ECNU has a long history in folklore studies, which can date back to the Great China University inthe early 20th century. Scholars such as Xie Liuyi, Wu Zelin, Luo Yonglin, Chen Qinjian and Zhong Fulan made pioneering efforts in developing the discipline of folklore at ECNU and established a research tradition upholding inspiration, prudence and practice. In 2009, the Institute of Anthropology and Folklore was officially set up under the School of Social Development. In 2012, the Institute of Folklore was launched, with Prof. Tian Zhaoyuan as the first director.ECNU Institute of Folklore has become an important base for the studies and teaching of folklore at home and abroad, talent training and application consulting. The current director of the Institute is Prof. Xu Ganli.
The Institute of Folklore, ECNU, with a high-quality faculty for teaching and research, ranks among the best folklore institutes in terms of research capabilities and academic strengths. It has 9 full-time and part-time teachers and researchers, including 3 professors (Tian Zhaoyuan,Xu Ganli and Li Mingjie), 1 part-time professors (Tang Zhongmao), 2 associate professors (Fan Changfeng, Wang Junxia), 2 lecturer (Wang Liyang,ZhongCun Gui) and 1 full-time researcher (Li Ke). The Institute houses two research centers, i.e. “Folklore•Society•Culture Joint Research Center” (co-established with Inner Mongolia Normal University) and “Research Center for Regional Cultural Resources and Application” (co-established with Center for Ethnic and Folk Literature & Arts Development, Ministry of Culture). The Institute publishes the academic collection Wind from Sea Ethnic & Folk Cultural Seminar at irregular intervals.
ECNU Institute of Folklore is focused on the studies of memory, disaster folklore, urban folklore, folk literature and arts, mythology, folklore tourism, ethnic folklore, economic folklore, ecological folklore, religious folklore, intangible cultural heritage protection, public folklore, etc. The faculty members of the Institute have published dozens of scholarly works and over 100 influential academic articles. They have undertaken key projects and general projects sponsored by National Social Science Foundation, various provincial and ministerial projects and other entrusted projects. The National Social Science Foundation key projects include: “A Cross-cultural Comparative Study of Inherited Memories of Disaster”, “A Genealogical Study of Folk Beliefs in East China Sea Islands”, and “Community Participation and Action in Natural Resources Protection in Three Rivers Source Region”; The National Social Science Foundation general projects include: “The History of Chinese Mythology”, “Ethnic Culture Based in Villages and Its Protection”, “Cross-border Ethnic Problems among Members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization” and “Sinicization of Buddhism—From the Perspective of Folk Culture and Folklore”.
The Institute of Folklore offers postgraduate and doctoral programs in folklore, and accepts post-doc and visiting scholars in folklore. Our courses are well designed to provide students with systematic training in the history, theories, and field survey methods of folklore. We highlight the integration of theoretical studies and practice, encourage and support students to be actively engaged in field studies and academic exchanges. The “Wind from Sea Ethnic & Folk Cultural Seminar” organized by our postgraduate students has been successively held for four sessions, attracting young scholars from dozens of colleges and universities in China. Meanwhile, we have actively made proposals to establish more museums and to carry out folklore practice based on which. The festivals and campus folk activities initiated by our faculty members and students have received positive responses from over 20 colleges and universities, for example, the folklore exhibitions of Shanghai style paper-cut artwork, farmer paintings, Chinese folk weaving, traditional New Year paintings, etc. have exerted extensive influence within and outside ECNU.
ECNU Institute of Folklore has developed partnerships with the major folklore research institutions in China and folklore scholars and institutes of neighboring countries and regions. We have invited domestic and foreign eminent scholars to host summer schools on “Theory and Methods of Modern Japanese Folklore”, “Folklore Tradition and Modern Society—Sino-American Folklore Research Dialogue and Communication”, “Maritime Culture Studies” and “Gender and Folklore”. We also offer high-level academic exchange platforms to our faculty members and students in cooperation with University of Tokyo, Kanagawa University, National Museum of Japanese History and other universities and institutes.
ECNU Institute of Folklore welcomes domestic and international students, as well as visiting scholars from home and abroad.