Schools & Departments A-Z

14 May 2019


Chinese Historical Geography Studies, Institute for


Ms. Dai Peijuan


Tel: 86-21-65642714


The Institute for Chinese Historical Geography Studies at Fudan University was founded in 1982 with Prof. Tan Qixiang (谭其骧) (1911-1992) as its first director.

The establishment of historical geography studies and ICHGS was closely related to Prof. Tan Qixiang’s academic career.

Prof. Tan Qixiang, from Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Academician) was one of the founders of Chinese historical geography studies.

In August 1951, Prof. Tan Qixiang started to serve as professor at the Department of History of Fudan University in accordance with the adjustment of faculty in universities and colleges throughout China. In the autumn of 1954, with the support of Chairman Mao Zedong (毛泽东), Wu Han (吴晗) and Fan Wenlan (范文澜) founded the Committee for the Revision and Redrawing of the Historical Atlas of China (Lidai Yudi Tu 历代舆地图) by Yang Shoujing (杨守敬) (known in short as the “Yang Maps Committee”) and employed Prof. Tan as chief editor in Beijing, thus kickstarting the compilation of a new Historical Atlas of China (Zhongguo Lishi Ditu Ji 中国历史地图集).

Whilst conducting the redrawing work, the Yang Map Committee found that revising old maps could no longer meet the demand of the times, so it began a new, long-term plan in its decision to compile the Historical Atlas of China. In early 1957, Prof. Tan Qixiang returned to Fudan University to take charge of the compilation of the Historical Atlas of China.

For this reason, the Department of History at Fudan University founded the Office for Historical Geographical Studies on July 1st, 1959, with Prof. Tan Qixiang serving as dean of the department and director of the Office. In 1966, the onset of the Great Cultural Revolution severely disrupted the compilation of Historical Atlas of China (Zhongguo Lishi Ditu Ji 中国历史地图集) . The compilation work did not pick back up until 1969.

Taking Prof. Tan Qixiang’s lead, Fudan University made profound academic achievements whilst compiling the Historical Atlas of China, and nurtured great strength in the research field of historical geography. In 1980, Prof. Tan was elected as member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Academician). In 1981, he was employed as one of the first members of the History Group attached to the Discipline Appraisal Group of the State Council Academic Degree Committee and was appointed as one of the first doctoral supervisors of China. Meanwhile, Historical Geography at Fudan University was approved as one of China’s first programmes for doctoral and Master’s degrees.

Buiding on this foundation, Fudan University set up its Institute for Chinese Historical Geography Studies, as approved by the Ministry of Education in March of 1982. A conference was held on the 4th of June to celebrate the founding of the institute. Prof. Tan Qixiang served as its first director and dean of the Department of History.

In 1987, Chinese historical geography at Fudan University was listed by the State Education Commission as a key national discipline.

In 1996, ICHGS participated in the national “Project 211” programme for historical geographical studies.

In 1999, ICHGS was selected by the Ministry of Education as one of the first key national research bases in the humanities and social sciences. It was rated by the Ministry of Education as an Excellent Research Base in 2003 and 2009 respectively.

In 2000, ICHGS was listed as the most important unit of Fudan University’s “Project 985”.

In 2005, ICHGS set up a national philosophy and social sciences innovation base for historical geography studies.

Following the example set by a generation of scholars such as Prof. Tan Qixiang, ICHGS has evolved a rigorous and profound academic tradition. To meet the community’s demands and to respond to trends in disciplinary development, all members of the Institute strive to actively explore new growth points within the discipline of historical geography with the aim of reaching new academic heights.

Subjects and Programs

ICHGS offers:

One Master’s degree program in historical geography

Three programs for doctoral degrees, in historical geography, population history and border historical geography


Master Degree Program & Doctoral Degree Program I: Historical Geography

Research on historical geography may be categorized into the following three research directions.

1. Historical Human Geography

This research area focuses on the study of the spatial features of various human factors as well as their relationship with the geographical environment during historical periods of China. This includes the formation and changes to border administrative divisions in China’s past dynasties; the multiplication, distribution and migration of population; the geographical allocation and change of economic elements in agriculture, the handicraft industry, commerce and transportation; urban and regional economic development; and the regional differences and evolution processes of cultural elements like language, religion, customs and art. Special importance is attached to the study of the relationship of humans with the land, i.e. the integration of human and physical elements in order to explore the inherent laws of the changes with the aim of providing historical experience and guidance for Chinese economic and cultural construction.

2. Historical Physical Geography

This research area focuses on the study of the processes of change to China’s natural environment in historical periods as well as the interrelation and restrictive connection between various elements of natural environment. Special importance is attached to the historical changing process of rivers and lakes, changes to the seashore, change to the desert, alternations in climate as well as changes in animal and plant distribution. Moreover, it also probes into the positive and negative impacts of human factors on the process of environmental transition and summarizes the rules of natural environment developments. All of these efforts provide a historical foundation for future predictions regarding environmental change.

3. Border Historical Geography

This research area focuses on the study of changes in territory, changes in administrative divisions, the migration of ethnic groups and the alternation of regimes, the growth and decline of population, economic development, cultural developments in Chinese border areas (northwest, north, northeast, southwest, coastal areas and territorial seas) as well as the exchange and integration of the economy and culture inland and overseas, thereby enriching our understanding of Chinese territory as well as the formation process of the Chinese nation and its significance.


Doctoral Degree Program II: Population History

Research on population history may be categorized into the following three research directions.

1. History of Population in China

This research direction focuses on the study of changes in population size as well as the processes of reproduction (including marriage, families, birth rate, death rate and growth rate) of various ethnic groups in China during historical periods. This includes the characteristics and changing rules governing population composition in various periods, the changes in demographic census and management system, the influence of natural and social environmental transition on population development, and analysis of historical writings on population.

Moreover, it highlights textual studies and the reconstruction of the systems of demographic statistics they reveal. Building on this foundation, the Institute reconstructs systems of demographic data to ensure the authenticity of data, analyses it using theories and methods used in modern demographic statistics, and conducts comprehensive research in the context of natural and social environments, providing experiences from history for sustainable development and a harmonious relationship between humans and the land.

2. History of Migration in China

This research direction focuses on the study of important population movements and migrations in China throughout history, including the number of migrants, the conditions for emigration, the conditions for immigration, the route of migration, the push and pull factors involved in migration, the process of settlement and so on. Moreover, importance is also attached to the formation of and developments in migration policy in the past dynasties, the influence of migrants on Chinese history, and the theories and rules of population movement throughout history.

Special focus is placed on exploring exploring the profound influence of migrants and population movement on Chinese politics, economy, culture, society and natural environment. Besides, this direction highlights the study of texts, reconstructs the processes of population movement and migration, and summarizes the successes and failures of migration policy in past dynasties, thus providing a historical reference for modern population movement policy and sustainable development.

3. Historical Population Geography of China

This research direction focuses on studying spatial differences and developments in population size in China during the historical period, the geographical factors causing population spatial differences, the influence of population movement on population space distribution, the imbalance of population distribution in various periods as well as its impact, and the close relationship between regional population development and environmental transition.

Based on reliable population data and border administrative divisions in past dynasties, this direction explores the influence of historical geographical elements on regional population distribution and development as well as the close relationship between population distribution and political, social, economic and cultural factors, thereby providing historical foundation for a correct analysis of contemporary China’s population distribution and plotting out the future.

Doctoral Degree Program III: Border Historical Geography

Research on border historical geography may be categorized into the following three research directions.

1. Border Political Geography

This research direction focuses on the study of the formation and historical developments to the border administrative divisions, the connection between borders and inland administration, the history of borders and related issues.

2. Border Development and Ecological Environment Change

This research direction conducts multidisciplinary comprehensive analyses focusing on the study of climate change and environmental change in transition zones in agricultural areas in Inner Mongolia and Yunnan-Guizhou.

3. Social, Economic and Cultural Changes to Border Ethnic Groups

This research direction focuses on the study of social, economic, historical processes, regional population and cultural change in border areas.



At present, ICHGS has a total of 37 in-service staff as part of a clear echelon structure, including universally acknowledged academic leaders. The Institute’s research includes all main research directions in Chinese historical geography.



