The Humanities Research Center (HRC) has executed the “Formation of Modern China” Plan, which is subordinate to NCCU’s “Aim for the Top University Plan” since 2010. The goal of this plan is to build NCCU and the HRC as a top university and a leading institute in the study of modern history of China. Research highlights of the HRC in 2016 are as follows.
I. Academic Activities
1. From October 17 to 22, 2016, the HRC and other nine affiliated research groups jointly held a big event, “Forming China: Final Presentation on the Formation of Modern China Plan,” to present latest research results.
2. In 2016, the HRC held lots of activities, including 34 reading sessions, 25 lectures, 20 workshops, 15 camps, 5 conferences, and 10 symposiums. The HRC and other affiliated research groups are passionate and energetic in academic research and discussions. Issues such as ethnic minority, religion, literature, history of media, politics, or diplomacy had been covered in these above activities. Through interdisciplinary research and collaboration, the HRC aims to investigate and figure out what essential elements are in the formation of modern China.
3. On May 6 and 7, 2016, the HRC, the Center for China Studies, College of Law, and the Institute of International Relations of National Chengchi University jointly held the “International Conference on Strategizing the Rise of China: Development, Dynamics and Driving Forces.” Many well-known domestic and foreign scholars in fields of history, sociology, jurisprudence, and international relations were invited to the conference to present their latest research. This conference emphasized concrete discourses on China studies. With considerable fruitful research results, this conference eventually showed itself a great example and success of interdisciplinary collaboration.
4. Since 2015, the HRC has held a series of “Workshops on Key Years in History” to rethink and reappraise some key years or turning points in the history of modern China from various dimensions, such as politics, military, culture or society. Following are topics of previous four workshops: (1) Unforgettable 1945-1949, (2) The 823 Artillery Bombardment in 1958, (3) Moving the Collection of the National Beiping Palace Museum Southward during the 1930s-40s, and (4) Archives of Gold— Revealing the Secret of Transporting Gold to Taiwan in 1949. Through these workshops, participants could have more understanding and knowledge of ups and downs in history.
5. The HRC was entrusted with executing a plan called “Searching for Coordinates in History” by the Ministry of Education. In 2016, the HRC held 14 camps for high school history teachers and 6 workshops for high school students. Besides, the HRC establishes a database named “Searching for Coordinates in History by Keywords” with lots of keywords (entries) for improving historical teaching and learning in senior high schools. This database will be an excellent self-learning tool for senior high students and also a communication platform for both teachers and students to reach consensus. In this way, there must be a win-win situation for both sides.
II. Scholarly Monographs
In 2016, the HRC published 14 scholarly monographs for “NCCU Humanities Series” and the whole series of Mr. Chiang Kai-shek in 1937-1945. On July 7, the HRC even held a book launch party for Mr. Chiang Kai-shek in 1937-1945 series. With the publication of this series, NCCU has demonstrated its vital role in the study of the history of Republic of China, and the public could thus understand more about the history of the War of Resistance against Japan (also called as the Second Sino-Japanese War).
III. Digitizing Archives of the Republican Period
The HRC continued to digitize archives of the Republican period. Results of the year of 2016 are as follows: 28,761 paperback books published before 1949, 533 records focusing on the Imperial Japanese army in China, 1,000 documents of Chiang Kai-shek’s chronological event transcripts of 1937 and 1939. These are all precious research resources for the study of the history of Republic of China.
IV. Visiting Scholars and Interactions with Other Institutions
In 2016, the HRC welcomed 15 visiting scholars from China. There were also 11 different institutions visiting the HRC, including the Services Division of National Archives Administration in National Development Council, Kobe University from Japan, the Center for Chiang Kai-shek and Modern Chinese History at Zhejiang University, the Institute of Modern History at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Second Historical Archives of China. The HRC looks forwards to further international collaboration with these institutions in the near future. It is obvious that the HRC has become one of leading academic institutions in the study of modern history of China.
V. Financial Status
In addition to general expenses from NCUU’s “Aim for the Top University” Plan, the HRC also tried hard to get funding from other sponsors. With these warm supports, the HRC could hold more academic activities and publish more scholarly monographs. The HRC hopes to increase its influence and visibility and play a leading role in the study of modern history of China. The amount of funding in 2016 was NT$ 3,423,196. Thanks to these generous financial supports, the HRC experienced a fruitful year and held the above activities successfully.