Department of Traditional Chinese Literature
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The historical origin of the discipline of Chinese language and literature can be traced back to 1902, when the Normal School at the Imperial University of Peking established Chinese courses. Since then, traditional Chinese literature has been included in teaching and academic activities, and remains one of the oldest disciplines in Chinese academia. A great number of famous scholars dedicated their life in this discipline, for example, Lu Xun, Gao Buying, Yu Jiaxi and Luo Genze from the 1950s, as well as Gu Sui, Liu Pansui, Tan Pimo, Li Changzhi, Qi Gong, and Guo Yuheng.

Department of Traditional Chinese Literature is appointed as two doctoral education centers: traditional Chinese philology and traditional Chinese literature. The center for traditional Chinese philology was established by Qi Gong in 1984, promoting the collation of traditional texts and the study of literary philology. Qi Gong and Deng Kuiying both served as PhD supervisors. The center for traditional Chinese literature was established in 1990, and its courses cover the entire history of Chinese literature. Nie Shiqiao, Han Zhaoqi, Zhang Jun, and Yu Yianchi served as PhD supervisors.

In May 2003, Department of Traditional Chinese Literature was formed based on the original teaching team, and now there are 14 faculty members: 6 professors, 6 associate professors, and 2 lecturers (assistant professors). There are four major sub-disciplines in the Department:

1. Pre-Tang Literature and Culture

Paying attention to the inter-disciplinary approach between literature, history, and philosophy, the studies of pre-Tang include the Book of Songs, the Songs of Chu, pre-Qin prose, Han rhapsody and poetry of Six Dynasties. Professor Guo Changbao, Associate Professor Liu Quanzhi, and Lecturer Wu Yiyun are faculty in this sub-discipline.

2. Tang Song Literature and Culture

Taking Tang and Song poetry, lyrics, and prose as primary materials, the study of Tang Song literature and culture is about the stylistic and artistic analysis of different genres of texts, cultural explorations in cities, regions, and society. Professor Kang Zhen, Professor Ma Dongyao, Associate Professor Xie Yan, and Associate Professor Zhou Jianzhi are faculty in this sub-discipline.

3. Yuan Ming Qing Literature and Culture

With a balanced coverage on drama, novel, prose, and poetry, the study of Yuan Ming Qing Literature and Culture provides a comprehensive understanding of late imperial China from different perspectives, such as genres, aesthetics, history, and culture. Professor Zhang Dejian, Professor Du Guiping, Associate Professor Sharina, Associate Professor Li Xiaolong and Associate Professor Yan Zinan are faculty in this sub-discipline.

4. Collation and Study of Traditional Chinese Texts

The collation and study of traditional Chinese texts is a major representation of the concept of “grand prose studies.” In this sub-discipline, Professor Guo Yingde is a world-class scholar, who has contributed in various studies of traditional Chinese literature and culture. Lecturer Zhu Yuchen is also faculty in this sub-discipline

In 2011, the Research Center for Traditional Prose Studies was established by the Department. Based on existing research, the Center pays special attention to the study of traditional Chinese prose, and has made great achievements such as the compilation of Chinese Prose History and A Thorough History of Chinese Prose. In 2017, the Collectanea of Rhapsody Studies of the Past Dynasties (two hundred volumes) which was awarded an Excellent Book Award. Furthermore, another collectanea of prose criticism will be published in the near future. The Center also established a special journal for the studies of prose entitled Siwen, which is a leading journal in the scholarly field.

Since 2011, four major national projects are granted by the National Social Science Committee, which are hosted by eminent scholars from the Department. Professor Guo Changbao hosts a project on the study of the generation and development of ancient knowledge, concepts, and text systems. Professor Guo Yingde hosts a project on the collation and study of traditional prose. Professor Du Guiping hosts a project on the collation of individual collections of Qing poets. Prof Kang Zhen hosts a project on literary culture of the capital cities in Chinese history.

There are sixteen national and provincial projects granted to the members of the Department. A number of monographs, contributed by members of the Department, are nominated and awarded. The teaching team led by Prof Guo Yingde won the Beijing Education Prize and National Education Prize in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Since the establishment of doctoral education centers, more than two hundred PhD students have graduated, including more than thirty foreign students. Most of these PhD graduates join universities, research institutions, and publishing houses, and they become active figures in the academic world. Bearing the tradition of Beijing Normal University and the Department of Traditional Chinese Literature, they dedicate themselves to the pursuit of advancing scholarship and advocating Chinese culture.


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