Fudan University’s Distinguished Senior Professors in the Liberal Arts (in alphabetical order by surname)

Ge Jianxiong (葛剑雄)

Ge Jianxiong, born in Nanxun Town (now attached to Huzhou City), Wuxing County, Zhejiang Province in 1945, is professor, doctoral tutor, and was the third director of ICHGS (1996-2007), and now distinguished senior professor at Fudan University. Academic posts: Social Sciences Committee Member and Academic Discipline Construction Committee Deputy Director at the Ministry of Education, Association of Chinese Historians Council Member, Shanghai Historical Society Vice President, Shanghai Social Sciences Popularisation Society Vice President, Chinese National Committee for Future Earth Member, CPPCC Standing Committee Member, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Counselor, and Shanghai Zhongshan Society Vice President. He tutored three winners of the “National Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation” and one nomination. Selected publications: The Population History of China (6 volumes) (Zhongguo Renkou Shi) (chief editor of the set, author of Volume 1), The Immigration History of China (6 volumes) (Zhongguo Yimin Shi) (chief editor of the set, author of Volumes 1 and 2), Population Geography of the Western Han Dynasty (Xihan Renkou Dili), Population and Modernisation of China since 1850 (Renkou Yu Zhongguo De Xiandaihua: 1850 Nian Yilai) (coauthor, first author), The Future Living Space of Mankind: Natural Space (Weilai Shengcun Kongjian Ziran Kongjian), Unification and Secession: Revelations of Chinese History (Tongyi Yu Fenlie: Zhongguo Lishi De Qishi), What is History (Lishixue Shi Shenme), The Great Han Style (Yangyang Hanfeng), Changes in the Territory of China (Zhongguo Lidai Jiangyu De Bianqian), The Prequel to the Biography of Tan Qixiang (Youyou Changshui: Tan Qixiang Qianzhuan), The Sequel to the Biography of Tan Qixiang (Youyou Changshui: Tan Qixiang Houzhuan), Mapping in Ancient China (Zhongguo Gudai De Ditu Cehui), Selected Works of Ge Jianxiong (Ge Jianxiong Zixuan Ji), Collection of Travelling Records (Xing Lu Ji), Collection of Gravel (Sui Shi Ji), The Past and the Present (Wangshi Yu Jinshi), Visible Vicissitudes (Kan De Jian De Cangsang), Thoughts at my Desk (Lin Ji Sui Gan), Ge Jianxiong Tells History: 16 Episodes of the Chinese History (Ge Jianxiong Shuo Shi: Zhongguo Lishi De Shiliu Ge Pianduan), Books and People (Shu Ren Ji), Approaching to the Sun: an Investigation in Ali (Zoujin Taiyang: Ali Kaocha Ji), Notes from Travelling in Cambridge (Jianqiao Zhaji), Touring in Africa (Zou Feizhou), Comments in Passion and Observations in Calm (Lengyan Reyan), Reflections We Should Make (Wo men Ying you De Fansi, and Collected Works of Ge Jianxiong (7 volumes) (Ge Jianxiong Wen Ji).



Yao Dali (姚大力)

Yao Dali, born in Shanghai in 1949, graduated from the Department of History & Geography at Kunming Normal College and the Graduate School of Nanjing University, obtained a doctoral degree in history of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Between 1987-1991, he served as the dean of the Department of History at Nanjing University; in 1993-1995 and 2005, he worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard Yenching Institute and Harvard University and Keio University in Japan respectively. Now he is Fudan University’s distinguished senior professor, an ICHGS professor and doctoral tutor, as well as distinguished adjunct professor of the Academy of Chinese Learning at Tsinghua University. His major research directions include the history of the Mongol and Yuan Dynasty and the historical geography of China’s borderlands. Yao published ten academic papers and academic comments in succession, some of which were published in monographs including Ten Themes on the Ethnic History of Northern China (Beifang Minzu Shi Shi Lun), Political Systems and Culture in the Mongol-Yuan Dynasty (Meng Yuan Zhidu Yu Zhengzhi Wenhua), The Wisdom of Reading History(Du Shi De Zhihui), and Tracing “Our” Origins: National Identification and Ethnic Identification in Chinese History(Zhuixun Women De Qiyuan: Zhongguo Lishi Shang De Guojia Rentong He Minzu Rentong). Besides, Yao also participated in composing works of dynastic history such as The History of the Yuan Dynasty edited by Han Rulin (韩儒林) and General History of China (the Yuan Dynasty in the Middle Ages) edited by Bai Shouyi (白寿彝).



Zhou Zhenhe (周振鹤)

Zhou Zhenhe, born in Xiamen in 1941, studied in the Department of Mining and Metallurgy at Xiamen University and Fuzhou University during 1959-1963. In 1978 he was admitted by Fudan University to study for a Master’s degree, and in 1983 he obtained a doctoral degree in History, becoming one of the first two doctoral students in the literary arts in China. Now he is Fudan University’s distinguished senior professor and professor at ICHGS and doctoral tutor. Awards: Award of Excellence for Postgraduate Tutor (2004) at Fudan University, Award for Excellent Teachers in Shanghai (2007), and Fudan University Principal’s Award (2008). Academic posts: chief editor of Historical Geography, National Ancient Books Collection and Publication Planning Leadership Team Member, and head of the Shanghai Research Institute of Culture and History. Research directions: Chinese historical geography, especially political geography, cultural geography, local institutional history & cultural linguistics, history of language contact, and research on the history of the relationship between Chinese and western culture. Zhou used to organise multiple fund programmes in national natural science, social sciences, the State Education Commission and the Ministry of Education, as well as those in Shanghai. Besides, he frequently visited Japan, Europe, North America and Australia for cooperative study and academic exchange. Major award-winning books: Historical Atlas of Shanghai (Shanghai Lishi Ditu Ji)(chief editor), Dialect and Chinese Culture (Fang Yan Yu Zhongguo Wenhua) (coauthor, the second-class award for the Ministry of Education’s Second Competition of Excellent Books in Human Sciences), and papers winning the first prize for Outstanding Achievement in Philosophy and Social Sciences in Shanghai in 1986, 1998, 2008 and 2014 respectively. Other books: Administrative Division Geography in the Western Han Dynasty (Xihan Zhengqu Dili), The Way of Governance (Tiguo Jingye Zhi Dao), History of Local Administrative Systems in China (Zhongguo Difang Xingzheng Zhidu Shi), Historical Cultural Area Studies of China(Zhongguo Lishi Wenhua Quyu Yanjiu) (coauthor). Academic essays: Trip of Limitless Knowledge (Sui Wuya Zhi Lü), Common Expressions of Traditional Chinese (Yi Yan Shu Yu), Vernacular of Ordinary Person(Zhong Ren Baihua), and He who Knows Will not say (Zhi Zhe Bu Yan). Essay collections: Selected Works of Zhou Zhenhe (Zhou Zhenhe Zixuan Ji), Academic Age 19(Xue Jia Yi Shi Jiu), and Listen to the voice of Changshui(Chang Shui Sheng Wen). He was chief editor of General History of Administrative Subdivisions in China (Zhongguo Xingzheng Quhua Tongshi), Series of the Biographies of Christian Missionaries (Jidujiao Chuanjiaoshi Zhuanji Congshu), and Series of Biographies of Foregin Diplomats in China in the Late Qing Dynasty(Wanqing Zhuhua Waijiaoguan Zhuanji Congshu). He also compiled and annotated of Three Kinds of Geographical Books by Wang Shixing(Wang Shixing Dili Shu Sanzhong), Travel Notes from the Five Sacred Mountains, Supplement and Deduce for Gazetteers (Wu Yue You Cao Guang Zhi Yi), and The Sacred Edict: Explanations and Studies(Sheng Yu Guang Xun:Jijie Yu Yanjiu). Zhou has published more than 100 papers and guided many doctoral students. One of the dissertations tutored by Prof. Zhou has been awarded “National Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation” and one of them has received an award nomination.


Professors and Researchers (in alphabetical order by surname)

An Jiesheng (安介生)

An Jiesheng, born in 1966, with his ancestral home in Beijing, graduated from the Department of History at Fudan University in 1987 and was admitted by the Graduate School at Fudan University in 1991. Upon his graduation in 1996, he obtained a doctoral degree in history and afterwards worked at ICHGS. Now he is professor and doctoral tutor (historical geography and border historical geography). His major research directions include historical human geography, the history of migration in China, the ancient history of China and local history, and border history. During Oct. 2001-Sep. 2002, he served as a senior visiting scholar at St. Anne's College of the University of Oxford. In 2005 he was elected member of the Ministry of Education’s “New Century Excellent Talents” Support Programme. In September 2007, Zhou served as a short-term visiting researcher in Japanese Gakushuin University. In 2010 he was elected member of Research Incentive Programme for Outstanding Young Scholars of Guanghua Humanities Foundation at Fudan University. His major academic works include: Immigration History of Shanxi Province (Shanxi Yimin Shi), The Whole World Shares the Same Root – Migration and Traditional Chinese Culture (Sihai Tonggen —— Yimin Yu Zhongguo Chuantong Wenhua) (co-author), Historical Ethnic Geography(Lishi Minzu Dili) (2 volumes), A New Exploration of Historical Geography and the Local History of Shanxi (Lishi Dili Yu Shanxi Difang Shi Xin Tan),  Great Migrations of Tribes (Minzu Da Qianxi), Boundaries, Borders and Border Peoples – Fundamental Research on Tribal Distribution and  Geographic Ecology in the Northern Frontier Region of China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (Bianjie, Biandi Yu Bianmin —— Ming Qing Shiqi Beifang Biansai Diqu Buzu Fenbu Yu Dili Shengtai Jichu Yanjiu) (chief editor), Governance by Doing – Research on the Practice of Pre-modern Border Governance and the Changes in the Social History of the Chinese Borders(You Wei Er Zhi – Qian Xiandai Zhibian Shijian Yu Zhongguo Bianchui Shehui Lishi Bianqian Yanjiu) (chief editor), The Great Dictionary of Chinese Culture: Records of Historical Geography (Compendium) (Zhonghua Dadian • Lishi Dili Dian (Zonglun Fendian)). Dozens of his academic papers have been published in CSSCI jounals in China.


