Research Centre for Folklore, Classics and Chinese Characters, BNU
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The BNU Research Center for Folklore, Classics and Chinese Characters was founded in June 2000. As one of the first key research bases for humanities and social sciences approved by the Ministry of Education, the Center combines the BNU’s traditional strength in Folklore, Traditional Philology and Classical Philology. The Center was created from the Department of Chinese Folk Culture, established and led by Zhong Jingwen, the founding father of Chinese folklore, the Department of Chinese Characters and Chinese Information Processing founded by Lu Zongda and led by Wang Ning, and a part of the Classical Philology program of the School of Chinese Language and Literature, BNU. Following the core concept of “mutual construction of the three-tier Chinese traditional culture,” the Center set up programs to deal with challenging issues facing the Chinese and foreign humanities community. It focuses on carrying out innovative comprehensive research by utilizing a wide range of academic resources while giving full play to their unique advantages respectively. During the four periods of the 10th Five-Year Plan, 11th Five-Year Plan, 12th Five-Year Plan and 13th Five-Year Plan, it remained true to its mission, kept sharpening its research orientation and made collective efforts, thus achieving greater results than any discipline alone. It has renewed the characteristics of traditional humanities and expanded foreign exchanges on Chinese traditional humanities as a whole. It has now become a first-class scientific research base, a base of cultivating professionals and a base of Sino-foreign cultural and academic exchange. Currently, the Research Center consists of three research offices: Research Office of Chinese Folklore, Research Office of Classics and Cultural Relics, and Research Office of Philology:

I. The Research Office of Chinese Folklore is a new comprehensive institution with teaching and scientific research, digital folklore information integration and international exchange. Its research interests include theoretical folklore, modern folklore, modern folk literature, digital folklore, cross-cultural comparison of folk literature research and urban sociology. The Research Office of Chinese Folklore has undertaken and completed the major project of the National Social Science Fund of China (NSSFC) “Research on Chinese Culture Soft Power Development Strategy”, and completed the major comprehensive project of key research base for humanities and social sciences under the Ministry of Education “Outline of Chinese Folklore Literature History and Its Database Construction”. Other projects include the NSSFC project “Research on Chinese Traditional Etiquette and Modern Social Life Norms”, the youth project of humanities and social sciences under the Ministry of Education “Research on Digital Proverbs and Folk Custom Map”, the Ministry of Culture’s project “Integrated Digital Resources Platforms and Software of Chinese Folk Literature and Art”, the horizontal project of Beijing municipal government “Investigation of History and Culture of Qianmen East District in Beijing and History of Courtyards”, and many international cooperation projects (with US, UK and French partners) such as “Water Resources in North China and Water Conservancy Stele in Chinese Villages” and “Epigraphy and Oral Sources: The Social History of an Imperial Capital”. It has received many awards, including the First Prize of Excellent Academic Works of Humanities and Social Sciences, Outstanding Achievement Award of NSSFC (The History of Chinese Folk Customs edited by Zhong Jingwen), First Prize of Excellent Academic Works of Philosophy and Social Sciences in Beijing (Folklore Fieldwork by Dong Xiaoping), Award of Teachers for Guidance for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Paper in Beijing, and Outstanding Academic Works of “Shanhua Award” granted by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and China Society for the Study of Folk Literature and Art. It has built up two professional websites: Dialogue Transcultural and Lab of Digital Folklore Study of Beijing Normal University. During the 13th Five-Year Plan, The Research Office of Chinese Folklore designed and completed four sub-programs, namely, the Principle of Cross Culture, Cross-cultural Sinology, Cross-cultural Folk Literature, and Cultural Multilingual Literature. It completed compilation the representative works Collected Works of Zhong Jingwen (16 volumes, 30 books) on its central platform. The series was edited by Dong Xiaoping in collaboration with four generations of Zhong’s disciples. Other participants in the editorial work include Wang Ning, director of the Center, Cheng Zhengmin, Tong Qingbing, He Naiying, and other senior scholars who worked with Zhong Jingwen. The series was published by Higher Education Press in November 2018.

