About CCS

Founded in 1957, the Center for Chinese Studies is now one of the most active and respected research centers in the nation. The Center puts on a full program of public activities each semester. These include lectures, colloquia, film screenings, performances, and scholarly conferences. CCS also hosts individual visiting scholars from many countries, and coordinates the visits of Chinese delegations and other China-related activities on campus. CCS provides research grants annually to Berkeley faculty in Chinese studies, and hosts an annual postdoctoral fellowship in Chinese studies. The Center also provides various forms of support for graduate student research on every aspect of Chinese studies, and across many different disciplines.

Research sponsored by the Center focuses on Chinese culture and society in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries. Over 70 core faculty members in twenty-five departments on the Berkeley campus are affiliated with the Center. The current research and outreach agenda of the Center for Chinese Studies focuses on the humanities and social sciences, and also the professional schools.


Nicolas Tackett Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Nicolas Tackett, a History Department faculty member affiliated with the Center for Chinese Studies was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships in 2018. The awards went to 173 scholars "on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise."

Nicolas Tackett is Associate Professor of History and teaches courses on pre-modern China and global history. His first book, The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy, sought to explain the long-term survival and then the complete disappearance of the great aristocratic families that dominated political life in China during much of the first millennium CE. His second book, The Origins of the Chinese Nation: Song China and the Forging of an East Asian World Order, explored the evolution of a “national consciousness” among Chinese educated elites of the eleventh-century, an evolution occurring in the context of concomitant developments in the East Asian inter-state system.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, Professor Tackett will work on a third book, entitled "The Rise of the Chinese Meritocracy: The Transformation of Elite Culture in Tenth-Century China." A sequel to his first book this book examines the rise in the tenth and early eleventh centuries of a new ethos favoring merit over blood as a primary marker of status. This cultural shift came in the wake of the destruction of the medieval aristocracy, and explains why a new aristocracy did not emerge in the Song period. Instead, by the early eleventh century, the civil service examination had become a major avenue of recruitment into the bureaucracy. Professor Tackett explains this cultural shift in part on the basis of the extensive migrations of the tenth century, which resulted in the reconstitution of an entirely new political elite at the capital of the early Song Dynasty.

Excerpted from https://www.gf.org/fellows/all-fellows/nicolas-tackett/

CCS Recognizes Librarian Jianye He for Special Service to the Community

The Center for Chinese Studies would like to recognize Jianye He, librarian for Chinese materials at the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, for her continued excellence in service to the community of China scholars. Many library users -- faculty, students, visiting scholars -- appreciate her care and diligence in finding materials relevant to their research. Thank you, Jianye!

The C. V. Starr East Asian Library Receives Monumental Gift

The C. V. Starr East Asian Library recently received a gift from Ms. Leying Jiang (UC Davis, M.A. '93) and her husband, Professor Scott Rozelle (B.S. '79), of the newly published reprint of the Wenlan ge siku quanshu 文瀾閣四庫全書.

Compiled between 1773 and 1782 at the direction of the Qianlong emperor, Siku quanshu (Complete library of the four treasuries) is the largest collectanea in the Chinese tradition, comprised of 3,461 titles in 79,309 juan and totaling approximately one billion characters. Texts date from the earliest times into the eighteenth century, and are organized into four subject categories: classics (jing 經), histories (shi 史), philosophy (zi 子), and literature (ji 集).

The Siku Commission originally produced seven hand-copied sets of the compilation. Four were placed in imperial palace libraries, in the Forbidden City's Wenyuan ge 文淵閣, in the Old Summer Palace's Wenyuan ge 文源閣, in the Shenyang palaces Wensu ge 文溯閣, and in the Wenjin ge 文津閣 of the summer retreat at Rehe. The remaining three were deposited in libraries built by wealthy merchants in Hangzhou, Yangzhou, and Zhenjiang, and graced with names chosen by the Qianlong emperor: the Wenlan ge 文瀾閣, the Wenhui ge 文匯閣, and the Wenzong ge 文宗閣, respectively.

The Yangzhou and Zhenjiang copies were destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1850s. A third copy disappeared when British and French troops burned the Old Summer Palace in 1860. Three copies survived these years intact: the Forbidden City copy, now at the National Palace Museum, Taibei; the Wenjin ge copy, now at the National Library of China, Beijing; and the Wensu ge copy, now in Lanzhou.

The Wenlan ge copy survived, although not intact—portions had been destroyed or dispersed during the Taiping occupation of Hangzhou in the early 1860s. This loss fortunately came to the notice of two local bibliophiles, Ding Shen 丁申 and Ding Bing 丁丙, in the aftermath of the rebellion. Scouting out and acquiring stray volumes when they could, the brothers managed to recover a substantial part of the original work, then set about having hand copies made of missing volumes. The latter effort continued into the Republican era and was finally completed by Qian Xun 錢恂, founding director of the Zhejiang Library, and Zhang Zongxiang 張宗祥, commissioner of education for Zhejiang Province. However, the Wenlan ge copy again came under threat during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when it was removed first to Guiyang and then to Chongqing for safekeeping. In spite of its inconstant history, the Wenlan ge copy of the Siku is regarded today as the most complete of the extant copies.

To preserve this national treasure and make it available to researchers and the general public, in 2004 the Hangzhou Publishing Group 杭州出版社 began the ambitious task of reprinting the Wenlan ge copy of the Siku. The project was completed more than a decade later, in 2015. In the interim, the publisher encountered numerous difficulties, including a four-year hiatus due to a lack of funding. Fortunately, magnanimous support from Mr. Song Weiping 宋卫平 and colleagues at the China Greentown Group 綠城中國集團 salvaged the project. Mr. Song and many of his colleagues had studied history at Hangzhou University as part of the class of 1977—the first group of students to attend university after the Cultural Revolution. It was their passion for China's cultural heritage and their determination to preserve this valuable part of it that allowed the publisher finally to finish the project.

This is the third copy of the Siku to be reprinted, after the Wenyuan ge and Wenjin ge copies. Hangzhou Publishing Group has issued three hundred sets of Wenlan ge siku quanshu, each complete in 1,559 volumes. EAL's newly received set is one of only two copies in the U.S. Leying Jiang and Scott Rozelle made their generous gift to the East Asian Library in celebration of the three generations of their extended family that have graduated from the University of California and thrived.

C.V. Starr East Asian Library acquires massive and rare Chinese film studies collection

Paul Fonoroff has two rules when it comes to collecting. "You have to be passionate about it," he deadpans. "And it has to be something that no one else is interested in."

That maxim helped the Cleveland native amass over 70,000 movie posters, periodicals, photos, lobby cards, theater flyers and other movie ephemera while he lived in Beijing and Hong Kong. Fonoroff's massive collection — which is the largest of its kind in North America and rivals what can be found at film archives in Asia — was recently acquired by UC Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library, opening an enormous cache to researchers and the public.

"I'm very excited that this collection ended up here because it's so hard to get these materials," says Chinese language and film studies professor Weihong Bao. "It's vast, but it's unique. There's really rare stuff in there, and it's exciting for our students and researchers in this field."

Bao's excitement is well-founded. Before it was made public, Fonoroff's collection was notorious within cinema circles. Or, as Bao puts it, "It was one of the worst kept secrets in the field." Before being shipped to Berkeley, the collection was housed in first one and eventually two apartments in Hong Kong.

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