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Department of Chinese Folklore Culture
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?The Department of Chinese Folklore Culture is also known as the Folklore Studies discipline, a state-level key discipline of Beijing Normal University. It was established in 1993 by Mr. Zhong Jingwen, a famous folklorist and folklore artist in China. Recognized as the “Father of Chinese Folklore Studies,” Zhong Jingwen studied at Waseda University in Japan in his early years, but always insisted on carrying forward China’s own folklore tradition and national culture. Comparing models of humanities with foreign folklore studies, the traditional Sinological characteristics of Chinese folklore studies, and research and practice in modern Chinese folklore studies movements, he founded the Chinese Folklore Studies School at Beijing Normal University. Similar to the trajectory of the construction of disciplines of humanities in Chinese higher institutions, the Folklore Studies major of Beijing Normal University underwent various ordeals during the 20th century. However, the spiritual tradition of academic masters, cultural consciousness and sense of social responsibility remained constant.

In 1984, UNESCO released a document urging the protection of folklore culture. In 1992, American sinologist Professor R. David Arkush made a proposal to the president of Beijing Normal University to found the Department of Chinese Folklore Culture. In 1993, the Department of Chinese Folklore Culture was officially established at Beijing Normal University and Zhong Jingwen was appointed as the first director. Focusing on international development and high-level academic exchange, the department has invited such famous scholars as Ji Xianlin, Fei Xiaotong, Zhang Dainian, and Qi Gong as long-term research fellows, and appointed 18 top overseas sinologists as visiting professors. After Zhong Jingwen passed away in 2002, Professor Dong Xiaoping who was former academic assistant of Zhong Jingwen and leader of Folklore Studies, was appointed by BNU to succeed him.

I. Organization System and Teaching Staff

The Department of Chinese Folklore Culture is a university-level “brick and mortarinstitution at Beijing Normal University, and undertakes teaching tasks within the system of the School of Chinese Language and Literature and research tasks on the platform of the BNU Research Center for Folklore, Classics and Chinese Characters, a key research base in humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education.

The Department has three in-service teachers, including two professors and one lecturer; one senior engineer for engineering experiments. All of them have doctoral degrees.

II. Research Institutions and Work Platforms

The BNU Institute for Cross-Cultural Studies was jointly founded by the China Folklore Culture Research Institute and the Dunhe Foundation in 2016.

The BNU Institute for 1980s Thought and Culture was established in 2016. This project was established under the cooperation of the China Folklore Culture Research Institute and the Mingyuan Foundation of Chinese Culture and Education Company Limited.

The BNU Key Laboratory of Digital Folklore Studies was established in 2003. The website for cross-cultural dialogue and the website of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Studies were first-level websites registered with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2012. A public WeChat account for cross-cultural studies was registered in 2013.

III. Scientific Research

The Department devises research plans based on the philosophy created by predecessors which requires the Department to focus on China, insist on opening up in development and pursue high-end construction and has achieved prominent research achievements in studies on Zhong Jingwen, digitalization, and cross-cultural studies.

(I) Studies on Zhong Jingwen

1. Establishing a digital Zhong Jingwen workstation to promote the dissemination and international exchange of Zhong Jingwens academic and cultural heritage.

2. Editing and publishing the Complete Works of Zhong Jingwen, which comprehensively showcases Zhong Jingwen’s outstanding academic and cultural achievements and important historical contributions.

(II) Digitization

The task of digitization was undertaken by the BNU Key Laboratory of Digital Folklore Studies. After 15 years, it established a digital database with the richest collection of folklore research resources among Chinese higher institutions.

(III) Cross-cultural Studies

The BNU Institute for Cross-Cultural Studies was established based on the Department of Chinese Folklore Culture. It will continue the goal set by Zhong to push the Department of Chinese Folklore Culture to a higher academic platform.

Firstly, it proposes the concept of cross-cultural studiesfor the first time. The concept of international folklore studiesproposed by the Western community of folklore studies in the last century was changed into cross-cultural folklore studies,” which received responses from international counterparts.

Secondly, the International Program on Cross-Cultural Studies for Postgraduate Students was established. This program was held for four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018 and 48 first-class Chinese and foreign professors taught a total of 276 hours. The students of this program came from 42 majors in 77 Chinese and 7 foreign higher institutions and 312 postgraduate students graduated from this program.

Thirdly, 68 publications of “Cross-Cultural Studiesseries were published. Participants from the Department include: On the Six Theories of Chinese Characters and Cross-cultural Study of Chinese Characters [French Edition] by Wang Ning, Cross-Cultural Studies and Bakhtins Poetics and Bakhtins Poetics [French Edition] by Cheng Zhengmin, Four Research Subjects on Shuowen Jiezi by Li Guoying, Cross-Cultural Studies of Tolstoy by Li Zhengrong, and Zhong Jingwen and Chinese School of Folklore Studies, Cross-cultural Folklore Literature and Art, Cross-cultural Folklore Studies, Cross-cultural Folklore Accounts, Cross-Cultural Folklore Genre Studies, Cross-Cultural Folklore Narratology and Cross-cultural Technological Folklore Studies by Dong Xiaoping. News of the launching of this book series released by the State Council Information Office in 2016 exerted a great influence at home and abroad.

IV. Main Research Projects

The Department presided over and completed the “Research on the Development Strategies for the Soft Power of Chinese Culture,” a major project of the National Social Science Fund of China. Chief Expert Dong Xiaoping, Wang Yichuan, Lai Yanbin and Shi Lingling participated in this project. The report entitled A Survey of Chinese College Students' View of Cultural Codes” caused a sensation at home and abroad and was published by 300 mainstream newspapers.

“The Outline of the History of Chinese Folklore Literature and its Digital Management System,” a major project of the key research base in humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education with six subjects. Hosted by Dong Xiaoping and others, with participants: Lai Yanbin and Shi Lingling. Outcome Evaluated: A.

“Theories and Methods of Cross-Cultural Studies,” a major project of the key research base in humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education. Hosts: Jin Siyan, Le Daiyun, and Dong Xiaoping. Participant: Li Zhengrong. Outcome Evaluated: A.

“Cross-Cultural Folklore Studies,” a major project of the key research base in humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education. Host: Dong Xiaoping. Participants: Li Zhengrong, Lai Yanbin and Shi Lingling. Status: In Progress.

V. Curriculum System Construction

The Department curriculum is based both on tradition and innovation. Three textbooks have been appraised by the Ministry of Education as textbooks of the National Twelfth Five-Year Plan: 1) Introduction to Folklore Literature (Second Edition) edited by Zhong Jingwen; 2) Introduction to Folklore Literature (Second Edition) edited by Zhong Jingwen with the Assistance of Xu Yu and Dong Xiaoping; 3) Globalization and Folklorization by Dong Xiaoping. The traditional competitive courses “Folklore” and “Folklore Literature and Art” are offered all the year round for undergraduate students and international students. In recent years, the Department has established some new research sub-branches of cross-cultural studies, and set up postgraduate courses on “cross-cultural folklore,” “cross-cultural Chinese philology,” “cross-cultural Russian and Eastern European literature” and “cross-cultural social studies,” which have strengthened the internationalization of traditional disciplines of humanities.

 



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