National Studies


National Studies
(Guoxue)
Academic discipline
The term ‘National Studies’ was revived in the early 1990s. Charged with a new meaning, it was initially circulated among young academics in Beijing, closely tied to the Research Institute for National Studies (Guoxue yanjiusuo), a non-official organization initiated by Liu Dong, Yan Buke, Liang Zhiping and Chen Pingyuan. These younger academics in various fields of Chinese humanities advocated ‘National Studies’ in order to raise a voice for cultural values, and specifically for the tradition of Chinese scholarship and evidential historicism; such a voice was motivated, in part, as a response to the rapidly changing society and culture under the impetus of globalization, and was imbued with anxiety for intellectual and national identity.
The Institute was joined by many scholars, such as Wang Hui, Li Ling, Chen Lai, Ge Zhaoguang and Wang Shouchang.
They met regularly and held a series of forums; in discussing scholarly issues they strictly abided by rules that favour solid and independent research, professional discipline and free discussion. ‘National Studies’ became known as a public space where a new mode of scholarship arose, with the characteristics of autonomous operation, open-mindedness and scholarly professionalism. From the mid 1990s regular meetings were rarely held, although the Institute still existed under the direction of Liu Dong. Recently, its activities have been incorporated into the China Scholarship Forum sponsored by Beijing Library.
CHEN JIANHUA

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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