Centre of Chaoshan Cultural Studies
The Center was founded towards the end of 1990, aiming at the research on the history and culture of Chaoshan region, with the tenet of serving the construction of a material and spiritual civilization of the region.
The research on the history and culture of Chaoshan region has been carried out in response to the trend of regional and social research in recent years. This kind of research emphasizes that the geographical environment is a vital framework of human activity, regards space as an important means to observe the history, notices the economic and cultural development of the grass-roots society, economy and culture. It focuses on how the systems and policies vary in a given region and how they react to the changes of socioeconomic structure of the region. The Center deals with two aspects of the following work:
I. Its scope of geographical research can be flexibly in line with the differences of research perspectives. From a historical and cultural perspective, the geographical scope of Chaoshan region can be extended to the whole east of Guangdong Province including Meizhou, Shanwei or even as far as Zhangzhou City in the south of Fujian Province; From a socioeconomic perspective, the scope can be extended to include the entire Hanjiang River Delta. Ever since ancient times, Hanjiang River was the transportation channel that bordered Fujian Province, Guangdong Province and Jiangxi Province. The three provinces had frequent economic ties and even was integrated. Today, a common concern for enhancing cooperation and driving the regional economic development of the coastal cities has been put onto the agenda of the 3 provinces and 10 municipalities in this region. Chaoshan is regarded as the core region of the Hanjiang River Delta economic zone. If our perspective is shifted to overseas emigrants or trade activities, the local history of Chaozhou and Shantou may not be just confined to China’s Mainland, but could include the areas of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Southeast Asia where Teochewese flourished and prospered. Hundreds of years of overseas emigration and trade activities made Chaozhou, Shantou and the above regions into a Teochewese interaction circle. The historical and cultural development of Chaoshan region is indispensable for the formation and development of this circle.
II. No social and scientific research is carried out without the gathering, collecting and sorting out of data. Hence, in the research of the Chaoshan Chinese language, the establishment of “Research Data-bank of Chaoshan Cultural Studies” is inevitable and absolutely necessary. We’ll spare no efforts to build Center of Chaoshan Cultural Studies of Shantou University into a “Research Data-bank of Chaoshan Cultural Studies” by collecting literature, archives, oral historical data, survey reports, photos, audios and videos studied by the Teochewese both at home and abroad, making these data-access free to the Center. Scholars and academic groups from home and abroad are able to read, use and examine various academic issues regarding Chaoshan local history.
Ever since the foundation of Centre of Chaoshan Cultural Studies, researchers have jointly finished 8 projects, 2 of which were key research projects of social sciences under the eighth five-year plan of Guangdong Province: “Research on Chaoshan Culture” (1993-1995). Another was a key research project of social sciences under the ninth five-year plan of Guangdong Province: “Chaoshan of 16th Century” (1997-1998). Still another was a special case of social sciences on higher education of Guangdong Province: “Brief Introduction to Chaoshan History” (1994-1996). One state project of social sciences “Chaoshan Histroy” (1999-2001) has been completed. The book “Chaoshan Histroy”(2001) compiled by Huang Ting and Chen Zhangshan has been awarded 3 prize of Guangdong philosophical and sociological achievement.
The Center works closely with Center of Chaoshan History and Cultural Studies — a local non-governmental academic group and has jointly compiled “Chaoshan Library.” The two centers have jointly published over 30 volumes of local literature and research works. Besides. The Center of the University also started an academic journal called “Chaozhou Cultural Studies” in 1994 with 8 periodicals already published. Due to its excellent academic value, the journal has been well accepted by the academic circles and was awarded “Excellent Achievement” in 2002.
Centre of Chaoshan Cultural Studies will make full use of the personnel resourses and geographical advantages and try its utmost to establish its research features based on its historical and cultural research of Chaoshan region.
Currently, the Center is working on a project “Chaozhou and Shantou Culture in the Song and Yuan compiled by associate research fellow Chen Zhangshan. Mr Chen attended “Chaozhou and Shantou Cultural Forum” organized by Chaozhou International Community in July, 2006 and acted as a keynote speaker of “Chaozhou Merchants and Confucius Ethics.” He participated in a seminar “Chaozhou-Shantou Commercial Port and Urban Development”and submitted his paper “Shantou Commercial Port and its Course of Modernization.” He also attended “the 7th International Conference on Chaozhou Culture” held in Chaozhou City and presented his paper “an Analysis on Chaozhou History and Events since its Establishment.”Dynasties”,