The Institute of Ethnic Literature (IEL) was established in 1980 in Beijing. It is affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Its research spectrum ranges over the following areas: 1) The literature of ancient and contemporary ethnic groups, oral and written; 2) Theoretical concerns relating to issues of literary evolution; 3) Literary relations among various ethnic groups, with an emphasis on comparative approaches; 4) Expressive cultures in combination with oral tradition and verbal art; 5) Literary theory and contemporary criticism; and 6) Collecting, recording, transcribing, translating, digitizing, and publishing oral texts and written works.
Director: B. Chogjin (Chao Gejin)
The Secretary-in-General: MENG, Qinghai
Deputy Director: TANG, Xiaoqing
IEL Faculty, 2009
The IEL is engaged in providing scientific reflections on, and analysis of ethnic literatures in China. For this reason, IEL has brought together 44 scholars and 6 administrative coordinators from different ethnic backgrounds who command broad native language proficiencies throughout China.
IEL publishes a core journal Studies of Ethnic Literature (quarterly) covering all areas of the humanities in China, and has launched several large projects that deal with textualizing and translating epic and other folk narrative texts. The following research projects are currently in progress:
• IEL Key Research Projects (state and CASS levels):
– "Studies of Ethnic Epics in China” (under way)
– "Collection, Collation and Translations of Epic King Gesar” (completed)
– "The Selected Collection of Epic King Gesar” (underway)
– "The Transcribed Collection of Oral Texts of Epic King Gesar” (underway)
– "Compilation of ‘Literary History of Chinese Ethnic Groups’ Series” (completed)
– "Ethnic literary relations” (completed)
– "Research on Basic Theories of Epic Types in China” (completed)
– "Disciplining Epic Studies in China” (2003-2012)
– "Frontier Research on China Folkloristics” (2009-2012)
– "Database of China Ethnic Literature Studies” (2003- )
– "Field Study Bases for China Ethnic Minority Oral Traditions” (2004- )
– "Solution for Media Asset Management of China"s Ethnic Literature” (2007- )
A series of China"s Epic Studies
The transcribed collections of
Tibetan epic master singer Bsam-grub’s oral Performances
Since many disciplines are involved in ethnic literature studies, including many subdisciplines within East and Central Asian studies, among them Tibetan Studies, Mongolian Studies, Turkic Studies, Manchu Studies, Naxi Studies, Yi Studies, Miao (Hmong) Studies, and others--- these subdisciplines therefore have now become internationalized disciplines. Thus far the institute has constructed linkages to institutions and scholars in many countries throughout the world. In this cross-disciplinary context, the Institute"s expertise in ethnic literature research becomes an indispensable asset for any international scholar or institution whose work addresses cultural diversities, local knowledge, or regional and international cooperation in social sciences and humanities.
IEL is also a higher educational institution operating under the Department of Ethnic Literature of the Graduate School of CASS (GSCASS). The department offers master"s and doctoral degrees both in "China Ethnic Minority Languages" and "Literature and Folklore". Domestic and overseas students, as well as visiting scholars, come to us to undertake their educational and professional training with IEL Faculty.