William & Mary

W&M-BNU Collaborations

The William and Mary Confucius Institute is a partnership between William & Mary and Beijing Normal University (BNU), two universities rich in history and academic excellence. Several programs are being designed, at all levels, to enhance the cooperation between the two institutions, including student exchanges, faculty exchanges, and various other collaborative initiatives. The first of such initiatives was the Confucian Classics Faculty Forum held on April 17th, 2012 following the WMCI's Grand Opening Ceremony, which was a part of the 2012 "Chinese Culture Semester". In honor of the establishment of the William & Mary Confucius Institute, participants presented their research and perspectives on Chinese classics such as the "Book of Changes" and works by authors such as Confucius and Sun Zi (a.k.a. Sun Tzu).W&M faculty presenters included T. J. Cheng, Eric Han, Yanfang Tang, Emily Wilcox, Tomoko Connolly and Xin Wu, as well as eminent scholars from BNU. Steve Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies at William  & Mary, gave the keynote address.


From June 20 to 22, 2014, the William & Mary Confucius Institute co-sponsored the International Conference on Time and Change with the College of Philosophy and Sociology at BNU, the International Society of the Study of Time, and the Research Center of Value and Culture at BNU. WMCI Chinese Deputy Director Lei Ma made a speech at the openning ceremony, and Steve Hanson, Vice Provost for International Affairs, gave a keynote address titled "Traditional, Modern, and Charismatic Time in Western and Chinese Thought" at the conference. Prof. T. J. Cheng and WMCI Director Prof. Yanfang Tang also attended the conference and exchanged ideas with I Ching scholars from China, the U. S.A., Canada, France, and Korea.

In Summer 2015, the WMCI and BNU collaborated again to host a seminar on developing English Yijing picturetextbooks. W&M Professors Yanfang Tang (Chiense Studies) and T. J. Cheng (Government) both visited Beijing Normal University to meet faculty and students at its China Institute of Yijing Culture. Yijing is considered the most important book of ancienct Chinese Classics; however, it is often overlooked by large audiences of western readers. The seminar aimed to develop ideas for expanding upon and re-releasing the work in English in order to make it more accessible to those that have less experience with Chinese literature.