Department of Foreign Languages and literatures


The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (DFLL) was founded in 1926 with the original name of the Department of Western Literature, which was later changed to the Department of Foreign Literatures. Among the renowned faculty in the early stage after the establishment there was Wang Wenxian(John Wong-Quincey), the first dean, who had studied in the UK in his early years and was mainly dedicated to drama composition and literary studies; the production of his English plays had received enthusiastic receptions both at home and abroad. There was also Wu Mi, one of the pioneers of China’s comparative literature studies, and I. A. Richards, an influential advocator of New Criticism. At that time, nearly half of the professors were of foreign nationality.

Under the guidance of such distinguished professors, the Department has produced several master playwrights such as Cao Yu, Li Jianwu and Zhang Junxiang, and hence gained the honorary title of “the Cradle of Playwrights”. Moreover, QianZhongshu, one of the most eminent Chinese literary scholars, JiXianlin, a leading scholar in China's academia, and other famous alumni such as ZhaLiangzheng (Mu Dan), Yang Jiang, Zhao Luorui, TianDewang, Cao Baohua, Li Funing, Wang Zuoliang, XuGuozhang, Ying Ruocheng, XuYuanchong, ZongPu, ZiZhongyun and Hu Zhuanglin, are all the prides of the Department.

After the nationaladjustment of colleges and departments in 1952, the Department of Foreign Literatures was incorporated into Peking University, Beijing Foreign Languages Institute (now Beijing Foreign Studies University) and the Foreign Literatures Institute ofthe Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. However, Tsinghua University enrolled undergraduates majoring in English, Japanese and German in 1965, 1970 and 1974 in order to train foreign languages teachers and diplomatic translators.

The Department was restored in 1983 after a long interval of discontinuity, and currently, it has a center for post-doctoral studies in the First Level Discipline of Foreign Languages and Literatures, a Ph.D. Program in English Language and Literature, three M.A. Programs in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, English Language and Literature, and Japanese Language and Literature, and two undergraduate majors, namely English and Japanese. The Department also offers university-wide language courses in English, Japanese, German, Russian, French, etc. In the past twenty years, the Department has made a tremendous progress in the development of its disciplinary subjects, research, curriculum reform and management, faculty recruitment and training, collaboration with sister universities, and the upgrading of its teaching facilities. For instance, it has been ranked the fifth in the national evaluation of First Level Disciplines both in 2004 and in 2008, and its discipline of Foreign Languages and Literatures was rated as a key discipline inBeijing’s municipal evaluation in 2008. In the same year, its English Major was also rated as a Characteristic Specialty by the Ministry of Education.span>

The department was officially renamed as the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (DFLL) in 2010. It enjoys many national and provincial Excellent Teaching & Research Achievements as well as two National High-quality Courses. Currently, there are about 800 students pursuing studies in the Department and among them about 480 are international students. It has produced in recent years famous graduates like Deng Yaping, Li Xinzhe, and Jiao Sanniu.

Since 1983, with the guidance and support of the University leaders, the Department has invested great efforts in faculty restructuring and recruiting, and has successfully recruited a number of leading scholars in several fields. At the same time, it has explored various possibilities to allow its younger teachers to pursue a Ph.D. degree. The above efforts have brought significant changes to the formation and quality level of the faculty, creating favorable conditions for further development of the disciplines. At present, the Department has 28 full professors and 49 associate professors.

DFLL takes the task of providing foreign language courses and several elective cultural quality courses for the entire university, and plays a fundamental role in Tsinghua University’s education and discipline construction. It is now one of the 38 secondary entities for teaching & scientific research, with nine teaching and researching entities including English Major Undergraduates Teaching and Research Section, Japanese Major Teaching and Research Section, Basic College English Courses Teaching and Research Section, Elective College English Courses Teaching and Research Section, College English for Graduates Teaching and Research Section, German Teaching and Research Section, Russian Teaching and Research Section and French Teaching and Research Section, as well asnineresearch institutes, namely Center for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Center for the Studies of European and American Literatures(CSEAL), Research Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Center for Translation and Interdisciplinary Studies, Research Center for Language and Psychology, Center for Australian Studies, Research Center for European and American Literature, Research Center for College Foreign Languages Testing, and Research Center for College English Writing.

The Department has made significant achievements in academic research. At present, the faculty is undertaking more than 40 national, provincial and international cooperative research projects in all, among which 16 are funded by the National Social Sciences Fund and 1 by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. It has also gained a number of national and provincial Excellent Teaching &Research Achievements and two National High-quality Courses. Since 2001, the faculty members have published annually more than 5academic monographsand over 50 research paperson average in core journals both at home and abroad, covering the fields of linguistics and applied linguistics, literature theory and comparative literature, translation studies, cultural studies, film and media studies, etc. In the recent five years, among all the papers published in English in influential journals overseas, more than 50 have been indexed in SSCI and A&HCI, which is at the forefront of the fields in China. According to certain statistics, the influence of our professors in the First Level Discipline of Foreign Languages and Literatures in China has remained in the leading position.

Meantime, the Department continually broadens its connections and academic exchanges with sister universities at home and abroad to push its research to the forefront of the world, constantly inviting famous scholars to give lectures, some of whom have also been appointed as guest professors. Every year some of its teachers are sent abroad for training, lecturing, or attending international conferences. The Department is also the headquarter or office site for several important academic associations such as the Secretariat of the InternationalLiterary Theory Society, Center of Postmodernism of Chinese Comparative Literature Society, the Stylistics Research Society of Chinese Rhetorical Association, and the Beijing Research Society of College English Teaching, etc. In addition, several professors in the Department are appointed as editorial board members, consultants, or heads of some renownedinternational academic journals, associations and institutions. Recently, it has begun to co-host a number of high-level conferences in literary criticism, linguistics, and translation studies with Yale University, Harvard University, Oxford University and other world-class universities.

The academic tradition of having a thorough knowledge of both the East and West, established by theprestigious predecessors, will be passed down in DFLL forever, flowing in the vein of every faculty member and students through generations.

Currently, Professor Yan Haiping is chair of the Department, Professor Chen Yongguo,ProfessorYangxiaolu,ProfessorZhang Weimin,Professor Cao LIare vice chairs.

Address: Department of Foreign Languages and literatures, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P. R. China

Postal code: 100084

Tel: 86-10-6278 2115

Fax: 86-10-6278 5568