The Humboldt Center for Transdisciplinary Studies was successfully founded on September 14 at the Foreign Studies College, Hunan Normal University.
Jiang Hongxin, Secretary of the Party Committee of Hunan Normal University first welcomed the guests on behalf of our school and paid special tribute to the director of the center, Ottmar Ette. He pointed out that Humboldt is a giant in the history of human science and culture, and his academic achievements are interdisciplinary. As ‘interdisciplinary’ is the inevitable trend of today's academic transformation, we are now re-studying Humboldt and reading Humboldt, while standing on the shoulders of giants and following the tide of the times. It is believed that Hunan Normal University and Potsdam University will work together to build the Humboldt Interdisciplinary Research Center into an excellent communication platform for a deeper, broader and smoother exchange between Chinese and European academic circles.
Professor Wang Bingjun, a famous German literature expert in China, pointed out that Humboldt, who was previously famous as a scientist in China, was able to find a foothold in the Foreign Studies College of Hunan Normal University, which justly demonstrated its interdisciplinary nature. The research initiated by Humboldt is devoted to the interactive relationship between nature and man, which echoes the idea of "unity of man and nature" inhabited by Chinese sages.
Subsequently, Professor Oliver Günther, President of Potsdam University, Director of the Humboldt Interdisciplinary Research Center of our University, Professor Martin Woesler of Hunan Normal University and Dr. Tobias Kraft of Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences agreed that the establishment of the center was of great significance and sincerely hoped that the center would make brilliant achievements in the future and promote academic exchanges between China and Europe.
Finally, Ottmar Ette, the director of the center, delivered a speech. He stressed that Humboldt was an explorer who traveled through Central Asia to the border of the Qing Dynasty of China at the end of his life and left a large number of records and comments about China. The establishment of the Humboldt Center today is the completion of his unfinished business: opening the door to China and meeting this great oriental civilization.
The establishment of the research center will promote domestic research on Alexander von Humboldt, explore the importance of China's interdisciplinary study of Humboldt, promote the interdisciplinary study of literature and society, culture and geography, history and language, and strengthen the links between China and Germany/Europe.