Duan Wei (段伟)

Born in Ningguo, Anhui in 1977, Duan Wei studied in the Department of History at Capital Normal University during 1995-2005, obtaining a doctoral degree in History. Since August 2005, he has followed Prof. Zou Yilin to engage in postdoctoral research at ICHS. In June 2007 he stayed to work at the Institute and in May 2009 he was promoted to associate researcher. During 2004-2005, Duan visited the Department of Geography at the University of Nottingham, the British Museum, the British Library, French Musée Guimet and Musée Albert-Kahn. In 2010 he visited National Palace Museum in Taiwan. During 2010-2011 he visited the Institute for Space and Geo Information Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2012 he visited the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences Studies at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. His research areas include Chinese historical geography, economic history and famine history. Duan organised China Postdoctoral Science Foundation’s “Local Control and the Formation of Provinces in the Qing Dynasty” project, the Ministry of Education’s “Humanity Planning Foundation” “Research on the Changes of Administrative Divisions Caused by Natural Disasters in Ancient China” project, Research on Historical Map (Atlas) of Inland Provinces [2] in the Qing Dynasty, a sub-project of the National Social Sciences Foundation’s key programme – Atlas of Qing History, and the sub-project GIS Database of Collection and Study of Data for the Construction in Small Third-line Areas. Duan participated in the compilation of Qing history – Geographical Annals organised by Prof. Zou Yilin at Fudan University, and has published more than 30 papers, including Disaster Prevention and Mitigation: the Formation of Social Response System to Natural Disasters in the Qin and Han Dynasties(Rangzai Yu Jianzai: Qin Han Shehui Ziran Zaihai Yingdui Zhidu De Xingcheng) (Fudan University Press, 2008),Textual Research on Confucian Geography in the Qing Dynasty – the Qin and Han Dynasties (Qing Ru Dili Kaoju Yanjiu • Qin Han Juan) (Qi Lu Press, 2015), On the Enduring Safety of the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River and Reasons since the Eastern Han Dynasty (Shilun Donghan Yihou Huanghe Xiayou Changqi Anliu Zhi Yuanyin), Popular Names and Reconstruction: On the Gradual Formation of Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces (Sucheng Yu Chonggou: Lun Anhui, Jiangsu Liangsheng De Zhujian Xingcheng), and A Preliminary Research on the Third-line Construction of Tianshui in Gansu Province (Gansu Tianshui Sanxian Jianshe Chutan).



Fan Rusen (樊如森)

Fan Rusen was born in Huanglong, Shaanxi Province in 1966, with his ancestral home in Yuncheng, Shandong Province. With a doctoral degree in history, now he is professor of ICHGS at Fudan University. Fan is committed to the study of Chinese historical economic geography and the history of marine economy. He was a visiting scholar at Gakushuin University and Kansai University in Japan, and at the University of Michigan in the U.S. His academic publications include Tianjin and the Modernisation of Northern China (1860-1937) (Tianjin Yu Beifang Jingji Xiandaihua (1860—1937)) (monograph, 2007), Ports – Hinterland and the Economical Evolution of Northern China (1840-1949)(Gangkou – Fudi Yu Beifang De Jingji Bianqian) (second author, 2011), The Changes in Economic Geographical Pattern in Modern Northwest (1850-1950)(Jindai Xibei Jingji Dili Geju De Bianqian) (monograph, 2012), Changes of the Northwest China’s Economic Geography Pattern in Modern Times (Jindai Zhongguo Beifang Jingji Dili Geju De Yanbian) (second chief editor, 2013), Northern China and the Mongolian Plateau’s Economic Geography in Modern Times(Huabei Yu Menggu Gaoyuan Jindai Jingji Dili) (monograph, 2015), and Traces of Entity Industry(Shi Ye Xun Zong) (monograph, 2015). Fan has published 55 academic papers (including 31 CSSCI journals and 8 ones reprinted in full by Journal of Duplicated Materials of Renmin University of China).



Fu Linxiang (傅林祥)

Fu Linxiang, born in Shanghai in 1961, graduated from the Department of History at Fudan University in July 1984 and then started to work at ICHGS. In the beginning, he managed archives for the Historical Atlas of China in the reference room and worked as an assistant at the editorial office of National Historical Atlas(Guojia Lishi Ditu Ji), but after that he was engaged in research. In 2002 Fu was promoted to associate professor, in June 2010 he obtained a doctoral degree, in December 2013 he was promoted to professor, and in January 2015 he qualified as doctoral tutor. His research directions include historical administrative division geography, historical geography of Shanghai and the sorting of ancient books. In recent years, he has devoted himself to the study of administrative divisions and local administrative systems of the Qing Dynasty. His publications include: A General History of Administrative Subdivisions in China – the Qing Dynasty (Zhongguo Xingzheng Quhua Tongshi • Qingdai Juan) (coauthor, first author), Volumes of the Republic of China(Zhonghua Minguo Juan) (coauthor, the first author), and Historical Atlas of Shanghai City (Shanghai Shi Lishi Didu Ji) (associate editor). The Great Dictionary of Chinese Culture: Records of Historical Geography Overseas Compendium(Zhonghua Dadian Lishi Dili Dian • Yuwai Fendian) (one of the chief editors) and Wang Yinglin (王应麟)’s General Explanation for Geography in Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government (Tongjian Dili Tongshi).



Han Zhaoqing (韩昭庆)

Han Zhaoqing, born in Guizhou in 1970, graduated from the Department of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences at Nanjing University in 1992, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Science. In 1998 he graduated from ICHGS, obtaining a doctoral degree in history, and began to teach at the Institute in the same year. Now Han is professor and doctoral tutor at the Institute. Moreover, he has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Yale University and the Academia Sinica as well as working for “Doctoral Service Team” in Qinghai for one year. His research areas include the historical physical geography of China, cartographic history of China and environmental history of western China. Han took charge of two projects for the National Natural Sciences Foundation, one Shuguang Programme for the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, One Pujiang Talent Programme and one “Project 985”. His publications include Research on the Huan-Huai Relationship and its Process of Evolvement(Huang Huai Guanxi Jiqi Yanbian Guocheng Yanjiu) (1999) and Desert, River and Delta Studies in China’s Regional Environmental History(Huangmo, Shuixi, Sanjiaozhou – Zhongguo Huanjing Shi De Quyu Yanjiu)(2010). Han has published more than 30 papers on academic journals like Social Sciences in China, Fudan Journal, Journal of Tsinghua University, Geographical Science and Journal of Chinese Historical Geography.


Hou Yangfang (侯杨方)

Hou Yangfang, born in Jiangsu in 1970, obtained his doctoral degree in economics from Fudan University. He has served as professor of ICHGS since April 2006 and now is dean of the Research Institute for Synergetic Development for Gansu Silk Road Economic Belt Construction at Fudan University. Hou won a comprehensive award for Fudan University’s first “Century Star” (of five winners in total) in 2000 and was elected as Fudan University’s first batch of “Foresighted Talent” (a total of eight winners). His research focuses on the Geographic Information System, the history of economics, historical populations, demography, history of population and population systems in the Qing Dynasty, and administrative divisions in the Qing Dynasty. He organised the key projects Geographic Information System of the Silk Road in areas of Hexi Corridor (Hexi Zoulang Duan Sichou Zhi Lu Dili Xinxi Xitong) and Database of Chinese Population Geography(Zhongguo Renkou Dili Shujuku) of the National Social Science Foundation, the key project Research on the Vital Statistics and Population Number Report according to Palace Archives during the Qing Dynasty (Qinggong Dang’an Yu Rending Bianshen, Minshu Huibao Yanjiu) of the Ministry of Education’s key research base, and Geographic Information System and Atlases during the Qing Dynasty (Qingchao Dili Xinxi Xitong Yu Ditu Ji) of Fudan University’s “Foresighted Talent” Programme. His works include The Population History of China (1910-1953)(Zhongguo Renkou Shi (1910-1953)) and Report and Evaluation of Population Numbers in the Qianlong Period(Qianlong Shiqi Minshu Huibao Ji Pinggu). In 2006 Hou researched and developed the first Chinese Population Geographic Information System (CPGIS) reflecting the constant change of Chinese administrative divisions and variations in population over the past two thousand years (AD 2 – 2000). In 2009 he researched and developed the “Chinese Geographic Information System (exhibition version for the 60th Anniversary)” and participated in “A Glorious 60 Years: Achievements Exhibition for the 60th Anniversary since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China”. As one of the two unique objects provided by Chinese universities in the exhibition hall of the Ministry of Education, it reveals the spatial distribution of Chinese administrative divisions, population, nature, economy, culture and disaster over the past two thousand years through a timer shaft. From April 2013, he designed and organised the world’s first series of investigations on the whole Pamirs since this century. Based on sin investigations on the Pamirs and southern Xinjiang, he conducted the world’s first “precise reconstruction” for the Silk Road and developed the world’s first Geographic Information System of the Silk Road (Sizhou Zhilu Dili Xinxi Xitong), which attracted much attention from wider society and was reported on the front page of Guangming Daily and Chinese Social Sciences Today.




