From July 6th to August 28th, 2020, the 6th ZJU Postgraduate International Summer School and the online lecture Towards a Multicultural Global History were successfully held via video conference on DingTalk platform. The Postgraduate summer school was organized and conducted by Zhongping Chen, a renowned professor of global history in the Department of History in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, Canada, and was attended by more than 80 graduate students in the Department of Chinese and World History in the Faculty of Humanities at Zhejiang University. The project was a combination of weekly online research lectures and offline seminars and learning.
On July 6th, the first online lecture began with a self-introduction by Prof. Zhongping Chen, who expressed his expectations to the students of the International Summer School based on his own experience and academic life. Prof. Chen then took a wide range of topics from the Western European centrism in the study of world history to the sino-centrism in the study of Chinese history, under the three general themes of Chinese history, world history, and global History. In these lectures, the students gained a better understanding of the relationship between global and local history. Global history is not a history about everything that happens around the world, but a history of global interactions; meanwhile, local history can have a global perspective, and we can also look at regional/local history from the height of global exchanges and influences.
Over the following weeks, seven lectures were held in an active learning atmosphere. The 83 graduate students, under the guidance of Professor Chen, focused on the general theme of Towards a Multicultural Global History with the question, Why theories and multicultural perspectives are important for history?,Why local history could also be global history, and vice versa?, Why Textual research and quantitative history are useful for historical studies? 、 Why cultural, ethnic, and diaspora studies could advance transnational Chinese history?, Why biographical approach and bibliographical works are important for historical studies? Why Zheng He’s maritime voyages linked up pre-modern China and world? and Why Kang Youwei’s political reforms overseas were significant for both modern China and world? These seven related sub-topics are discussed in different ways, and the issues raised in the course each week are carefully discussed and presented in class, culminating in the presentation of a fascinating academic course paper.
This postgraduate summer school is a collaboration between the Department of History, School of Humanities, Zhejiang University and the Department of History, College of Humanities, University of Victoria, Canada, with its purpose of further promoting the cooperation between the two institutions, broadening the international horizons of our students and keeping up with the international academic standards.