II. The research interests of the Research Office of Classics and Cultural Relics include Chinese classical philology (literary works of Han, (Cao) Wei and Six Dynasties (i.e. Wu, Eastern Jin and Southern Dynasties), ancient Chinese literary works, annotation of ancient Chinese books) and Chinese ancient literature (literature of (Cao) Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties, literature of Pre-Qin and Han Dynasties, and the history of Chinese literary criticism). The Research Office of Classics and Cultural Relics has undertaken many major programs, including the major project of key research base of humanities and social sciences under by the Ministry of Education “Comprehensive Arrangement and Research of Fu Works of Yuan Dynasty”, and the key scientific research project during the 10th Five-Year Plan period funded by the Work Committee of Ancient Books Collation and Studies of National Universities “Collected Works in Wei and Jin Dynasties”. It has published a series of influential research findings, including Complete Translation of Detailed Annotation of Collected Works of Twenty-two Famous Ancient Scholars (2003), Collected Works in Wei and Jin Dynasties (2006), Collection of Ancient Books of Yuan Dynasty (2013), Collected Works of Jin and Yuan Dynasties, Confucian Works (2016), and Collation and Annotation of Fu Works of Yuan Dynasty (2016). Besides, it has set up ten courses, including Annotation of Ancient Chinese Books, Ancient Chinese Literary Works, Interpretation of “Zhao Ming’s Selected Works”, Interpretation of “Wen Xin Diao Long”, Metaphysics and Buddhism of Wei and Jin Dynasties, and Research Methodology of Ancient Chinese Literature History, and has cultivated many excellent doctoral candidates and postgraduates.

III. The Research Office of Philology dates back to the Chinese Language and Chinese Characters courses set up by the Chinese Language Division (the former School of Chinese Language and Literature) of the former Beijing Normal University in 1902, with a history of more than 100 years. In the early days of the university, Wu Chengshi, Huang Kan and Qian Xuantong, three disciples of Zhang Taiyan who was a renowned scholar in Chinese cultural studies, and many other prestigious scholars in the field of Chinese philology taught here. After the liberation, the Chinese Philology discipline was further developed. Before subject adjustment, there were two doctoral degree programs: Chinese Philology established by Lu Zongda (one of China’s first doctoral degree programs), and History of Chinese Language established by Yu Ming (one of China’s third doctoral degree programs). After adjustment, the original two programs were merged into Chinese Philology, a doctoral degree program in the second level. After Lu Zongda and Yu Ming, the program underwent new developments under the leadership of Wang Ning. In 1995, the Department of Chinese Characters and Chinese Information Processing and the Research Center of Zhang Taiyan and Huang Jigang were established based on the doctoral degree program. In 2000, the Research Center for Folklore, Classics and Chinese Characters was established by merging the three disciplines of, Chinese Philology, Folklore and Classical Philology. In 2005, the Research Center for Chinese Character Collation and Standards was founded. In 2016, the Key Laboratory of Research and Modern Application of Chinese Characters was established. Currently, the BNU Research Center for Folklore, Classics and Chinese Characters has a powerful teaching and research faculty with Wang Ning as the core, which consists of 13 in-service teachers, including five professors (among them, one is senior professor, five are doctoral supervisors, two are on the list of Program for New Century Excellent Talents of the Ministry of Education), four associate professors and four lecturers. In 2018, the faculty was named “National Huang Danian-style Teaching Team”. Despite that the discipline emphasizes on traditional inheritance, the Research Center proposes and follows the inheritance principle of “learning from the past but not duplicating past experience, holding fast to good traditions but not being conservative”. Through modernized reform on the Traditional Philology, it sets up many national first-class courses with immense prospects of development, such as Exegesis, Shuowen Study, Chinese Character Study and Lexical Semantics. Besides, the Research Center studies Chinese characters and Chinese information processing by using computer, which is of significant applied value in the current information society. The main research interests of the Research Center include Exegesis and Phonology, Shuowen Study and Chinese Character Study, Chinese Character Standards and Chinese Information Processing, and Grammar and Lexicology.

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