In Sun Yat-sen University, history, anthropology, sociology, and economics as fields of studies have always been closely connected with one another. Inheriting the academic tradition of their predecessors, faculties of History and Anthropology Departments have been working closely with overseas scholars on a number of joint-projects since the 1980s. Such cooperation allows them to stand at the frontier of the international academic arena, to integrate effectively the methodologies of the two disciplines, and to explore the techniques of conducting fieldwork in local societies. Over the years, a considerable number of outstanding outcomes have been achieved in the studies of ethnicity and regional culture, popular beliefs and religions, and of traditional rural societies.
To institutionalize such interdisciplinary interactions, the Centre for Historical Anthropology was officially established at Sun Yat-sen University in March 2001. Since its founding, the Centre has been gearing towards producing serious academic works, adopting both historical and anthropological perspectives, applying theories and methodologies of other humanities and social science disciplines, exchanging views and ideas with scholars worldwide. The Centre has also been trying to do its best to develop framework and facilities to support researches, and to employ every possible means to cultivate junior scholars. At the moment, the Centre is undertaking about 20 projects funded by the central and provincial governments as well as overseas institutes. By conducting a series of in-depth studies on ethnicity and regional culture, popular beliefs and religions, as well as traditional rural societies, members of the Centre are exploring new framework of analysis for interpreting the evolution of regional society of China and the process of making of China as a historical entity. By offering new interpretations, members of the Centre believe that studies of Chinese society would contribute substantially to historical, anthropological, humanities, and social science studies as a whole in both theoretical and methodological terms. Simultaneously, with their professional knowledge and interdisciplinary advantages, members of the Centre have produced a considerable number of consultation reports for the central and local governments, and making substantial contributions to the development of contemporary Chinese society and economy.
Director: Prof. LIU Zhiwei
Deputy Director: Prof. ZHOU Daming
Chair of the Academic Committee: Prof. HUANG Shuping