Research Center for China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection of East China Normal University
Formerly known as the Research Center for the Preservation and Development of Chinese Folklore of East China Normal University (ECNU), the Research Center for China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection of ECNU was founded in 2002 by Professor Chen Qinjian, then Vice President of the Chinese Folklore Society and Director of the Department of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (TCFL) at ECNU. The establishment of the Center is a result of the academic origins of the Great China University in the 1930s, the teaching and research practices of folklore literature that emerged after the national restructuring of faculties in the 1950s, and the teaching and research pioneering after the official title of folklore studies in the 1980s and 1990s. It is recognized as unique in the field of folklore education and research in domestic universities. Over the years, the folklore research at ECNU under Chen Qinjian's leadership has been at the forefront at home and abroad, and his cutting-edge thinking on folklore theory exerts a profound influence to this day. He has published 10 monographs, 9 edited books, and more than 180 papers, and has won 7 social science awards at the provincial and ministerial levels, including the first prize of the Shanhua Award of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
At the beginning of this century, when there was only initial attention and insufficient theory and practice on intangible cultural heritage in China, Professor Chen Qinjian, together with relevant experts, was involved in the construction of national, provincial and municipal intangible cultural heritage theories and the revision of protection regulations. By improving the research methodology and theoretical system of intangible cultural heritage from the perspective of folklore, he devoted himself to the localization of intangible cultural heritage studies. In the past ten years, he has been extensively involved in the preliminary discussion, application, evaluation and research of national intangible cultural heritage protection, and has been a reviewer of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth batches of national and Shanghai intangible cultural heritage projects. Entrusted by the Ministry of Culture, he went to Shandong, Shanxi, Anhui, Gansu, Ningxia, and Tianjin to supervise and guide their intangible cultural heritage protection. At the Shanghai World Expo Summit, he was invited to give a presentation on the relationship between urban cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage protection, and received a certificate of appreciation from the Executive Director of the Expo. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to intangible cultural heritage protection, he was awarded the title of National Advanced Worker in Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection by the Ministry of Personnel, PRC and the Ministry of Culture.
In view of the long-term project practice and development needs, in 2008, the Center changed its name to the Research Center for China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection of ECNU. Inheriting its fine tradition in academic research on intangible cultural heritage, it has published a number of highly influential papers in the field of intangible cultural heritage protection, which have been reprinted by Xinhua Digest and Jiefang Daily. In its works on intangible cultural heritage such as Return to Life: Theoretical and Practical Research on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Revitalizing Tradition, Keeping the Righteous and Producing New: Excellent Practice in the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Shanghai, it focuses on a number of vertical and horizontal frontier topics related to folklore and intangible cultural heritage protection, provides more diversified and profound ideas for the development of contemporary society from the perspective of folklore research, and offers innovative research methods, theoretical basis and practical cases for the protection of intangible cultural heritage in China. This process has been accompanied by the continuous growth of the Center's team. On the basis of academic research, professors and experts uphold the academic philosophy of governing and benefiting the people to provide services to the government and society. The team has been involved in the development of local intangible cultural heritage regulations and plans in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta region. Multiple team members, as experts of Shanghai Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Committee, have participated in the application of intangible cultural heritage projects and evaluation of special projects, and provided professional consultation for staff training and terminology analysis. They have taken part in the protection, creativity, development, planning or evaluation of cultural heritage of dozens of influential national, provincial, municipal and local ancient villages and towns; written local textbooks on intangible cultural heritage of intangible cultural heritage in schools and communities and compiled school-based textbooks on intangible cultural heritage for featured high schools; compiled local chronicles with new concepts and presentation for the ancient towns of Sanlin and Hengmian; and were commissioned by the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture to make documentaries about inheritors of national intangible cultural heritage preservation projects ...
Moreover, as the Center is part of the School of International Chinese Studies, it assumes the mission of spreading intangible cultural heritage. By offering courses on traditional culture for international students from different countries in colleges and universities, it tells stories about China's intangible cultural heritage and organizes related experience activities. Researcher Zhou Xiaoxia, former director of the Confucius Institute in Turin, Italy, the Confucius Institute in Basel, Switzerland, and the Confucius Institute in New York, USA, is also director of the International?Center?for?UNESCO?ASPnet (ICUA), a secondary organization of UNESCO; Researcher Dai Lan, former director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Oregon and the Confucius Institute at the University of Basel in Switzerland, has made significant contributions to international exchanges and research on intangible cultural heritage in recent years. In addition, the Center has made international academic exchanges and cooperation with Kanagawa University in Japan for 17 years, with more than ten teachers and doctoral students dispatched. While training young scholars, this ensures that the Center's academic research continues to be at the forefront of the world.
The Center is committed to in-depth theoretical research from the perspective of traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage, exploring academic frontiers, and applying theoretical research results to areas closely related to contemporary social development such as popular education and cultural undertakings, thus realizing the ultimate value of disciplines in serving society, enlightening the public, and promoting cultural revival.