On June 28, Zhejiang University released its ninth convergence research project, and the first of its kind in humanities and social sciences: the Convergence Research Project of Asian Civilizations, Asian Civilizations Project for short. With the launch of the Project, the university aims to conduct in-depth studies on the value of Asian civilizations, promote integration of its research forces in humanities, social sciences, and adjacent disciplines, propel new breakthroughs, and provide fresh impetus to better disciplinary development.
As the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century, we need to strengthen popular support for jointly building a community with a shared future for both Asia and humanity as a whole. Thus greater efforts are needed to promote exchanges and mutual learning among countries, peoples and cultures in Asia and around the world. As a response to such needs, the Project is set to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to Asia’s politics, economy and culture, to explore new mechanisms for exchanges and mutual learning, and to explicate a novel outlook for Asian civilizations.
The Asian Civilizations Project focuses on six research areas: blending and clashing of civilizations, inheritance and innovation of cultures, contacts and variations of languages, circulation and recreation of classical literature, preservation and protection of cultural relics, and the interpretations and dialogue of arts and literature. These research areas are centered around the diversity of civilizations in different parts of Asia, and exchanges between the Chinese and other civilizations. By converging talents and resources into these areas, the University wishes to promote, both in theory and practice, exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations.
The Project is jointly undertaken by the disciplines of the Chinese language and literature, foreign languages and literature, history, philosophy, art, sociology, law and others in the University. Concerted efforts are to be given to recruit high-level research personnel, train innovative students, organize convergent research projects, and cultivate interactive, interdisciplinary and integrated discipline clusters, with the end results of turning the university into one of the highlands in the research of Asian civilizations.
“The Asian Civilizations Project has tremendous significance on many accounts, as a channel to help build a better future for Asia by promoting mutual understanding and learning among the peoples in the region, a platform for closer cooperation with other research institutions at home and abroad, as well as an effective measure to improve relevant research and create a healthier academic environment in the university. Its successful implementation will surely bring the humanities in the university to the nation’s forefront.”
– Prof. XU Jun, Chief Researcher of the Asian Civilizations Project and the Humanities Distinguished Professor of ZJU
Since September 2018 Zhejiang University has launched nine convergence projects under Innovation 2030 Research Framework, which strongly supports the achievement of institutional goals set for the “Double First-Class” Initiative.