is part of a broader initiative to build a cross-continental network of anthropologists exploring the global dynamics of commitment projects and their antitheses over the third decade of the 21st century. We see commitment—defined by OED as the action of devoting oneself to something or someone, and the state or quality of being dedicated—as central to understand the diverse relationships people have with long-term temporality. Outside anthropology, philosophers and religious studies scholars have productively discussed “commitment” as a value. However, without taking a value of commitments for granted, we advocate studying commitment projects as lived and experimented within various dimensions of our contemporary life. By leveraging ethnography, we aim to unveil new perspectives on how the fabric of our lives and societies is both shaping and shaped by various frameworks of “commitment.”

Over two sessions in May 2024, we present a series of initial discussions that examine the many ways in which long-term commitment is conceived, fostered, solidified, challenged, abandoned, precluded, or reimagined as an integral aspect of an art of living. Our exploration broadens to encompass not just relationships with other humans or ourselves but also with beings and things that assert their unique life rhythms.



Day I

May 20th 2024

20:00 – 20:10

  • Introduction by the organizers

  • Yang Shen / Zhejiang University, Assistant Professor in Anthropology

  • Di Wu / University of Oxford, Departmental Lecturer in Anthropology

20:10 – 20:25

  • Kin Out of Colleagues: testing commitment in professional friendships in Accra, Ghana

  • Anna-Riikka Kauppinen / Geneva Graduate Institute, Assistant Professor in Anthropology

20:25 – 20:40

  • Committed (Not) to Care: Relational conundrums of dementia care at home in rural South China

  • Fred Lai /LSE, PhD Candidate in Anthropology

20:40 – 20:50

  • Q & A

20:50 – 21:05

  • Unborn Souls and Speaking Bodies: Emerging Technologies and their Ethical Choreographies

  • Lea Taragin-Zeller / the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Public Policy

21:05 – 21:20

  • Chinese Buddhist Wish-vows and The Modeling and Worlding of Commitment-Forms

  • Yang Shen / Zhejiang University, Assistant Professor in Anthropology)

21:20 – 21:30

  • Q & A

21.30 – 22.15

  • Roundtable Discussion

  • Special Respondents:

    Jianbo Huang / East China Normal University, Professor in Anthropology

    Peter van der Veer / Max Planck Institute for the Ethnic & Religious Diversity, Emeritus Professor

Day II

May 21th 2024

20:00 – 20:15

  • Dangerous Commitments: Intersubjective Ethics of Competitive Personae in Jiujitsu Interactions

  • Jay Ke-Schutte / Zhejiang University, Assistant Professor in Anthropology

20:15 – 20:30

  • Pioneers at Start-Up Universities: Educational Decisions as Ethical Projects amid Uncertainties

  • Yinger Yang / University of Michigan, MIRS-Chinese Studies Student

    Fangsheng Zhu / Duke Kunshan University, Assistant Professor of Sociology

20:30 – 20:40

  • Q & A

20:40 – 20:55

  • Emotional Responsibility and Affective Brain-Computer-Interface

  • Xiaoyu Ke / Zhejiang University, Post-doctoral Researcher in Philosophy

20:55 – 21:10

  • Commitment as promise, forgiveness, and speech act in the era of AI.

  • Eugene Yu Ji / University of Chicago, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Cognitive Science

21:10 – 21:20

  • Q & A

21:20 – 22:00

  • Roundtable Discussion

  • Special Respondents:

    Jianbo Huang / East China Normal University, Professor in Anthropology

    Peter van der Veer / Max Planck Institute for the Ethnic & Religious Diversity, Emeritus Professor