Aleksandra Mineeva

Assistant Professor of Practice

M.Sc. (London School of Economics)

I am a multidisciplinary scholar focused on China. My background is in Chinese linguistics and cross-cultural communication, anthropology and philosophy.   At JSIA I teach a number of electives which are aimed to introduce China to Indian students in a comprehensive way and from a variety of perspectives. As a student of a unique program –  MSc China in Comparative Perspective at London School of Economics, I have inherited the interest in postcolonial approach to China studies and a passion for cross cultural conceptual comparisons.

 

JGU students are welcome to meet me at my electives: 

  1. China and the World: Introduction to China studies. An introductory course for anyone who is interested in China. It introduces a variety of perspectives, theories and narratives which allow a student by to understand what is China and how to approach China studies in their respective disciplines (IR, LA, Law, Business)
  2. Chinese Philosophy I: Pre-Qin Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy II: Philosophy and Politics in Centralized China, Qin and Han Dynasties.

This two courses are aimed to introduce to the students main basic and very important concepts in China’s culture of living and culture of governance.

The teaching is built on the explanation of the 3000 year old concepts and their influence in modern China. 

For example:     Why did Lin Yu Tang says that   “the idea of the society itself does not exist in China, and therefore there is no institution between the family and the state. The family is both the minimal and the maximum unit of the Chinese society. Therefore Individualism with Chinese characteristics is the family and family friends based unity of individuals where anyone outside of that unity is a stranger and unimportant.” 

Why is it so? Is it still valid for contemporary China?  If yes, then what are the implications.

Another relevant example is that of the speeches of the Chinese leaders. Xi Jin Ping, talking about rule of law with Chinese characteristics and the necessity to update the governance system emphasizes the importance of customs. He quotes The Book of Lord Shang (Shang Jun Shu):  “In governing a country, a wise ruler establishes laws through observing popular customs, thus bringing order. He understands the fundamentals of the land he rules, thus implementing appropriate policies. Where the customs of the times are ignored and the fundamentals of the land neglected, the people will fall into disorder even when laws are made. And the ruler may be kept busy but will achieve little.” (…)  “To base our work in reality” – he continues – “we need to lay emphasis on what is practical, what is contemporary and what is quintessentially Chinese.” Thus to understand Chinese current government strategy it is imperative to understand what does Xi mean by “quintessentially Chinese”.

  1. A Comparative Approach to China Studies is a  course which brings together traditional China scholarship and post-colonial narrative. I aim to explain to the students the importance of understanding of conceptual picture of the world of a different culture and I introduce the means of such an approach.

Conceptual cross cultural comparisons/ The concepts of Pre-Qin philosophy/  the concept of privacy in China and India/ the concept of society in China and India/ Aesthetics of Jade in China and Gemstones in the Western world  / social and religious ritual/ art as a means of cross cultural conceptual communication