Past and Present
The Committee for Promotion of Ming-Qing Studies of Academia Sinica was formerly established in 1995 as the Ming-Ch'ing Studies Group of Academia Sinica, which was an academic organization spontaneously formed based on shared research interests of colleagues who were engaged in Ming-Qing studies at different institutes of Academia Sinica.
The establishment of the Ming-Ch’ing Studies Group was to promote inter-institute and interdisciplinary studies. Members of the Group came from various institutes of Academia Sinica at that time, including the Institute of History and Philology, Institute of Modern History, Sun Yat-Sen Graduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (currently the Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences), Institute of Ethnology, Institute of Economics, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Institute of Taiwan History, and Institute of Sociology. Members of the Group used first-hand Ming-Qing data and sources to conduct historical, philosophical, literary, psychological, religious, military, sociological, and economic studies. In addition to regularly sharing ideas and research results, members of this Group invited local and international visiting scholars to exchange thoughts and to jointly explore into new research topics.
In recent years, concrete actions, such as organizing regular scholarly lectures, establishing study groups, forming inter-institute and interdisciplinary research projects, organizing workshops and international conferences, publishing research results, have been undertaken, so to further expand our research fields and to make connection to other internationally emerging research topics. Overall, these arrangements have yielded considerable outcomes during the past years.
In 1998, the Ming-Ch’ing Studies Group set up an exclusive website to publish newsletters and other general information on the Group. In 1999, a mailing list was set up to send occasional news regarding academic activities and publications to scholars and other interested parties who had joined the online discussion forums at the website. The website is a platform for scholars to exchange academic information and is expected to serve as a channel for people who are interested in literature and history to understand the history and culture of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Because of its prominent record of achievement, the Ming-Ch’ing Studies Group gained a high level of recognition and trust among the academics. In 2009, under the support from the senior management at Academia Sinica, the group was reorganized into the Committee for the Promotion of Ming–Qing Studies, which comprised fellow colleagues from the Institute of History and Philology, Institute of Modern History, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, and Institute of Taiwan History. The directors of the four institutes are the ex-officio members. In addition, Academia Sinica appoints fellow researchers who specialize in Ming–Qing studies at Academia Sinica as committee members. The Committee receives official grants from Academia Sinica, thus enabling related works to be promoted efficiently on a long-term basis.
The academic affairs and administrative operations of the Committee are rotationally chaired by the four Institutes. The First Term (2009–2011) was chaired by the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy and the Second (2012–2013) by the Institute of Taiwan History, followed by the Third Term (2014–2015) chaired by the Institute of History and Philology. The director of the chairing Institute also assumes the responsibility of being the convener of the Committee. With its operation institutionalized, the Committee hence become an official affiliate to Academia Sinica.
The transformation into the Committee for the Promotion of Ming-Qing Studies is only possible with the generous support from our colleagues, Academia Sinica and the rest of the academia. The Group hopes to sustain its operation through concerted efforts and strives to further contribute to the research on the Ming andQing dynasties in Taiwan.