Our predecessor was the Department of Culture and History, established in 1934 at the College of Gansu. It was developed into the Department of History of Lanzhou University in 1946. In July 2004, the department was renamed the School of History of Culture and merged the School of Ethnic Studies in December 2015 for the diversification of our disciplines. Historically, numerous respected professors have served on board, including the famous scholar of Chinese culture, Gu Jiegang (顾颉刚), who was the founding director of the department. Other renowned former professors included Zhang Shunhui (张舜徽), Shi Nianhai (史念海), Yang Xiangkui (杨向奎), Wang Shuming (王树民), Zhao Lisheng (赵俪生), Zhang Menglun (张孟伦), Li Tianhu (李天祜), and Tang Jifang (汤季芳). It was with their cumulative efforts that our school established a leading position in historical and cultural studies among universities of equal status.
Our school emphasizes both research and teaching in building our disciplines. We currently have two MOE(Ministry of Education)-sponsored key research bases of humanities, namely the Institute of Dunhuang Studies and the Center for Studies of Ethnic Minorities. Besides that, the School also boasts one state-level discipline (Ethnic Studies), one state-level key discipline (Studies of Historical Literature), two provincial-level disciplines (Ethic Studies and Chinese History), two post-doctoral stations (Chinese History [Dunhuang Studies] and Ethnic Studies), two first-level doctoral majors (Ethnic Studies and Chinese History), four first-level postgraduate majors (Chinese History, World History, Archaeology, and Ethnic Studies), one state-level talent incubator for humanities (Historical Studies), as well as five undergraduate majors (Historical Studies [top level], Historical Studies [major level], World History, Studies of Cultural Relics and Museology, and Ethnic Studies).
There are currently 97 teaching staff at the School of History and Culture, among whom 84 are full-time teachers, 33 are professors, 33 are associate professors, and 18 are lecturers. 70 of our teaching staff hold doctoral degrees. There are 21 doctoral supervisors and 50 postgraduate supervisors at the School. On our professorial board are one special-term Cheung Kong Scholar, one member of the Discipline Management Board of the State Council, one scholar from the National Double-One Talent Project (国家百千万人才工程), five MOE-sponsored scholars from New Century Talent Program, six leading scholars of Gansu, one member from the appraisal board of National Funding for Humanities and Social Science, one established supervisor of excellent doctoral theses, as well as one prize-winner in the National Evaluation of Educational Code of Ethics.
The School of History and Culture highlights a holistic educational system that allows students, especially those majored in Chinese History and Ethnic Studies, opportunities to fulfill their education from undergraduate studies to postdoctoral research. Our educational process emphasizes the importance of basic theoretical studies and instruction for undergraduate students while pinpointing unique research edges for postgraduate students. We encourage dedication and industrial spirits among our students. Since the Reform and Opening Up, around 3,000 students have graduated from our undergraduate majors and 800 from postgraduate majors.
The School of History and Culture boasts incomparable advantages and expertise in its Dunhuang Studies, Silk Road Studies, Historical Studies of Northwest China, Ethnic Studies, Studies of Ethnic Minorities in Northwest China, and Studies of Russia and Central Asia. The past five years have witnessed the School’s immense academic growth with the contribution of our research teams and staff who were granted abundant research funding for the significance of their research programs. Our research staff have so far published about 1,000 journal articles and undertaken more than 160 MOE-sponsored research programs with an accumulated funding of 30 million RMB. More than a dozen of the research results have won provincial rewards. The School also runs two journals - Journal of Dunhuang Studies and Journal of Ethnic Studies - given its unique edge in the two 985- and 211-disciplines of Dunhuang Studies and Ethnic Studies.
The School of History and Culture has increased international exchanges in the recent five years by establishing cooperation with world universities and organizations, such as Harvard University, Yale University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Kyoto University, Waseda University, Kyushu University, The Oriental Library, Institute of Oriental Literatures of Russian Academy of Science, National Library of France, Far East Institute of France, British Library, Uppsala University of Sweden, Irkutsk State University of Russia, Institute of Languages of Turkey, and Yildiz Technical University of Turkey. Our school encourages both students and the faculty for international exchanges at world-leading institutes and universities. We periodically invite international scholars for lectures at LZU and sends our own scholars to attend international conferences. We provide venues for academic conferences and events for both domestic and international scholars. It is hoped that with increasing international exchanges we will rank among one of the leading institutes in historical and cultural studies in the world.
In 1995, the School of History and Literature was granted “National Talents Cultivation Base for Basic Studies and Research”. In 2001, it ranked among the excellent schools in the 2001 MOE appraisal of all such bases. In 2007, through MOE’s educational reform program, our History major was granted special attention and support, with a talent cultivation pilot project being established as a result. Since 2012, we have initiated our teaching and curriculum reform for the undergraduate education by downsizing classrooms to provide each student due instructional attention in their study of humanities.
Historical Studies (Top Level; Sponsored by the National Program of Talents Cultivation Bases of Basic Humanities Studies) is dedicated to incubating talents with advantages and interests in historical studies. The goal is for students to become future scholars with the potential to contribute to highly specialized study in history.
Curriculum: Chinese History, World History, Theories of Archaeology, Excerpts of Historical Literatures, Theories of History, etc. Students are equipped with their own supervisors to guide their study and research for further postgraduate studies.
Historical Studies (Major Level; Include the three majors of Historical Studies, World History, and Studies of Cultural Relics and Museology) is dedicated to cultivating students with profound background in theoretical and applicable capabilities in history. New entrants will learn basic history and public courses for the first year of their study before they pick one major to finish for their degree over the next three years. It is recommended that graduates from those majors pursue further studies, whereas they would also be equipped with the necessary expertise to conduct teaching, research, as well as jobs relevant to cultural communication and administration in the future.
Ethnic Studies emphasizes sociological and systematic training in cultivating students into responsible world citizens that are keenly interested in the theories and methodologies in anthropology, especially ethnography. Students will be equipped with profound theoretical background, knowledge portfolio, as well as strong capacity to apply such expertise in their future research and international exchanges. Graduates from this major will be highly competent and competitive candidates for positions in the government or social/ethnic organizations.
Curriculum:Theories of Ethnic Studies, Theories of Ethnic Sociology, Chinese History and Culture, History of World Civilization, Chinese Ethnography, World Ethnography, Research Methods in Ethnography, Theories of Religious Studies, etc.