Taiwans 2020 Tang Prize Laureate Wang Gungwu to Talk about the Many Faces of Sinology


TAIWAN - Media OutReach - 15 September 2020 - Given the span and complexity of Chinese history, it is not surprising only a handful of people can have a comprehensive knowledge of it. The Tang Prize Foundation and National Chengchi University will co-host the 2020 Tang Prize Masters' Forum for Sinology, scheduled to take place from 2p.m. to 4p.m. (GMT+8), Taiwan time, on September 22, at the University's Art & Culture Centre. Prof. Wang Gungwu, 2020 Tang Prize winner in Sinology and world authority on the study of the Chinese overseas, will speak on the topic, "The High Road to Pluralist Sinology."

Also featured in this forum are Prof. Huang Chin-shing, vice president and academician of Academia Sinica, Prof. Chen Kuo-tung, research fellow of Academia Sinica's Institute of History and Philology, and Prof. Yang Jui-sung, professor and vice dean of National Chengchi University's College of Liberal Arts.

The Tang Prize in Sinology recognizes the study of Sinology in its broadest sense, which encompasses not only Chinese philology, linguistics, literature and art but also Chinese thought and history. Erudite and perceptive, Prof. Wang spent nearly four decades steeped in the research on the history of the Chinese overseas, Sino-foreign relations, Southeast Asia, trade, as well as maritime history. His works broke new ground in Chinese studies.

Looking at China from the periphery, he is able to provide unique insights about China's changing place in the world and come up with innovative interpretations of Sinology's important role in the modern society. It is for all these achievements that he was awarded the 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology. In this forum, he will open a discussion on the traditions of Sinology that also delves into the meaning behind China studies in the new world order.


He will begin by tracing its evolution and contemporary developments before examining the newest trends and exploring the continuity of such studies for the future. Prof. Wang will be joined by distinguished scholars in a panel discussion to further examine and understand the diverse values and future outlook of the field of Sinology.

As the old Chinese saying goes: "History is like a mirror, reflecting how an empire rises and falls." China's growing influence in the 21st century reshaped the world order.

While the Sino-US tensions keep mounting, the South China Sea has also become a dangerous flashpoint. A deeper knowledge of China is therefore what citizens of the world should strive to acquire. As the leading historian on Sino-Southeast Asian relations, Prof. Wang developed a unique approach to understanding China, filling the gap in Sinology created by the dominance of more conventional narratives about China constructed out of either an internalist perspective or China's position in relation to the West. He scrutinizes China's long and complex history to offer people living in the contemporary era his original views on modern China that are different from those emerging amid international political conflicts.

The moderator and panelists for the forum are all eminent scholars in the fields of Chinese history and philosophy. Prof. Huang Chin-shing specializes in Chinese intellectual history, historiography and religious culture. Prof. Chen Kuo-tung is an expert on the economic and maritime history of the Ming and Qing period. His recent research centers on the advent of globalization over the past five centuries. Prof. Yang Jui-sung serves as the vice dean of the College of Liberal Arts and director of the office of Lo Chia-luen International Sinology Chair. His main research includes late imperial and modern Chinese thought, cultural history as well as psychohistory and historiography.

About Tang Prize
Dr. Samuel Yin, chairman of Ruentex Group, founded the Tang Prize in December of 2012 as an extension of the supreme value his family placed on education. Harkening back to the golden age of the Tang Dynasty in Chinese history, the Tang Prize seeks to be an inspiring force for people working in all corners of the world. For more information on the Tang Prize and its laureates, please visit www.tang-prize.org


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