Ph.D. in 1987 from Ruhr University Bochum. Since 1993, Full Professor of German Studies at Tongji University, Shanghai. From 1993 to 2010, Dean of the German Faculty at Tongji University. Since 2008, Deputy Dean of the School of Foreign Language at Tongji University. Since 1993, Vice-President of the Instructional Committee for Foreign Language Courses, Ministry of Education, China. Director of the Work Group for Academic German. From 2010 to 2015, President of the International Association of German Studies (IVG). From 2015 to present, Honorary President of the IVG.
Analysis of Portraits of »Johann Adam Schall von Bell« from an Intercultural and Linguistic Perspective (German–Chinese)
This project focuses on biographical representations of the historical figure »Johann Adam Schall von Bell« from Cologne, who was mostly portrayed in biographical accounts from China and Germany as a political figure, a representative of Western religion and culture, and an important figure during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1592–1666, Peking) in Chinese imperial history. His role as a representative of the Western academic community at that time, his significance in the academic exchange between the East and West as early as the Middle Ages, has thus far been neglected in research in the history of science.
This project analyzes biographies and biographical documents on Johann Adam von Bell as well as his portraits in Germany and China from a comparative perspective by looking at different sources. It mostly analyzes portraits and text passages considering the following issues: a) Johann Adam Schall von Bell as a political figure, e.g. a missionary and Christian minister; b) Johann Adam Schall von Bell as a cultural figure and representative of the Western world; c) Johann Adam Schall von Bell as a mediator of academic language, knowledge, and culture, e.g. through a number of academic documents and translations in collaboration with Chinese scholars; d) Johann Adam Schall von Bell as an intercultural figure between the East and West, mediating between the two as a friend and consultant to the Chinese emperor during the Ming and Qing dynasties of the Chinese empire.
The similarities and differences between the German and Chinese biographies and portraitures will be analyzed on a text-linguistic and socio-cultural background, particularly with regard to text-structural, text-semantic, and text-pragmatic issues. Special focus will be put on the linguistic analyses of the last two issues listed above, e.g. the analysis of his collaborative translation of various secondary literature in the fields of surveying, geography, astronomy, etc.