Li Xiaojie (李晓杰)

Li Xiaojie, born in 1965, graduated from the Department of History at Fudan University in 1988, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in history. Li worked as assistant curator at the Storage Department of the Palace Museum from 1988 to 1991. In 1996 he graduated from ICHGS, obtaining a doctor’s degree in history. During 2001-2002 he served as visiting scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute and during 2003-2004 he worked as COE researcher at the Department of Literature of Osaka University. Now he is professor and doctoral tutor at ICHGS. His research areas include historical & political geography, Notes on the Book of Rivers (Shui Jing Zhu), history of ancient China and Sino-foreign cultural exchanges. He has organised a key project for the National Philosophy and Social Sciences Foundation, key projects of the key research base of the Ministry of Education’s humanities and social sciences, and projects for the Philosophy and Social Sciences Foundation in Shanghai. At present, Li is devoting himself to the revision and illustration of Notes on the Book of Rivers. His works include Administrative Division Geography in the Eastern Han Dynasty (Donghan Zhengqu Dili)(1999), Administrative Division in Dynastic China (Ti Guo Jing Ye – Lidai Xingzheng Quhua(2009), General History of Administrative Subdivisions in China: Pre-Qin Period (Zhongguo Xingzheng Quhua Tongshi • Xianqin Juan) (2011), Territory and Administrative Divisions (Jiangyu Yu Zhengqu) (2011), and General History of Administrative Subdivisions in China: the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (Zhongguo Xingzheng Quhua Tongshi • Wudai Shiguo Juan(2015).



Lu Weidong (路伟东)

Lu Weidong, born in Feicheng, Shandong in 1974, obtained a doctoral degree in history at Fudan University (majoring in population history). He used to be a visiting researcher at Japanese Gakushuin University and is now professor and Master’s tutor at ICHGS and a scholar of Shanghai Shuguang Programme, giving lectures of migration history in China, HGIS spatial analysis and historical geographic studies. Lu organised projects for the National Social Sciences Foundation, the Shanghai Education Development Foundation, and Fudan University’s “Project 985” Historical Geographic Innovation Base, as well as participating in multiple research projects like CHGIS and the key project for national social sciences – A Great Dictionary of China (Zhonghua Dadian). He has published one monograph and nearly 20 papers in journals including Modern Chinese History Studies, Historical Geography and Hui Studies. His academic achievements won the Outstanding Youth Paper Award at Tan Qixiang Yugong Society and the Fudan University Principal’s Award. Currently, he is committed to studying HGIS and Chinese population history. Special focus is placed on micro-population history and Hui population history since the Qing Dynasty. His representative works are A Study of Population of Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces in the Qing Dynasty (Qingdai Shan Gan Renkou Zhuanti Yanjiu) (monograph), The Grain Supply in Nanjing, 1860-1864 (1860-1864 Nian Tianjing De Liangshi Gongying), An Analysis of the Peak Population of Hui People in Shaanxi-Gansu in the Qing Dynasty (Qingdai Shan Gan Huimin Fengzhi Renkoushu Fenxi), Imam, Xiangyue, and Baojia Roster: The Muslims Population of Shaanxi-Gansu Region Qing Dynasty (Zhangjiao, Xiangyue Yu Baojia Ce – Qingdai Huji Guanli Tixi Zhong De Huimin Renkou), and An Analysis of Rules for GIS-supported Long-duration Regional Population Change (GIS Zhidengxia De Chang Shiduan Quyu Renkou Biandong Guilü Fenxi) and Study on the Urban Population of Gansu in the Late Qing Dynasty and the Model of Urban Population Hierarchy (Wan Qing Gansu Chengshi Renkou Yu Beifang Chengshi Renkou Dengji Moshi).



Man Zhimin (满志敏)

Man Zhimin, born in Shanghai City in 1952, graduated from the Department of Geography at East China Normal University in 1983, obtaining a bachelor’s degree. While working at ICHGS, he acquired a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in history through hard study. Man was the fourth director of the Institute (2007-2010) and now he is professor and doctoral tutor. His research interests include change to the climate and drought and floods in Chinese historical periods, climatic disaster & social influence, land utilisation and and changes to it, as well as the historical Geographic Information System. Research subjects participated in and organised: preliminary research on Chinese climatic and sea-level changes as well as their trends and influence (a project with joint investment from the National Natural Sciences Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences), forecasting research on the variation trend of China’s living environment in the future 20-50 years (The Climbing Project), a chronology of climatic disasters in Chinese history, research on small-scale sea-level fluctuations throughout history, and research on the variation processes of land cover at China’s main agricultural boundaries over the past two thousand years (all projects for the International Natural Sciences Foundation). Man was visiting scholar of the Department of Geography at the State University of New York at Albany and the Department of Geography at the University of Liverpool, Geographical Society of China Council Member, Historical Geography Committee Member of the Geographical Society of China, Climate Committee Member of the Geographical Society of China, and member of the integration research team of Chinese National Committee for the International Geophere-Biosphere Programme. Man tutored two papers which were nominated for the National Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations award. His publications include: Climatic Changes during the Historical Period of China (Zhongguo Lishi Shiqi Qihou Bianhua Yanjiu) (coauthor), Atlas of Natural Disasters of China(Zhongguo Ziran Zaihai Ditu Ji) (coauthor),  Historical Climate Changeof China (Zhongguo Lishi Qihou Bianhua) (coauthor), Atlas of the Yangtze River Basin (Changsha Liuyu Ditu Ji) (coauthor), and Spatial Structure Evolution of the City, Settlement and River Network of the Shanghai Area(Shanghai Diqu Chengshi, Juluo He Shui Wang Kongjian Jiegou Yanbian) (chief editor).



Wang Jiange (王建革)

Born in Zhaoyuan, Shandong in 1964, Wang Jiange graduated from the Department of Agronomy at Laiyang Agricultural University (now called Qingdao Agricultural University) in 1985, obtaining a bachelor’s degree. He acquired a Master’s degree in history of agriculture from Nanjing Agricultural University in 1988 and then a doctoral degree in the history of agriculture from Nanjing Agricultural University in 1995. After two years of postdoctoral research at ICHGS, he stayed to work at the Institute in 1998. Now he is professor and doctoral tutor, engaged in history of agriculture and ecological environment of China. Wang has organised a key project for the National Social Sciences Foundation – Research on the History of Environmental Changes in the Yangtze River Delta Area since the Song Dynasty (Songdai Yilai Changjiang Sanjiaozhou Diqu Huanjing Bianqian Shi Yanjiu). His works include: the Ecosystem of Argo-animal Husbandry and Traditional Mongolian Society (Nongmu Shengtai Yu Chuantong Menggu Shehui), TheWater Ecosystem of Jiangnan Society between the 9th and 20th Centuries (Shuixiang Shengtai Yu Jiangnan Shehui (9-20 Shiji)), and more than 80 papers on nature and human journals like Journal of Chinese Historical Studies, Journal of Modern Chinese History Studies, Journal of Agricultural History in China, Journal of Historical Geography and Journal of Chinese Historical Geography.



Wang Zhenzhong (王振忠)

Born in Fuzhou, Fujian in 1964, Wang Zhenzhong acquired a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and a doctoral degree from Fudan University (1992). In 1998 he was promoted to professor and since 1999 he has been doctoral tutor of historical geography. His research areas include historical geography, Chinese history, social history, Huizhou studies and the history of Sino-foreign cultural exchange. Wang has so far published tens of books and papers. His recent publications include Huizhou Merchants and the Evolution of Huai Yang Society in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (revised edition in 2014) (Ming Qing Hui Shang Yu Huai Yang Shehui Bianqian), Research on Social History in the Qing Dynasty according to Overseas Historical Documents (Xiu Zhong Donghai Yi Bian Kai: Yuwai Wenxian yu Qingdai Shehuishi Yanjiu Lungao) (2015).



