The Themed Lecture of “History and Area Studies” Successfully Launched

On the afternoon of November 7th, 2020, Bi Shihong, Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Yunnan University and Member of the Academic Committee of Institute of International and Area Studies, Tsinghua University (IIAS-THU), gave a wonderful lecture entitled “History and Area Studies” to more than 20 faculty members and students of IIAS in Conference Room 205 of the Central Main Building of Tsinghua University.

Prof. Bi started with the definitions of “area” and “area studies”, by reviewing and summarizing the connotation, discipline orientation and characteristics of area studies. Then he discussed the “interdisciplinary” methodology of area studies and emphasized the importance of comparative studies. Prof. Bi explored some existing concerns in the field of area studies, including the applicability of policy theory and movement theory, and the inherent problems of researchers in developing countries. Finally, Prof. Bi pointed out the relationship between area studies and history, the potential directions of combining world history with area studies in the future and the essential principles of history-oriented area studies.

During the Q&A session, Prof. Bi and the audience engaged in in-depth communication and exchanges on how to deal with the differences in historical views with scholars from other countries, which were highly inspiring to the audience.

Prof. Bi Shihong currently serves as Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Yunnan University. He received Master in International Relations from the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University in 2002 and PhD in History from Institute of Japan Studies, Nankai University in 2012. He was Foreigner Researcher at Waseda University from 2006 to 2007, Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies from 2009 to 2010 and Visiting Researcher at the University of Tokyo from 2014 to 2015. Since 2003, Prof. Bi has taught at the Institute of International Relations, Yunnan University. His research interest focuses on international relations and Southeast Asian studies.

By: Qin Yi
Photography: Yao Ying