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Delegation of Harvard Professors Visits SCU
Sept.24th to 27th, during SCU’s 121st Anniversary, a delegation of Harvard professors paid an academic visit to the university. On Dec.22nd last year, the Research Center for the Study of West China at SCU and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard signed a MOU on establishing a cooperative research center. This visit was intended to nail down concrete research projects and contents, so as to conduct profound and material cooperation.
The guests included: Prof. Michael A. Szonyi, Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard, Prof. Elizabeth J. Perry, Director of the Harvard–Yenching Institute, Prof. Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Head of the Department of South Asia and Chairman of South Asian Studies of Harvard and Ruohong Li, Deputy Director of the Harvard–Yenching Institute. During the 4-day visit, Harvard professors and scholars conducted a series of in-depth and productive academic exchanges with the faculty and students of SCU.
On the morning of Sept.25th, Prof. Michael A. Szonyi had a symposium with the teachers and students of SCU. He said that through the symposium gave him a deeper insight into SCU’s history and disciplines, and enabled him to discover more chances for the academic cooperation between the two institutions. Meanwhile, he spoke extremely highly of the academic research full of vitality conducted by SCU faculty, and looked forward to more academic cooperation with SCU at the frontier domains of historiography.

During the visit, Harvard professors and scholars gave a series of brilliant lectures to their counterparts and students of SCU.
Dr. Ruohong Li delivered a lecture of “Civilizations of both the Oriental and the West Are from the Same Roots---Lien-sheng Yang and Francis W. Cleaves,” during which she teased out the evolution of the research paradigm of the States’ sinology study with the academic life of Lien-sheng Yang and Francis W. Cleaves as a clue.

Prof. Michael A. Szonyi brought us three lectures: firstly---“The Past 60 Years of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies”, at which he treated the evolution of political relationship between China and the United States as well as that of the academic style of Fairbank Center as two main lines, and sorted out the interlaced historical relationship between them; secondly, he shared his latest research result—“A Complicated Legal Case in The Plum in the Golden Vase: Perceive the Legal History of the Ming Dynasty from Literary Works”; and, finally, he took a small rural temple in Southeastern China as a breakthrough to trace the special history of the two gods in the temple, and thus demonstrated the benefit gambling between local society and state system.
Prof. Elizabeth J. Perry’s lecture was called “Church Universities in the period of the Republic of China: First-rate University with the Chinese Characteristics?” At the lecture, he took the appraisal system of today’s universities as an entry point to systematize the features of the church universities during the period of the Republic of China, and analyzed its chinization process.

Prof. Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp gave a lecture titled “Why Do Tibetan Studies?” He introduced the features of Tibetan history and its relations with peripheral civilizations from both two internal and external aspects, and explained in simple words the characteristics of Tibetan civilization and the significance of Tibetan studies.
The lectures given by Harvard professors were so welcome that all the seats were occupied, and the atmosphere at each Q & A session was really heated. Several well-known SCU professors as well as lots of young scholars and students participated in the discussions. The six lectures had attracted more than 2,000 audiences from inside and outside the campus.
The visit of Harvard professors was one of the activities conducted by the College of History and Culture of SCU to celebrate the 121st anniversary of SCU, and the first academic activity upon the establishment of the Cooperative Research Center as well. Showcasing the features and advantages of SCU in terms of research in relevant domains, such a visit serves as an important approach to build a world-class university and world-class disciplines. Meanwhile, the pragmatic cooperative projects reached by both parties will also play a positive role in the construction of the world-class university and disciplines.

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