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The 20th Annual WHA Conference will be held at CNU

The 20th Annual WHA Conference?? will be held at CNU, 7-11 July 2011, with the patronage of the Global History Center of CNU.

The Global History Center (GHC) of Capital Normal University was set up in December 2004, with Professor Liu Xincheng as its director. Since its inception, the GHC has been active in fulfilling its mission of promoting studies of world/global history. In 2005, the GHC undertook a project of ??Global History Translation Series?? in co-operation with Commercial Press. About ten books will be translated into Chinese before 2011. The year 2008 witnessed the birth of Global History Review (Vol. I) with Prof. Liu Xincheng as the chief editor. This annual journal publication includes Theories and Methodology of global history, Global history teaching and research, etc. The GHC undertook and completed ??A Study of the Historiography of World History in the Age of Globalization??, a key research project of Beijing Municipal Commission of Education. Since 2008, the GHC is undertaking ??A Study of Cross-Cultural Exchange in World History??, a key research project of the Ministry of Education. The GHC started to enroll graduate students with a global history concentration in 2006. Since 2009, as a second-rank discipline, the global history major began to enroll master??s candidates and Ph.D. candidates. Among the 21 graduate students of global history major, 19 are in the master??s program and 2 in the Ph.D. program. The GHC is active in carrying out international exchanges and co-operations. Prof. Jerry H. Bentley of the University of Hawaii has been lecturing at CNU??s School of History for the past four years. The GHC members are active participants at the WHA conferences. The GHC also sponsored the largest-ever international symposium on World History Teaching, October 2005.

The World History Association (WHA), an international academic organization, was established in 1982 with about 1500 registered members from over 40 countries or regions. The WHA aims at promoting the teaching and research of world history and enhancing public understanding of world history.

The WHA publishes the Journal of World History since 1990 by the University of Hawaii Press. The WHA Bulletin that came out in 1983 is open to all members. The H-World that came out in 1994 serves as a network of communication among practitioners of world history. The World History Connected that came out in 2003 is an electrical journal based in the Washington State University.

As a rule, the WHA holds its annual conference two consecutive years in the US and the third year outside the US. So far, the conference has taken place in Florence (Italy), Pamplona (Spain), Victoria (Canada), Seoul (Korea), Ifrane (Morocco), and London (Great Britain). The 18th annual conference was held at the Salem State University, Massachusetts, June 25-28, 2009. Around 500 participants joined over 90 panels in three-days time. The 19th annual conference took place at California State University, San Diego, June 24-27, 2o1o.

The 20th annual conference that will take place at Capital Normal University covers two themes: China in World History, and World History from the Center and the Periphery. Every culture sees itself as the indubitable Center where civilization exists. The geographical structure of center-periphery parallels the ideology of civilized-barbarian. However, historical facts prove that the idea of center and periphery is not invariable; interactions and hybridity took place constantly between the center and the periphery. For example, in Chinese history, the Xianbei barbarians that originated from the Periphery founded the state of Beiwei and became the Center of North-western China. Thanks to this new Center, Buddhism from afar was introduced into China and became one of the cores of Chinese culture. If we re-examine the Opium War from the center-periphery point of view, we will see a violent collision between the cultural center of British Empire and that of the Qing Empire. Both of them held each other as barbarian. Tracing the process of the cultural collision and the shift of the idea of center-periphery is a perfect global approach of historical study. Moreover, we can also get insights into traditional historical narratives with the center-periphery perspective. For example, the above-mentioned Xianbei that were treated conventionally as peripheral barbarians is an indispensable part of the Chinese cultural community. The center-periphery perspective is a profitable try and will throw new light on the study of global history.

Let's bring Chinese history back to world history! The 2010 conference will not only promote the study of world history in China, but also revitalize the study of Chinese history. We invite historians of world history and Chinese history to join the grand meeting. If you want to be a participant, please send your paper (in Chinese AND in English, abstract included) to by the end of 2010. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us. We will send formal invitation letter according to the papers submitted.

For more information about the 2011 conference, please visit:

The Global History Center of CNU