College of Humanities


The College of Humanities was founded in 1921, the same year in which Xiamen University was established. It started with two departments: history and Chinese language and literature. Over the years, many renowned scholars and intellectuals, such as Lu Xun, Lin Yutang, Gu Jiegang, and Paul Demieville offered courses at the two departments .

Today, the College of Humanities is composed of four departments, i.e. the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, the Department of History, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Anthropology and Ethnology. It offers seven undergraduate degree programs in history, philosophy, linguistics, archaeology, Chinese literature, film and drama studies, and anthropology and ethnology.

153 full-time faculty members currently work at the college. The total number of enrolled students is 1,611, including 862 undergraduates, 473 students toward a master’s degree, and 276 PhD candidates. In recent years, the college has put great emphasis on providing students with cross-disciplinary education and liberal arts skills. It houses XMU General Education Center, and features many campus cultural events such as Poetry Festival, Logic Master Contest, Campus Performance Season, and Humanities Week of Film and Culture.


Department of Chinese Language and Literature

The department is recognized for its excellent research in the fields of linguistics, Chinese literature, literary theory, theater and traditional Chinese opera, and art theory. In the field of linguistics, Prof. Li Wuwei’s research project, “Recovery of Overseas Chinese Language Books and the Study of Modern Chinese Language”, has won a major grant from National Social Science Foundation, and his monograph, History of Chinese Phonology in Taiwan, has won the national Outstanding Achievement Award of Philosophy and Social Sciences. The findings of Prof. Su Xinchun’s research project, “Monitoring National Language Situation and the Study of Educational Textbook Language”, have been adopted by the White Paper of Chinese Language Development. In the field of Chinese literature, our department is a key research base for women’s literature, Taiwanese literature, and the collation of ancient literature. Prof. Lin Danya’s co-edited book, Women’s Literature: A Textbook, is an Eleventh Five-Year National Planned Textbook for Chinese Higher Education. Prof. Liu Rongping’s Complete Fujian Ci-Poems has won a national award for ancient book collation. Prof. Zhou Zuzhuan and Prof. Hu Xu’s co-edited book, Commentaries of Biography of Literati in History, has won the first prize of Social Science Achievements of Fujian Province. Prof. Wang Ye’s collation of historical records of revolutionary literary movements has won a grant from the National Social Science Foundation. In the area of literary theory, Prof. Yang Chunshi’s theorization of post-practical aesthetics, Prof. Dai Xun’s comparison of Chinese and western literary theories, Prof. Wang Nuo’s work on Euro-American eco-criticism, and Prof. He Changshang’s study of modern Chinese literary criticism, are all of significant academic impact. In the area of theater and traditional Chinese opera, Prof. Chen Shixiong’s study of Russian theater, Prof. Zhou Ning’s comparative study of Chinese and Western theater, and Prof. Zheng Shangxian’s research of local opera, have all gained a leading position in the field. In the field of art theory, Prof. Huang Mingfen has won national and international acclaim for his groundbreaking study of digital art theory.

Department of History

Department of History in Xiamen University has a long history and always adheres to its tenet of discipline construction----facing the southeast and facing the ocean. Since the 1920s, many famous scholars like Paul Demieville, Gustav Ecke, Gu Jiegang, Zhang Xinglang, Zheng Dekun, Lin Huixiang, Fu Yiling, and Han Guopan, have worked here. Department of History enjoys a high reputation in the study of ancient Chinese history, social economic history, Southeast Asia history, archaeology of Southeast Asia, transportation between China and the west, and history has become one of the advantaged disciplines in Xiamen University. Since the 1950s, the School of Chinese Social Economical History has become an important representative school of Xiamen University and its journal The Journal of Chinese Social and Economic History has an international impact.  Department of History currently has 15 professors, 18 associate professors, 12 assistant professors and has done many interdisciplinary, characteristic research projects on Chinese history, world history and archaeology. It keeps its leading role in the fields like history of the Ming and Qing dynasties, history of the Sui and Tang dynasties, history of Chinese Economics, folk historical records, historical anthropology, history of Fujian and Taiwan, history of ecology, maritime archaeology, American urban history, and history of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. It recruits 35 undergraduate students, 40 master’s degree candidates, and 15 doctoral candidates each year. Now it has about 300 students. Excellent graduates have gone to work in some famous institutes at home and abroad, and they have got some remarkable achievements. Department of History has built up an extensive international co-operative network and has finished many projects with many famous universities such as Harvard, McGill University of Canada, National University of Singapore, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Taiwan University, etc.

Department of Philosophy

The main research areas of the department include[s] Chinese philosophy, religious studies, ethics, philosophy of sciences and technology, epistemology, experimental philosophy, and Marxism studies. The field of Chinese philosophy features Zhu Xi studies. Dr. Le Aiguo (Professor), Dr. Zhu Renqiu (Professor), Dr. Liu Zeliang (Professor), and Dr.Xie Xiaodong(Professor) have published extensively on Zhu Xi’s neo-confucianism. The department also hosts the Chinese Association of Zhu Xi Studies. The department is the leading institution in the studies of epistemology, cognitive sciences, and experimental philosophy in China. Dr. Zhu Jing (Dean, Professor), Dr Chen Jiaming (Professor Emeritus), Dr. Zhou Changle (Professor Emeritus), Dr. Cao Jianbo (Professor), Dr.Zheng Weiping (Associate Professor), Dr. Lou Wei (Associate Professor), and Dr. Liu Xiaofei (Associate Professor) have gained national and international reputations in these areas. The department hosts the Chinese Society for Epistemology. The department is also strong in philosophy of sciences and technology, especially scientific hermeneutics, philosophy of artificial intelligence, and history of Chinese ancient technology. Dr. Cao Zhiping (Chair, Professor), Dr. Ouyang Feng (Professor), Dr. Chen Xile (Professor), and Dr. Chen ling (Professor) specialize in these areas. Moreover, Dr. Xu Mengqiu (Professor), Dr. Xu Zhaoxu (Professor), Dr. Zhang Huiyong (Associate Professor), and Dr. Yang Song (Associate Professor) specialize in ethics and normative studies. 

Department of Anthropology and Ethnology

Anthropology as a discipline was founded at Xiamen University in the 1930s by a famous Chinese anthropologist Lin Huixiang (1901-1958). Xiamen University was one of the earliest institutions which established anthropology in Mainland China. The department was established in 1984. Other affiliated educational and research institutions of anthropology at Xiamen University include Museum of Anthropology which was established in 1951 and Research Institute of Anthropology which was established in 1984. There are two national academic associations affiliated to the department as well. They are Chinese Anthropological Association and Chinese Baiyue Ethnic History Research Association. Research in Xiamen University’s Anthropology reflects the diversity of research interests of our academic staff, including social-cultural anthropology, visual anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, linguistics, medical anthropology and historical anthropology. We have several research centers, such as Center for Tourism Anthropology, Center for Hakka Studies and Center for Medical Anthropology and Ethnomusicology, and Visual Anthropology Studio. The Department is committed to promoting a vibrant research environment. The department recruits undergraduate students, and offers master’s degrees in anthropology, ethnology, and minority ethnic history, and doctoral degrees in anthropology and ethnology.


Faculty of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature:

Faculty of the Department of History:

Faculty of the Department of Philosophy:

Faculty of the Department of Anthropology and Ethnology: