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Scientific Research and Academic Activities

      The Department of Foreign Languages was restored in 1983. The twenty years since the restoration have witnessed great changes in the department, especially in faculty recruiting and the development of disciplinary subjects, which have  established a basis for great development. The department has changed from a department focused on offering university-wide language courses in English to a department that focuses on both research and teaching; it now occupies a leading academic position at home and is becoming more and more influential academically abroad. After Tsinghua University joined the 985 project, the department enhanced its efforts in faculty restructuring and recruiting, and has successfully recruited a number of leading university professors in comparative literature, western critical theory
linguistics and translatology.
      Tsinghua University is aiming to rank among the world's first-class universities by the time of  its 100th anniversary in 2011. To keep pace with this blueprint, the department drew up its development scheme, i.e. to advance holistically first-level disciplines in foreign languages and literature and to highlight particularly the development of the English language discipline and applied linguistics. The department has a distinguished faculty, which has contributed greatly to the research in linguistics and applied linguistics, theoretical trends in modern western literature, modern  British and American literature, Sino-western comparative literature, translation study and culture study, and which is becoming more and more influential among fellow scholars at home and abroad. In 2003, the department began to grant Ph.D. degrees in English language and literature. At present, our department has 12 Ph.D. candidates; in addition, there are other Ph.D. candidates in cooperative projects between Tsinghua and sister universities at home and abroad, who focus on comparative literature, world literature and translation research.
      The faculty lay particular emphasis on research.  They have undertaken more than 30 projects at national level, ministry level and of international cooperation, which have won a number of national, and ministry awards. Their frequent attendance at international conferences, participating in  research projects or lecturing abroad broadens their connections and academic exchanges with sister universities at home and abroad. The department is also the headquarters or office for some important academic associations at home and abroad, such as, Secretary Office of International Literature Theory Society, Research Center of Postmodernism of Chinese Comparative Literature Society, Stylistics Research Society of Chinese Rhetorical Association, etc. Furthermore, the department assumes the editorship and translation of the Chinese version of the internationally-renowned journals on literature research, New Literary History and  Critical Inquiry. The department also co-hosts the internationally-renowned journal Perspectives: Studies in Translatology with the Center for Translation Research of the University of Copenhagen.
      As one of the cradles of Chinese modern comparative literature and linguistics, Tsinghua University particularly emphasizes the comparative studies and culture studies that cross the national boundaries and disciplinary limitations. In recent years, the department established the Center for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Center for the Studies of American and European Literatures, Research Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Center for Translation and Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for the Study of Language and Psychology , The Australian Studies Centre.  These centers engage in extensive academic exchange activities, and further strengthen the department’s academic influence at home and abroad.
      The department continually broadens its connections and academic exchanges with sister universities at home and abroad to push its research to the forefront of the world, often inviting famous scholars to give lectures, some of whom have been appointed as guest professors. Every year the department sends some of its teachers abroad for training, lecturing, or attending international conferences.
      These years, the department has established extensive academic exchanges and cooperation relationships with the academic research institutions of over 20 universities in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Africa. The department presided over and hosted more than ten national and international academic conferences, among which the famous and influential ones are the 3rd Bilateral Colloquium on Sino-American Comparative Literature, Senior Forum on Tsinghua-Harvard Postcolonialism Theory, Senior Forum on Tsinghua-Oxford World English, Forum on Globalization and Culture, Ibsen and China: International Colloquium---towards An Aesthetic Construction, Inquiry on Criticism: International Colloquium---towards An Interpretation of A Critique Theory, Tsinghua-Lingnan International Colloquium on Translation, Special Lecture on Sino-Japan Relationship, Colloquium on Sino-Japan Relationship in 21st Century. Tsinghua University and Translators Association of China co-hosted the FIT Fourth Asian Translators' Forum.
      The academic characteristics of the faculty are embodied in striving to keep up with the international theoretical forefront in academic study; on one hand, they endeavor to introduce the latest developments in foreign linguistics, literature and culture research precisely and holistically into China; on the other hand, they endeavor to introduce the splendid heritage and literature of Chinese culture to the world, so that they can have  communication on an equal footing with international academic circles. The faculty produced many research papers, which can be found in dozens of Chinese and international academic journals. These papers cover such disciplinary subjects like linguistics and applied linguistics, translation research, culture research, literature theory, comparative study, media and so on. In the past five years, there have been over twenty English papers published by the faculty that are indexed in SSCI and A&HCI.
      In recent years, the department consistently enhances its support and incentives for academic research. Since 2001, at home and abroad, the faculty published annually more than 5 books on average, and more than 50 academic papers in core journals. The Academic Committee, with the support of the department and the School, increased the incentive for academic research, so as to encourage the faculty to have high-quality papers published in important local and international  journals.

 

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