Established in 1964, the Section of Asian, African and Latin American History is one of the oldest sections in the IWH. It was bifurcated into Section of Asian and African History and Section of Latin American History for a time. Several renowned historians of world history, such as Prof. Chen Hongjin and Prof. Wan Feng, used to work here. Our section also gathered a good proportion of experts and scholars of world history trained by China, such as Sa Na, Liu Ling, Feng Hongzhi, Qiu Liben, Lu Guojun, Hao Mingwei, Huang Sijun, Zhu Kerou, Wang Tong, Tang Chongnan, Wu Yin, Jin Jichu, Feng Xiuwen, and so on. The Section currently does research on modern and contemporary histories of Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, South Africa and Latin America. By focusing on studies of individual countries, the section provides a blueprint for comparative exploration with issues of common concern to developing countries. Meanwhile, the section members also follow topical issues in the contemporary world, trying to interpret them in the light of history.
The Section has been undertaking several projects funded by National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science, Class A and B projects of CASS. National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science projects include “Historical Studies on Fundamentalism and Secularism” by Yang Haocheng, “Agricultural Issues in the Progress of Latin American Modernization” by Feng Xiuwen, “Comparative Studies on the Democratic Issues in the Progress of the Middle East’s Modernization” by Bi Jiankang and Liu Lan, “Historical Studies on the Economic Relationship between the Apartheid and Capitalism in South Africa” by Liu Lan. “Progress and Dilemma of Palestinian Nation-building”, a National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science Youth Project undertaken by Yao Huina. Class A Projects of CASS include “The Historical Influences of Modern Japan on East Asia” by Tang Chongnan and Zhang Jingwei, the Volume of International Relations by Li Chunfang (one volume of the multivolume World History), “Historical Studies on the Economic Relationship between the Apartheid and Afrikaner in South Africa” by Liu Lan. Class B Projects of CASS include “Studies on the Political Institutions of Contemporary Middle East” by Wang Tong, “Political Stability and Crisis Management in the Progress of Japan’s Modernization: Focus on the Era of Meiji and Taisho” by Zhang Jingwei.
Apart from these, our staffs are also involved in other Research Projects, as well as some major and general projects of the IWH. These projects include “On the Right-wing Forces in Post-war Japan” by Zhang Yuebin, funded by the Youth Projects of CASS, “State, Religion and Development of the Middle East in perspective of the Iranian Issue” by Bi Jiankang funded by the Basic Researching Scholarship of CASS, “Mexico’s Social Transformation in 19th Century” by Wang Wenxian, funded by the Youth Scholar Development Fund Project of CASS. The Youth Researching Start-up Fund Projects of CASS include “On Ito Hirobumi’s Perceptions and Practices of Political Party” by Chen Wei, “Transplantation and Transcending: The Historical Trace of International Institutionalism” by Xu Liang, “The Western Mines and the Breakup of British Colonial Rule in Black Africa” by Hang Cong, “Kennedy Administration’s Counter-insurgence Polices in Latin America” by Du Juan.
The Section also joins the Innovation Projects of CASS. Bi Jiankang, Zhang Yuebin, Wang Wenxian, Hang Cong and Xu Liang undertake the branch program of the study of Social Changes and Stabilities in the Modern Times, focusing on Asian, African and Latin American countries. Zhang Yanru takes part in the project of History and Historians in the 20th Century. The individual Innovation Projects include “On the Economic History of South African Racial Capitalism” by Liu Lan, “Centre-State Relations in the History of Modern and Contemporary India” by Song Liping, “Proposition and Frustrations of Two-party System in Modern Japan” by Wen Chunmei, “On Hara Takashi’s Political Thinking” by Chen Wei.
The main research achievements published by the retired research fellows are as follows, given in time order, The Modern History of Japan by Wan Feng in 1978, Studies on Japanese Capitalism History by Wan Feng in 1984, From Coordination Diplomacy to Independent Diplomacy by Wu Yin in 1985, Comparison between Modernizations of China and Japan by Tang Chongnan in 1988, Studies on Political System of Modern Japan by Wu Yin in 1997, Mughal Empire in India by Chen Hansheng in 1979, India and Pakistan Economic Region by Chen Hansheng in 1983, A Study of Land System in India by Huang Sijun in 1998, The Modern History of Egypt by Yang Haocheng in 1985, Ethnic Conflicts and Religious Disputes: Historical Perspectives of Hot Issues in Contemporary Middle East by Yang Haocheng and Zhu Kerou in 1996, Nasser and Sadat’s Egypt by Yang Haocheng and Chun Jiang in 1997, Religious and Secular: Historical Perspectives of Hot Issues in Contemporary Middle East byYang Haocheng and Zhu Kerou in 2000, The Political System of Contemporary Middle East by Tong Wang in 2005, Iran Crisis and the Origin of Cold War, 1941-1947 (by Li Chunfang in 2002; The 2nd edition of this book published in 2007 won a second level prize of CASS Outstanding Achievements), Agriculture Development of Latin America by Feng Xiuwen in 2002 and China- Mexico Relations: History and Reality by Feng Xiuwen in 2007.
The main publications of the members in-service include: The Modernization and Political Stability of Egypt by Bi Jiankang in 2005(This book won the first level prize of the Institute of World History), Guide to the World States-Palestine by Yao Hui’na in 2010, Domestic and Diplomatic Policies of Modern Japan and East Asia by Zhang Jingwei as the first author in 2011, Kakuei Tanaka and the Politics of Japan during Post-war Era by Zhang Yuebin in 2014, and Agricultural Issues and Agricultural Policies of Party Politics in Modern Japan by Wen Chunmei in 2014. Main journal articles include: “History Textbooks and Controversies between Communalism and Secularism in Contemporary India” (Song Liping, 2005), “The Formation of Ito Hirobumi’s Constitutional Thought and the Set-up of the Meiji Constitutional System” (Chen Wei, 2013), “A Two-man Show: A Retrospect of U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Game during the ‘Bush Round’ ” (Xu Liang, 2011), “A Perspective on the Intervention of the White-Minority Regime toward Labor Market” (Liu Lan, 2014), “The Western Mineral Companies and the Breakup of British Federal of Rhodesia and Nyasaland” (Hang Cong, 2014), “On the Relation between the Haciendas and Indian Villages in Colonial Mexico” (Wang Wenxian, 2006), and “Cold War and the Rise and Fall of Latin American Guerrilla Movements, 1961-1969” (Du Juan, 2010). A Translation is A History of Cambodia (by Xu Liang, 2013).
Our strengths extend across numerous areas of the discipline, ranging geographical scope across Japan, North East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Latin America and Africa, and in language scope covered Japanese, Korean, English, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, etc. Such a wide range of majors tend to promote synergy in expanding the Section’s research capacity and profile.
Presently, there are 13 faculty members in the section, including 2 research fellows, 7 associate research fellows and 4 assistant research fellows. All but one of them hold Ph.D. degrees, and most members are in their thirties and forties.
Asian History Discipline was affirmed as the funded discipline of Key Disciplines Construction Project of CASS, which was decided by Academic Committee meeting of the Institute of World History on June 30, 2009. Latin American History Discipline and African History Discipline were confirmed as the funded disciplines of Special Disciplines Construction Project of CASS.
List of previous directors: Wan Feng; Sa Na; Zhu Kerou; Tang Chongnan
Current director: Bi Jiankang