Wu Songdi (吴松弟)

Born in Taishun, Zhejiang in 1954, Wu Songdi graduated from the Department of History at Northeast Normal University in 1982 and was admitted by ICHGS in 1983. Upon his graduation, he stayed to teach at the Institute. He became a doctoral student whilst continuing to teach in September 1990, acquired a doctoral degree in History in December 1992, was promoted to professor and doctoral tutor in 2000, and won Fudan University’s “Award for Excellent Master Tutor” in 2006. Wu served as visiting scholar at the University of Oxford and Harvard University for two years and nine months, and visited many universities for exchange in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. While working as the fifth director of ICHGS (2010-2015), he was also vice president of Yangtze River Delta Research Institute at Fudan University. His academic posts include Historical Geography Committee Member of the Geographical Society of China and Society for the History of the Song Dynasty Committee Member. His research areas include Chinese historical and economic geography, economic history and population history. His publications include the third volume (the Sui, Tang and the Five Dynasties) and the fourth volume (the Liao, Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties) of Chinese Immigration History (6 volumes) the third volume (the Liao, Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties) of The Population History of China (6 volumes), Ubiquitous Greatness: The Geographical Environment and Chinese Politics (Wu Suo Bu Zai De Wei Li —— Dili Huanjing Yu Zhongguo Zhengshi), The Population History of the Southern Song Dynasty(Nansong Renkou Shi), Collation and Explanation of the Geography Monographs of the Old Tang History and the New Tang History (Liang Tang Shu Dili Zhi Huishi), and The Revelation of Corporate Cultureof Wenzhou (Wenzhou Chuangye Renhua Qishi Lu). He has co-authored Historical Human Geographyof China (Zhongguo Lishi Renwen Dili) (associate editor), A Brief History of Immigration in China(Zhongguo Yimin Jian Shi). In the past decade he has been engaged in the study of modern economic geography and has organised multiple projects by the National Social Sciences Foundation and the State Education Commission (the Ministry of Education). Wu is the chief editor of Ports – Hinterland and the Spatial Expansion of Chinese Modernisation (Gangkou – Fudi He Zhongguo Xiandaihua De Kongjian Jincheng), Into Traditional Rural China: A Internationally Collaborated Field Study of the History and Culture of Taishun, Zhejiang Province (Zouru Zhongguo De Chuantong Nongcun – Zhejiang Taishun Lishi Wenhua De Guoji Kaocha Yu Yanjiu), and Chinese Modern Economic Geography(Zhongguo Jindai Jingji Dili) (9 volumes). Furthermore, he has published more than 100 papers in the Journal of Historical Research, Journal of Chinese Historical Studies, Scientia Geographica Sinica as well as overseas academic journals.



Yang Weibing (杨伟兵)

Born in Yunlong, Yunnan (Bai ethic minority) in 1974, Yang Weibing obtained a doctoral degree in history from ICHGS in 2002 and then stayed to teach at the Institute. Now he is professor at the Institute. His academic posts include Shanghai Shuguang Programme Scholar, Youth Committee Member of Shanghai History Society, and visiting professor at Guizhou Normal University. Besides this, he was a visiting scholar at Japanese Gakushuin University, Taipei National Palace Museum and the Department of History at Taiwan University. His research areas include Chinese historical geography, history of environment and society, and history of southwest area in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. As an important member of the Qing history compilation project Geographical Annals, Yang used to organise multiple key projects with the National Natural Sciences Foundation, the Natural Social Sciences Foundation and the Shanghai Municipal Education Committee’s scientific research innovation. His works include Land Utilisation and the Ecological Evolution of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (1659—1912) (Yuan Gui Gaoyuan De Tudi Liyong Yu Shengtai Bianqian (1659—1912)), The Environment and Society of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties(Ming Qing Yilai Yungui Gaoyuan De Huanjing Yu Shehui) (chief editor), Historical Geography of the Three Gorges(Changjiang Sanxia Lishi Dili) (co-author), and more than 40 papers such as Political Geography and Social Environment in Yunnan-Guizhou Areas in the Early and Mid Qing Dynasty(Qingdai Qianzhongqi Yungui Diqu Zhengzhi Dili Yu Shehui Huanjing), Drought and Flooding, Irrigation and the Agricultural Environment on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau(1695-1960) (Hanlao, Shuilihua Yu Yun Gui Gaoyuan De Nongye Huanjing (1695-1960)), Agricultural Reclamation and Land Utilisation on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties (Yuan Ming Qing Shiqi Yun Gui Gaoyuan Nongye Kenzhi Jiqi Tudi Liyong Wenti), A Modernisation and Regional Historical Geography Study: Taking Southwestern China as an Example(Jindaihua Jincheng Yu Quyu Lishi Dili Yanjiu: Yi Zhongguo Xinan Wei Li), and Agriculture and Forestry Economic Development and Ecosystem in Southeast Guizhou in the Qing Dynasty – Analysis of Production Structure (Qingdai Qian Dongnan Diqu Nong Lin Jingji Kaifa Jiqi Shengtai – Shengchan Jiegou Fenxi). His monograph Land Utilisation and Ecological Changes on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (1659—1912) won the Book Award of the Second Appraisal for Chinese Government Award.



Yang Yuda (杨煜达)

Born in Tengchong, Yunnan Province in 1968, Yang obtained a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in history from the Department of History at Yunnan University. In 2005 he acquired a doctoral degree from ICHGS and stayed to teach at the Institute. From April 2008 to July 2010 he was engaged as Humboldt research fellow in cooperative research in the Department of Chinese and the Department of Geography at University of Tuebingen in Germany. In 2010 his doctoral dissertation won the Award for National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation. Yang is committed to the study of historical climate & environmental change, historical border geography and ethnic history. His published monographs include Studies of the Monsoon Climate and Weather Disasters of Yunnan Province in the Qing Dynasty (Qingdai Yunnan Jifeng Qihou Yu Tianqi Zaihai Yanjiu) and The Sino-Burmese Conflict and Southwest Border During the Reign of Emperor Qianlong (Qianlong Chao Zhong Mian Chongtu Yu Xinan Bianjiang). His papers include The Formation of Powerful Groups and Subsequent Changes in the Han Society in Nanzhong Area in the Han-Wei Dynasties (Shilun Han Wei Shiqi Nanzhong Diqu Daxing De Xingcheng Yu Hanzu Shehui De Shanbian), Huamali: A Dispute between China and Burma During the 16th Century to the 19th Century (Hua Ma Li: 16-19 Shiji Zhong Mian Bianjing De Zhuquan Zhi Zheng), The Development of the Copper Industry and Changes to the Environment in Northeastern Yunnan Province in the Mid-Qing Dynasty (1726-1855) (Qingdai Zhongqi (Gongyuan 1726-1855) Dian Dongbei De Tongye Kaifa Yu Huangjing Bianqian), Reconstruction of Series in Late or Early Starting Rainy Season in Yunnan Province and Evolvement of Summer Monsoons in the Mid-Qing (Qingdai Yunnan Yuji Zaowan Xulie De Chongjian Yu Xiajifeng Bianqian), The Reconstruction of the Amount of Precipitation during the Rainy Season in Kunming from 1711-1911 and A Preliminary Analysis (1711-1911 Nian Kunming Yuji Jiangshui De Fenji Chongjian Yu Chubu Fenxi), and Yunnan Silver Mines and Miner Group and Borderland Order in the Mid-Qing Dynasty: Based on Wu Shangxian From Mau-long Silver Mine (Qingdai Zhongqi Dianbian Yinkuang De Kuangmin Jituan Yu Bianjiang Zhixu: Yi Maolong Yinchang Wu Shangxian Wei Zhongxin).



Zhang Weiran (张伟然)

Born in Anren, Hunan in 1965, Zhang Weiran graduated from the Department of Geography at Hunan Normal University in 1985, acquiring a bachelor’s degree in science. In 1990 he graduated from the Department of Geography at Hunan Normal University, obtaining a Master’s degree in History from Shaanxi Normal University. In July 1993 he graduated from ICHGS, getting a doctor’s degree in history. Now Zhang is professor and doctoral tutor at the Institute. His academic posts include Geographical Society of China Council Member, secretary general of the Historical Geography Committee of the Geographical Society of China, editorial board member of Geography Research, and Shanghai Geography Society Council Member. He served as visiting researcher at Japanese Aichi University, National Chung Cheng University, Historical Language Institute of Academia Sinica, Harvard–Yenching Institute and University of Michigan. Zhang devotes himself to the study of historical cultural geography. His creative study of regional historical cultural geography is particularly focused on Hunan and Hubei Provinces. In recent years he has been committed to the study of Buddhist geography and has been constantly expanding research ideas and materials. Meanwhile he is strongly interested in related areas such as the interaction between culture and environment and environmental effects of human behaviour. His main writings include Study on Historical Cultural Geography in Hunan Province (Hunan Lishi Wenhua Dili Yanjiu), Geographical Mental Images in Middle Ancient Literature (Zhonggu Wenxue De Dili Yixiang), and co-authored The Relationship between Quota Systems and Regional Cultural Development – Research on the Yangtze Delta during the Qing Dynasty (Ding’e Zhidu Yu Quyu Wenhua De Fazhan – Jiyu Qingdai Changjiang Sanjiaozhou Diqu Xue’e De Yanjiu). Moreover, Zhang has published dozens of papers including Affiliation, Expression, Adjustment: The Political Destiny ofSmall-scale Regions (Guishu•Biaoda•Tiaozheng: Xiao Chidu Quyu De Zhengzhi Mingyun), APreliminary Study on Buddhist Geography in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (Nan Bei Chao Fojiao Dili De Chubu Yanjiu), Regional Differences and Geographical Environment of Chinese Buddhist Sect Patterns(Zhongguo Fojiao Zongpai Xingtai De Diyu Chayi Yu Dili Huanjing).



