17th Karlsruhe Dialogues – Speakers

The ‘In-Between Society’: Tradition and Modernism in Conflict

Prof. Dr. Mette Halskov Hansen


Harlskov Hansen

Prof. Dr. Mette Halskov Hansen was born in Denmark in 1962. In 1996, she graduated from Aarhus University in Denmark with a dissertation entitled Lessons in Patriotism: State Education and Ethnic Identity among Naxi and Tai in Southwest China. From 2000 to 2003, she was associate professor at the University of Oslo (UiO). Since 2003, she has been professor of China studies in the department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at UiO. Hansen has spent more than six years in China and has done fieldwork in different areas of the country. From 2011 to 2012, she was honorary visiting professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She researches in the field of modern Chinese society and politics, more specifically in education and youth, processes of individualisation, ethnic minorities, and Chinese migrations to minority areas. Hansen is currently working on a project about rural education, cultures of learning, and processes of individualisation in the Chinese state school. During her academic career, Hansen has won several awards and honours for her work, e.g. from the Research Council of Norway for her project ‘The Chinese Individual: Negotiations of Rights and Responsibilities’, which she conducted from 2006 to 2009. Hansen publishes in several journals, for example in The China Quarterly by the University of Washington Press. Since 2006, she has been a member of the editorial board of Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. She has published several books on her research, among them Lessons in Being Chinese: State Education and Ethnic Identity in Southwest China (1999), a comparative study of the implementation and reception of state minority education policy, as well as iChina: The Rise of the Individual in Modern Chinese Society (2010) on the changing focus on individuality in China.