The goal of the International Committee of Historical Sciences to focus on activities that encompass a global community of historians rather than events that are purely Eurocentric, will be realized in August, said Marjatta Hietala, president of the ICHS.
"We have to cross borders in order to understand different cultures, ideologies, methods and to collaborate. This goal will be realized with the 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences being held in China in 2015," said Hietala, a professor of general history at the University of Tampere in Finland. Known as the world's most influential academic event on historical science, the international conference will be held in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, from Aug 23 to 29. Since it was established in 1900, the event has never been held in an Asian country.
"The upcoming 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences will be a great turning point in the international historian field," said Robert Frank, secretary-general of ICHS.
"This year's congress will show how successful recent efforts by historians have been to avoid Eurocentrism or to avoid research too much centered on the Western point of view. It will also show how successful is their attempt to promote global history and transnational history."
Wang Yuji, chief counselor for the 22nd congress, agreed.
"The congresses have always been pursuing internationally oriented academic ideas since their foundation in 1900, such as the second congress held in Rome in 1903 that called for 'cross borders'. "
"This year's congress ... is a breakthrough to endorse academic ideas that are more international-oriented." The conference's organizing committee said 1,800 experts and scholars had registered for the congress by May 16.
They include representatives from 79 countries and regions, breaking the record made by the San Francisco congress in 1975.
"This global and transnational turn will be very well represented at the Jinan Congress," Frank said. The upcoming conference will mainly involve four major themes: China from global perspectives; historicizing emotions; revolutions in world history; and the digital turn in history.
The first major theme will mainly deal with the relations and links between China and the world throughout history, Frank said.
Wang said the congress will be a great platform for historians to exchange ideas and improve their academic methods.
"The fourth major theme which will discuss how the new technologies produce new archives, new tools, new approaches for historians will supply valuable information for Chinese historians," said Wang.
The conference's organizing committee will pay the travel expenses for 52 attendees and offer free accommodation to 132 attendees, most of whom will come from developing countries. The first International Prize for History will be delivered during the congress. Frank said the winner is French historian Serge Gruzinski.
Representatives from the Association of Chinese Historians and Shandong University attend the 100-days countdown ceremony of the 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences.Wang Qian / China Daily
(China Daily 05/22/2015 page15)