Zhang Xiaohong (张晓虹)

Born in Lingwu, Ningxia in May 1965, Zhang Xiaohong graduated from the Department of Geography at Shaanxi Normal University, acquiring a bachelor’s degree in science. In 1989 he graduated from the Department of Geography at East China Normal University, acquiring a Master’s degree in science. In 1997 he graduated from ICHGS, obtaining a doctoral degree in History. After that, he stayed to work at the Institute. Now he is professor and doctoral tutor. In 2002-2003, he served as visiting scholar at Harvard–Yenching Institute. His research areas include historical urban geography and historical cultural geography. Zhang used to organise multiple national, provincial and ministerial research programmes such as the National Natural Science Foundation project – “Research on the Spreading of Catholicism and the Changes of Regional Ecological Environment along the Great Wall”, “Research on Urban Public Space in Shanghai 1843-1949)”, “Social Customs and Environmental Effect in the Northwest Region during the 14th-19th Centuries”, the National Social Sciences Foundation projects – “Research on the Relationship between Folk Belief and Natural Environment in the Northwest Region in Historical Periods”, and the Ministry of Education’s humanities and social sciences key project – “The Expansion of Urban Space and the Formation of Modern Urban Cultural Landscape in Shanghai since the Opening of Commercial Port”. His monographs include Differentiation and Integration of Cultural Region – Historical Cultural Research on Shaanxi Province (Wenhua Quyu De Fenyi Yu Zhenghe – Shanxi Lishi Wenhua Dili Yanjiu) and Ancient Capitals and Cities(Gudu Yu Chengshi). He has edited Architecture and Image (Wan Min Suo Yi: Jianzhu Yu Yixiang) and Earthly Paradise (Dong Tian Fu Di). His research works include AHistorical Atlas of Shanghai and Regional Research on the Historical Culture of China.



Zhu Haibin (朱海滨)

Born in Yiwu, Zhejiang in 1968, Zhu Haibin graduated from the Department of Anthropology of Sun Yat-sen University in 1990 and studied at ICHGS from 1992 to 1998, obtaining a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in history. From 1998 to 2003, he studied in Japan, acquiring a doctoral degree in literature, and then worked at ICHGS. Now he is professor and doctoral tutor at the Institute. From April 2003, Zhu served as visiting researcher of literary studies at Osaka University for one year, and from September 2008, he was a visiting researcher at the Religious Studies Centre of Seoul National University for one year. His research areas include historical cultural geography and the history of social culture. Zhu has organised multiple provincial research projects. His published monographs include A Cultural Geographical Study of Zhejiang  Province in Modern Times (Jinshi Zhejiang Wenhua Dili Yanjiu), and Evolution of Sacrificial Policies and Folk Beliefs: A Folk-Belief Study of Modern Times (Jixi Zhengce Yu Minjian Xinyang Bianqian: Jinshi Zhejiang Minjian Xinyang Yanjiu). His translated works include Rural Society and Folk Belief in Jiangnan Area during the Ming and Qing Dynasties(Qing Ming Jiangnan Nongcun Shehui Yu Minjian Xinyang). Besides, he has published more than 30 papers in both domestic and foreign journals such as Tohogaku (Eastern Studies) and Toyo Gakuho (Reports of the Oriental Society).



Associate Professors/Associate Researchers (in alphabetical order by surname)

Fei Jie (费杰)

Born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu in 1978, Fei Jie graduated from the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, achieving a doctor’s degree in science (majoring in quaternary geology and tutored by Researcher Zhou Jie). He used to serve in a postdoctorate position and as lecturer in the Department for the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology at University of Science and Technology of China, as well as postdoctorate at the Department of Geography at University of Hong Kong. Since 2012, Fei has been associate professor of ICHGS at Fudan University. His major research directions include historical natural geography and history of Sino-foreign cultural exchange in relation to geonomy. His papers include The Drought and Locust Plague of 942-944 AD in the Yellow River Basin, China, Extreme Sea Ice Events in the Chinese Marginal Seas During the Past 2000 Years, Historical Water Level Change of Lake Weishan in East China from 1758-1902 AD: Relationship with the Flooding of the Yellow River, Extreme Dust Storms in 1523 AD in North China, Water-level Observations of Lake Weishan-Zhaoyang-Nanyang in China over 1814-1902 AD, The Possible Climatic Impact in North China of the AD 1600 Huaynaputina Eruption, Peru, etc.



Ulaanbars (齐光)

Ulaanbars was born in Fuxin Mongolian Autonomous County of the Mongol ethnicity. Liaoning Province in 1981. In 2004 he graduated from the Department of Mongolian Language and Literature at Minzu University of China. In the same year he studied at the University of Tsukuba in Japan on his own expense. Ulaanbars was awarded the title of special research fellow at the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science in 2007-2009, and earned the title of Doctor of Literature at the same school in 2011, and began to work for ICHGS at Fudan University from 2012. Making use of historical materials in Manchu, Mongolian, Chinese and Tibetan, he specialises in the historical geography of inner Asia during and after the 17th century. His published monographs are Politics and Society of Mongolia in the Period of the Qing Empire – With a Focus on the Study of Alax Hoxud History (Daqing Diguo Shiqi Menggu De Zhengzhi Yu Shehui – Yi Alashanheshuote Bu Shi Yanjiu Wei Zhongxin). His papers include The Movement of Qinghai Khoshut throughout Lobzang Danjin’s Rebellion, The Dominance of Mongolian Jasak Princes of the Alaksha Khoshut over their Tribe Subjects in the Qing Dynasty (Qingchao Shiqi Alashan Heshuote Bu Zhasake Wangye de Shuzhong Tongzhi), The Colourful World —— An Analysis of “Qing Imperial Costume” Scrolls and their Manchu and Chinese Captions(Jiexi Huangqing Zhigong Tu Huijuan Jiqi Man Han Wen Tushuo), The Scope of Validity of the Law for the Mongols and its revisionary texts in the Qing Dynasty (Cong Yifen Manwen Dang’an Kan 17-18 Shiji Menggu Lingzhu Shuxia Shangren de Huodong), Ladakh and the Contention between the Qing Empire and Junggar Regime in Tibetan Area in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century), etc.


Ren Xiaobo (任小波)

Born in Shangzhou, Shaanxi in 1981, Ren Xiaobo studied in the Department of History at Minzu University of China from September 2000 to July 2010, obtaining a doctoral degree in the historical culture of Tibet. His tutor was Prof. Chen Nan. During September 2005 – July 2012, Ren followed Prof. Wang Yao and Chen Jian of Tibetan Studies at the Minzu University of China to study Tibetan literature & history with classic Tibetan. During September 2010 – July 2012, he worked at the Research Institute for Historical Language in Western Regions of School of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China, and engaged in postdoctoral research on Sino-Tibetan Buddhism. He was partnered with tutor Prof. Shen Weirong. Since October 2012, Ren has worked at ICHGS, studying Tibetan historical geography, Dunhuang Tibetology, and Sino-Tibetan Buddhism. Papers: The Relationship between Tribal Groups and Faith in Vaiśravaṇa Devarāja: A Study on Dunhuang Manuscript PT 1189.r, the Official Letter from Suzhou Fuzhu to Hexi Jiedu(Tang-Song Zhi Ji Hexi Diqu De Bu Zu Guanxi Yu Hu Guo Xinyang——Dunhuang PT 1189.r Hao Suzhou Fu Zhu Zhi Hexi Jiedu ShuzhuangShiyi), The Sūtra of Causes and Effects of Good and Evil in Tibetan: A Comparative Study of its Chinese Texts and Tibetan Translations (Zang Yi Shan’e Yinguo JingDuikan yu Yanjiu Daolun), The Ritual Story of “Transformation into the King of Horses” and the Cult of Avalokiteśvara in Early Tibet: An Interpretation of Dunhuang Manuscript PT 239.2 (“Quanxianmawang” Yi Gui Gushi yu Xizang Zaoqi Guanyin Xinyang ——Dunhuang PT 239.2 Hao Zangwen Xieben Yanjiu Shili), amongst others.



