To carry on the academic legacy left by the eminent ethnologist Wu Zelin and other scholars in the time of the Great China University, the Institute of Anthropology at ECNU has invited renowned anthropologists such as Wang Mingming, Jing Jun, Zhou Yongming, Zhuang Kongshao, Fan Ke and Yan Yunxiang to give lectures since it set up the Annual Wu Zelin Memorial Lectures in 2012. The Institute of Anthropology and Folklore was officially launched in 2009, from which the Institute of Anthropology was independent in 2012. The world-renowned anthropologist Nicholas Tapp was the first director of the Institute of Anthropology, who unfortunately passed away in 2015. Under the support of the School of Social Development, the Institute launched the Annual Nicholas Tapp Memorial Lectures and invited famous scholars including Ma Rong, Zhang Haiyang and NaranBilik to give lectures. The two memorial lecture series have grown into an important brand of ECNU Institute of Anthropology.
ECNU Institute of Anthropology is composed of a highly internationalized team of academics and students. We have 7 full-time faculty members, two of whom are international teachers, and a part-time professor from the US, namely, Todd Meyers (at Shanghai New York University). Our students are also very international. Currently we have 4 international doctoral students and 4 international postgraduate students, coming from Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, Madagascar, Mali, etc. respectively. The Institute set up the first postgraduate program in anthropology delivered in complete English in China, which has enrolled students from around the world. Besides, the faculty and students of the Institute attach great importance to publications in international journals, as they have articles published in leading international journals every year. Since 2012, they have published 14 articles in SSCI or A&HCI journals.
All of our faculty members graduated from preeminent universities at home or abroad where they were equipped with solid academic strength. The Institute embraces a favorable academic environment, with commitment to the traditional fields of anthropology including religion (Huang Jianbo, Chen Yun), ethnology (Liu Qi) and food/ethnobotany (Wu Xu) and pioneering explorations in the cutting-edge fields of urban studies (Huang Jianbo, Chen Yun, Zhang Hui, Zhu Yujing), finance (Horacio Ortiz, Zhu Yujing), visual research (Zhang Hui), and medical science (Todd Meyers).
Through the efforts of our faculty members and students, the Institute of Anthropology is firmly on its way toward a full-fledged and important institution for anthropological studies and a center for international academic exchanges in the field of anthropology. The anthropology brand MODO set up by the Institute in autumn 2014, after couple of years of development, now encompasses Modo Anthropology Lectures (32 lectures given), Modo Idea Exchange Session (15 sessions given), Modo Anthropology Workshop (6 sessions given), Modo Anthropology Reading Meetups (5 series and over 10 activities given), etc. becoming one of the most vibrant anthropology center in China.
The Institute of Anthropology has taken the initiative to develop cross-institutional, trans-regional and interdisciplinary partnerships with major academic institutions in China. It has set up “BNU-ECNU Interdisciplinary Workshop on Theory and Society” in cooperation with Beijing Normal University School of Philosophy (3 sessions hosted), and “Workshop on Religious Anthropology” with Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences andInstitute of Social Anthropology, Nanjing University (3 sessions hosted), which has promoted the formation and development of academic community. In addition, the Institute has launched internship bases for postgraduate students in Yongchun, Fujian Province and Dali, Yunnan Province, offering favorable conditions for field research training in anthropology.