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Second PESETO Humanities Conference Held at PKU

Peking University, Beijing, April 13, 2010The Second PESETO Humanities Conference was held at Zhongguanyuan Global Village, Peking University on April 9th to 11th. More than thirty scholars from three universities and forty graduate students studying humanities came to PKU to attend the China- Japan-South Korea academic conference. Cheng Yuzhui, director of the PKU Faculty of Social Sciences, and Niu Dayong, dean of the PKU Dept. of History presided over the opening and closing ceremonies respectively.


Prof. Yang He, the PKU Council vice chairman, delivered the opening speech, in which he introduced the basic information, the recent achievements, and the future direction and target of Humanities of PKU. He pointed out that this conference would increase the communication of the three universities in the areas of humanities and promote the common progress of academy, for the conference gathered the strongest force on humanities from the best universities of China, Japan, and South Korea, the three most important Asian countries, and took place at Peking University, which has a long and deep-rooted humanistic tradition. In addition, Prof. Hisao Komatsu, director of the University of Tokyo (UT) Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Prof. Chang-Ku Byun, dean of the Seoul National University (SNU) College of Humanities, gave splendid speeches on behalf of their universities respectively.


Then, Prof. Yan Shaodang and Prof. Wang Xiaoqiu chaired the academic part of the conference. The theme of the conference, which consisted of six academic reports and twelve academic comments, is “the modern value of Asian humanistic classics”. The contents of the conference included the classic humanistic works of China, Japan, and Korea: Romans of Three Kingdoms, the classic historical novel of China with which was concerned by scholars from the three universities; Records of the Grand Historian of China, The Tale of Genji of Japan, Series of Mingnan Building, of Korea, and so on. Prof. Furuido Hideo and Fujiwara Katsumi from UT, Prof. So Kyong-ho and Park Hee-byoung from SNU, and Prof. Liu Yongqiang and He Jin from PKU made the keynote speech. And then, twelve professors from the three universities made academic comments on the six reports, with free questions and discussions from attendees after each comment, improving everyone’s comprehension of the reports and comments. Simultaneous interpretation services were provided in this conference, which guaranteed the communication effectively and in time. After the heated discussion and friendly exchange of thoughts, almost all the scholars said that they had learned a lot from others.


Zhang Guoyou, the PKU vice president, delivered the closing remark. He expressed the hope that scholars from the three universities would have further communication and discussion based on the present cooperation and would improve the quality and influence of Humanities together.


In the future, the humanities studies of Peking University, the University of Tokyo, and the Seoul National University will form “powerful alliances” and communicate together. By means of high-level academic conference, exchange of deep thoughts, and exploration of the humanistic frontier, the three universities will enhance their own academic level and social influence. Peking University has a long history of more than a hundred years and the subjects of Chinese literature, history, philosophy, archaeology, foreign languages and literature, and arts are its traditional strengths. However, the humanities of our university are faced with many challenges and problems, one of which is the limitation of subject fields and research methods, especially the interdisciplinary and transnational studies. On the contrary, scholars from Japan and Korea have studied Chinese culture for a long time and have some unique points of view and outstanding achievements, which can be supplementary to the research of our university. The continuous conference held by the three universities will be of great significance to disseminate research results of humanities and learn valuable experience from other countries


According to the consultation, the next PESETO Humanities Conference will be held at the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 2012. Scholars of PKU related to the humanities will attend the conference then.



Translated by: Cao Yixing

Edited by: Jennifer Yan

Source: PKU News (Chinese)