Wang Daxue (王大学)

Born in Ruzhou, Henan in 1978, Wang Daxue graduated from the Department of History at Henan Normal University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree. In the same year he entered ICHGS at Fudan University, acquiring a Master’s degree and doctoral degree. After getting a doctoral degree in 2007, he stayed to teach at the Institute and he is now an associate professor. Wang is committed to historical geography studies, environmental history studies, as well as HGIS theory and practice. Aside from organising youth programmes for the National Natural Sciences Foundation, he has published a monograph entitled Construction of “Jiangnan Seawall” and Environment in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and more than ten papers. From July 2012 to July 2013, after serving as visiting scholar at Harvard University, Wang participated in two successive short-term academic exchanges at Gakushuin University and Waseda University, Japan.



Xu Jianping (徐建平)

Born in Haiyan, Zhejiang in 1979, Xu Jianping graduated from the Department of History at Fudan University in 2002, obtaining a bachelor’s degree. In the same year he was admitted by ICHGS for a Master’s degree. In 2007 Xu acquired a doctor’s degree and then stayed to teach at the Institute. Xu is strongly interested in modern Chinese political geography studies as well as modern urban geography and rural geography. He as published a monograph, entitled Changes to Provincial Boundaries from the Perspective of Administrative Regionalisation Geography: Taking Anhui Province in the Republican Period as an Example (Zhengzhi Dili Shijiao Xia De Shengjie Bianqian – Yi Minguo Shiqi Anhui Sheng Wei Li). His published papers include Boundaries and Enclaves in the Procedure of Reorganising an Administrative Region: Taking the Tongguan Boundary in Republic of China Period as an Example (Xingzheng Quyu Zhengli Guocheng Zhong De Bianjie Yu Chahua Di – Yi Minguo Shiqi Tongguan Huajie Wei Li), Adjustment of Borders Along the River and Maintenance of River Banks in Hubei, Anhui and Jiangxi Provinces in the Republican Period (Minguo Shiqi E Wan Gan Sansheng Yanjiang Bianjie Tiaozheng Yu Jiangdi Weihu), The Seizure of a Lake Shore and Shaping of a Provincial Boundary: Taking Qingzhong Lake in North Anhui Province as an Example (Hutan Zhengduo Yu Shengjie Chengxing – Yi Wanbei Qingzhong Hu Wei Li), Military Actions and Adjustments in the Republican Period: Taking the Foundation of Lihuang County as an Example(Minguo Shiqi De Junshi Xingdong Yu Zhengqu Tiaozheng – Yi Lihuang Jianxian Wei Li), Interaction: the Purpose of Government and the Desires of the Masses: Case Analysis on “Wuyuan Back to Anhui Movement” in the Republican Period (Hudong: Zhengfu Yizhi Yu Minzhong Yiyuan – Yi Minguo Shiqi Wuyuan Huiwan Wei Li), etc.



Zou Yi (邹怡)

Born in Haining, Zhejiang in 1980, Zou Yi was admitted by the Department of History at Fudan University in 1998, entered ICHGS to study for a Master’s degree in 2001, acquired a doctor’s degree in history in December 2006, and then stayed on to teach at the Institute. From November 2007 to November 2008, Zou served as visiting scholar in Gakushuin University, Japan. His academic interests include the study of historical geography and social economy in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and the Republican era, especially the study of traditional rural society and modern urban development. He has a published monograph entitled The Tea Industry and the Local Community in Huizhou since the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1949) (Ming Qing Yilai De Huizhou Chaye Yu Lifang Shehui). His published papers include The Operation of Social Public Services in Cities during the Qing Dynasty: A Sample Survey on Fire Fighting & Prevention Services in Hangzhou City (Qingdai Chengshi Shehui Gonggong Shiye De Yunzuo – Yi Hangzhou Xiaofang Shiye Wei Zhongxin), Regional Conditions and the Spatial Structure of Towns in Republic of China: A Case Study of Xiashi Town in Haining County, Zhejiang Province (Minguo Shizhen De Quwei Tiaojian Yu Kongjian Jiegou – Yi Zhejiang Haining Xiashi Zhen Wei Li), Industrial Agglomeration and Consolidation of Urban Location: The History of Tunxi, A City of Tea Trade in Huizhou (1577-1949) (Chanye Jiju Yu Chengshi Quwei Gonggu: Huizhou Chawu Duhui Tunxi Fazhan Shi), Population Time Series of Longgan - Taibai Lake Catchment During 1391-2006 and its Sediment Response (1391-2006) (Nian Long Gan Hu – Tai Bai Hu De Renkou Shijian Xulie Jiqi Hupo Chendian Xiangying (1391-2006)) .



Sato Noriyuki (佐藤宪行)

Born in Japan in 1971, Sato Noriyuki graduated from the Department of Foreign Language at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Mongolian. In 2008 he graduated from the Department of Environmental Science Studies at Tohoku University, acquiring an academic doctoral degree. Sato Noriyuki is committed to the history of Mongols (Mongolian urban history and Mongolian social history in the Qing Dynasty) and regional studies of northeast Asia. His published monographs include A Study on cities of Khalkha-Mongolia in Qing Dynasty –Khuree in the late 18th century to the mid 19th century (Japanese). His published papers include On the Damnuurchin District of Ikh Khuree (Их Хүрээний дамнуурчны хэсгүүдийн тухай) (Mongolian), The Supply of Grain in Ikh Khuree and the Issue of the Chinese Settlement to the northern Khalkha in Daoguan Era: The Soaring Price of Grain from 1833 to 1835 (Japanese) and so on.



Lecturers/Assistant Researchers (in alphabetical order by surname)

Ding Yannan(丁雁南)

Born in Hefei, Anhui province, in 1982. He received his BA in Chinese Languages & Literature from Fudan University in 2003, and from the same university his MA in History (Historical Geography) in 2006. He went on to study in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, and was awarded with PhD in Science (Geography) in 2012. He was Lecturer in Department of Urban Planning, Hefei University of Technology, during May 2012 - Jan. 2014. From Feb. 2014 onward, he is Lecturer in Department of History, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr. Ding’s area of research includes Urban Historical Geography and History of Cartography. His publications comprise several papers, including Facts vs. Imaginations: A Query about the Veracity of the Vietnamese “Flag-planting” Argument(Shishi yu Xiangxiang: “Jialongwang Chaqi” Shuo Zhiyi); Reviving Transnational Elite Sociality: Social Clubs in Shanghai; The Future of Chinese Land Market: Revisiting the “Fictitious Commodity” Concept of Karl Polanyi (Zhongguo Tudi Shichang de Weilai: Zaiyi Bolanni “Xuni Shangpin” Gainian) (with Chris Kesteloot, Maarten Loopmans); “Happiness Hefei”: Public art and rural-urban citizenship struggles in transitional China (with Nick Schuermans); etc., and an edited volume titled China, A Historical Geography of the Urban (with Maurizio Marinelli, Xiaohong Zhang).



Huang Xuechao(黄学超)

Born in 1987, Zhangzhou, Fujian, Huang Xuechao graduated from the Department of Political Science and Law, Zhangzhou Normal University in 2009. He studied at Institute of Chinese Historical Geography, Fudan University from 2009 to 2015, obtaining a doctoral degree in 2015. He was a postdoctoral associate at the Department of History, Syracuse University from 2015 to 2016. From September 2016 to present, he works in the Institute of Chinese Historical Geography, Fudan University. His major research fields are historical administrative geography, and historical geographic literature. In recent years, he has mainly engaged in the study of Shuijing Zhu (Notes on the Book of Rivers). He coauthored book A Study of Notes on the Book of Rivers with Textual Collation,Provenance, Goegraphic Research and Maps: Volumes of Wei River's Basin (Shuijing Zhu Jiao Jian Tu Shi:Weishui Liuyu Zhu Pian). Some of his published articles include A Textual Examination of Xinxingchuan River Recorded in Notes on Wei River in the Book of Rivers (Shuijing Weishui Zhu Suozai Xinxingchuanshui Jiaoyi)An Examination of Smelting Pool (Yetang Kao)An Examination of Li Daoyuan’s Official Positions (Li Daoyuan Ren Guan Kao)A Study on Piecing Huabaishiduxunzaobei and the Related Issues (Xi Jin Hua Baishi Du Xun Zao Bei Canshi Pinlian Ji Xiangguan Wenti).




