Peking University, April 22: Between April4 and April17, 2016, Patrick J. Geary, Professor of Medieval History at the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), visited Peking University (PKU) and gave lectures for PKU Global Fellowship.
On the afternoon of April6, Li Yansong, vice president of PKU, met with Professor Geary and extended warm welcome to him in Linhuxuan. And Professor Geary introduced to Li the current condition of the IAS. They both agreed that there was a solid foundation and broad prospects for the cooperation between PKU and IAS.
Professor Geary (left) presented with the bronze medal of PKU Global Fellowship
In the following days, Professor Geary gave several lectures concerning historical studies. He shared his thoughts and findings and the future possibilities of development in historical sciences.
First Lecture: New Progress in the European History in Early Middle Ages
On the afternoon of April6, Professor Geary gave his first lecture in the underground auditorium of No.2 Gymnasium. He covered the topic in depth and introduced several new directions in the research of early Medieval European history.
Professor Geary giving the lecture
In the lecture, Professor Geary paid particular attention to the problem of the recognition of European identity, which was the cutting-edge problem in contemporary Europe. Nowadays, many researchers resorted to the study of historical origins to recognize a single European identity.
Professor Geary also said that new methods and new perspectives contributed a lot to the research process. For instance, historians now attach great importance to the study of the original manuscripts. They also try to integrate the methods of archaeology, new materials and new technologies to make up for the shortages of written materials. These new directions are of great help to the contemporary issues of European identity.
Second Lecture: A View of the Barbarian Invasions Based on DNA
On the morning of April 9, Professor Geary’s second speech was delivered in No.2 Gymnasium. He said that many historians have begun to cooperate with archeologists and molecular biologists. They try to obtain and analyze the genetic data and build a model to solve some historical problems on which no consensus was reached.
According to Professor Geary, applying genetic technology to historical researches is a new attempt in interdisciplinary studies. This new method is of great importance in the future development of historical studies.
Interdisciplinary Seminar: DNA & Historical Researches
On the afternoon of April 9, an interdisciplinary seminar was held in Tan Siu Lin Center of International Studies. Professor Geary and many other leading scholars attended the seminar. They discussed the feasibility, accuracy and limitations of the new methods in interdisciplinary researches, such as applying genetic technology to historical studies and so on.
Written by: Zhou Yixiu
Edited by: Xu Liangdi