Research, a Bumper Harvest

While research has always been an important part of the History faculty’s responsibility, today it enjoys unprecedented attention. “Aiming high” being the guiding principle, most faculty members publish in such leading journals as Historical Research and Social Sciences in China at home and also in respectable academic journals in Asian, European and North American countries. Among the honors they have won in recent years are four National Awards for Distinguished Achievement in Humanities and Social Sciences and two Highest Awards for the Achievement in Philosophy and Social Sciences in Beijing.  Moreover, three doctoral dissertations have been nationally cited.


The research projects conducted by the history faculty cover a wide range. They include: a comparative study of modernization process, a case study; a critical study of the globalization process; collation and study of the bamboo-slip documents of Kingdom of Wu (Three-Kingdom period, 220-280 A.D.) unearthed in Zoumalou, Changsha; a multifaceted study of the high Tang Dynasty; the evolution of bureaucratic institutions in ancient China; interactions between ideological and cultural trends and social conditions in modern China; China-Japan joint history; Ming & Qing studies; China’s international relations during the cold war; urban conditions and historical military geography; study of ancient Chinese maps in the Vatican collection and that of some Italian museums and libraries; epochal changes and the rise of the eastern Asia; evolution of international relations in postwar northeastern Asia; environmental history and social-cultural history. 

To better share the scholarship with the whole society, the History Department cooperates with several prestigious publishers over the collection and publication of papers in accordance with theme. The recent years have seen the coming out of such collections or series as Beida Historiography Series (already in its 13th year), Peking University Series: High Tang Dynasty Studies (Shanghai Ancient Books Press), Modernization Series 1-3 (Commercial Press), Studies on Hellenic & Western Civilization 1-2 (Commercial Press) and Tang Dynasty Studies Series (Peking University Press). Among those ready for publication are History of Ancient Chinese Institutions of Bureaucracy Series 1-6 (Peking University Press), and Globalization Studies Series 1-8 (Jiangxi People’s Press). In addition to pure academic works, the faculty has also cooperated with media in the making of such public history programs as the T.V. documentaries The Light of Chinese Civilization, The Rise of the Great Powers and The Road to Revival. It is the faculty’s pride that the general public can share the fruit of their work. 


Behind the achievements are the generous support from the state and other sources. The first decade of the 21st century has seen 1.386 million RMB from the State Social Sciences Funds earmarked for 15 projects, 2.2 million RMB from the Ministry of Education for 17 projects, 2.36 million RMB from Project 211 for four projects, 1.20 million RMB from the Qing Dynasty History Compilation Commission and the National Program for the Compilation of Ancient Books for 8 projects, 30 million RMB from overseas for 6 designated projects and 5 million RMB from domestic enterprises.


The commitment and endeavor of the faculty and the generous support, financial and otherwise, from various sources have borne rich academic fruits. The years between 2001 and 2007 witnessed the publication by the faculty 696 papers and 143 books (monographs, compilations and translated works), the value of many of which has won general recognition.