Sun Tao (孙涛)

Born in Zhangjiakou, Hebei in 1981, Sun Tao graduated in the Geographic Information System specialism from the College of Resources and Environmental Science at Hebei Normal University in 2004, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in geography. Since that year, he has worked for CHGIS project of ICHGS. He is strongly interested in the construction and application of historical geography data. He especially focuses on historical physical geography and historical geography studies related to GIS application. In 2011, Sun took part in Phase III of Prof. Man Zhimin’s “Project 985” – Research on the Climate in Eastern China in the Qing Dynasty, and was in charge of the sub-project – Database and Geographic Information System. Besides this, as technical support, Sun participated in the preparation of the basic data for multiple Natural Sciences Foundation projects, playing an important role in the construction of the thematic database for historical geography. His papers include The Role of Land Management in Shaping Arid/Semi-arid Landscapes: thc Case of the Catholic Church (CICM) in Western Inner Mongolia from the 1870s (Late Qing Dynasty) to the 1940s (Republic of China), A Study of Enclaves within Guizhou in the Ming and Qing Dynasty(Ming Qing Guizhou Chahua Di Yanjiu), Urban Space Production: Urbanisation of Wujiaochang Area in Jiangwan Town of Shanghai in 1900-1949 (Chengshi Kongjian De Shengchan – Yi Jindai Shanghai Jiangwan Wujiaochang Diqu De Chengshihua Wei Li), Urban Space Production and Consumption: the Formation of Jing’an District and Its Cultural Image Change in Modern Shanghai(Chengshi Kongjian De Shengchan Yu Xiaofei – Jindai Shanghai Jing An Quyu De Xingcheng Jiqi Wenhua Yixiang Bianqian) amongst others.




At present, ICHGS at Fudan University has the most researchers and the widest range of research directions of all Chinese historical geography research institutions. The Institute has a star-studded cast of academics who are unanimously acclaimed on the national level, whose research covers the fields of historical physical geography and historical human geography.

The Institute has expanded to encompass nine research directions.


1. Research on Historical Physical Geography and Environmental Change

This research direction takes elements of physical geography such as climate, vegetation, hydrology and landform as its main focus. It explores how natural elements shape and affect the physical environment and ecosystems as well as how they interact with human activities.

The Institute has amassed profound academic experience in this area. Thanks to the efforts of scholars like Prof. Tan Qixiang, Prof. Zou Yilin, Prof. Zhang Xiugui (张修桂) and Prof. Man Zhimin (满志敏), the Institute has long held a leading position in study areas such as geomorphologic change, climate reconstruction and environmental change.

At present, the Institute highlights the following aspects of research in this area.

 (1) Historical climate research. The historical climate is one of the core areas in the study of global change, as well one of the study areas in which research is particularly abundant. Currently, the Institute devotes itself to the enhancement of the temporal-spatial resolution of climatic developments, analysis of the relationship between the climate and environmental change, and probing into extreme weather events along with the mechanisms used by human society to respond to climate change.

 (2) Historical landforms research. Currently, the Institute is committed to studying how to make use of various kinds of data to rebuild the process of change to rivers and lakes in high-resolution as well as reconstructing changes in land cover and utilisation of land. Apart from this, it also conducts exploration into the natural and ecological processes of the Yangtze River Delta region, rocky desertified areas in the south and the mountainous areas in the southwest.


2. Research on Historical Territory Administrative Divisions and Historical Political Geography

The Institute also has a profound academic background when it comes to research on historical territory and administrative divisions. It applies the theories of modern social science to Chinese practices of geography in traditional times.

The Institute has put great effort into the study of the administrative divisions and geography of dynastic China. The General History of Administrative Subdivisions in China (Zhongguo Xingzheng Quhua Tongshi 中国行政区划通史) in 13 volumes, edited by Prof. Zhou Zhenhe (周振鹤), compiles the latest research findings in this field and holds the leading position of writings on the topic both at home and abroad. The Qing history project entitled Geographical Annals (Dili Zhi 地理志), compiled under the leadership of Prof. Zou Yilin, contains more than 700,000 words of textual research on administrative divisions and administrative evolution as well as more than 4 million words of annotations and data, thus providing a full representation of the evolution of administrative divisions in the Qing dynasty.

At present, the Institute is making use of the mass of academic contributions to the field of geography in administrative divisions during dynastic times to actively study the administrative divisions of border areas in detail, with the hope of deepening our understanding of changes to China’s territory from perspectives of space and time in order to supply academic support for enquiry on existing border issues.

Meanwhile, based on a large number of case studies on the change of territorial administrative divisions, the Institute actively explores the rules and dynamic mechanisms involved in the change of territorial administrative divisions. Prof. Zhou Zhenhe (周振鹤) made many creative contributions in this regard in his Sixteen Lectures on Chinese Historical Political Geography (Zhongguo Lishi Zhengzhi Dili Shiliu Jiang 中国历史政治地理十六讲). The Institute will continue its deep exploration into historical political geography in light of the foundation set by the progress made by its researchers on the evolution of administrative divisions in both traditional and modern history.


3. Research on Historical Population Geography and Population History

Historical population geography focuses on exploring the size of migration in the population as well as the characteristics and rules of population distribution within the whole country, specific regions and even ethnic groups during certain historical periods. Population history is centered around the exploration of changes to population and the rules that govern them throughout history. Humans are behind all political, economic and cultural activities. Hence, historical population geography and population history are of fundamental significance to many sub-disciplines of historical geography.

The Institute is an important base for research on Chinese population history and migration history. The academic value of the Emigration History of China(Zhongguo Yimin Shi 中国移民史) (6 volumes) and the Population History of China (Zhongguo Renkou Shi 中国人口史) (6 volumes) edited by Prof. Ge Jianxiong (葛剑雄) has been universally approved by academic circles at home and abroad. Moreover, Professor Ge Jianxiong also organised and completed the compilation work for the Qing History project - Records of Registered Population (Huji Renkou Zhi 户籍人口志).

At present, the Institute’s efforts in this area are focused on the population and emigration history of China, a geographical information system of historical populations, and population in border areas and ethnic groups. The distribution of population has direct and critical influence on the development of society, economy and culture in China. The Institute’s researchers are also currently endeavoring to explore mechanisms of interaction between population distribution and regional socio-economic growth during history. 

4. Research on Historical Geography in Border Areas

China is vast in territory, with broad border areas, a diverse ethnic composition, a winding historical path and all issues related to these are complicated, which means there is a real and pressing need for research on border areas and their historical geography.

Research on historical geography in border areas focuses on exploring the development process of social formation in each border area under different physical geographical backgrounds during historical periods; probing into the relationship between border development and local environment and social change throughout history; and revealing the rules governing the sequences and evolution of humans’ relationship with the land in border areas. Moreover, it also discusses the geographical background of border policy and local systems and analyzes ethnic geography, political geography and economic geography in border areas during historical periods and the rules that govern developments within them.

At present, research on this area at the Institute is directed towards the following:

 (1) Integrating research on historical geography in border areas. Taking the north as well as the Mongolian Plateau, the northwest as well as the areas along the Silk Road, and the southwest border as well as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as major survey regions, the evolution process of physical and human environments in various regions are uncovered, clarification is given to the changing processes of natural elements, border administrative division, economic society, urban traffic, commercial trade and folk culture as well as their interactive relationship in various regions during the historical period, and the rules governing the characteristics and evolution of man’s relationship with the land in border areas are investigated.

 (2) Research on the historical ethnic geography and history of migration and populations of border areas. The aim is to reconstruct the distribution patterns of ethnic groups and the changes to population in border areas during historical periods, to explore their background and the processes of change, and to reveal their historical characteristics and the rules that govern developments. Particular focus is placed upon expanding the breadth and depth of existing research on historical ethnic geography through a comprehensive utilisation of textual historical materials in multiple languages such as Manchu, Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan.

 (3) Research on territory, boundary and maps in border areas. Through sorting archives and studying information thus procured regarding the process of northwestern border division between China and Russia in the late Qing Dynasty, the research presents the formation process of the northwestern border since the late Qing Dynasty. Through looking into administrative settings and territorial variation at the southwest border, the research probes into the formation process and development characteristics of the political geography of the southwest border.

5. Research on Historical Economic Geography

Historical economic geography focuses on the location factor of economic activities, space distribution and connections with the geographical environment in historical periods.

Researchers at the Institute, including Prof. Wu Songdi (吴松弟), have long been committed to modern economic geography, especially the relationship between ports and their hinterlands in modern China. Nine volumes of Economic Geography in Modern China (Zhongguo Jindai Jingji Dili 中国近代经济地理) edited by Prof. Wu Songdi have been published in succession since the end of 2014. Also, Unpublished Historical Materials about Old Chinese Customs in the Harvard University Library (Meiguo Hafo Daxue Tushuguan Cang Weikan Zhongguo Jiu Haiguan Shiliao 美国哈佛大学图书馆藏未刊中国旧海关史料) compiled by Prof. Wu is also about to be published.

At present, the Institute is mainly involved with the following aspects of research in this area.

 (1) Research on modern sectoral economic geography. Economic geography is composed of sectoral economics and regional economics. Economic Geography in Modern China (9 volumes) focuses on regional economic geography. Building on this foundation, the Institute’s researchers are committed to studying the economic geography of sectors including modern industry, agriculture, commerce and transportation.

 (2) Sorting and publishing modern customs related publications.

 (3) Research on the history of modern customs. The history of modern customs is an important area in research on the history of China’s early modernisation. Based on a great amount of material on modern customs, the Institute’s researchers will investigate the changes to the modern customs system.

 (4) Developing a database for publications of modern customs. The publications of modern customs contain a great deal of data about modern China’s economy, environmental transitions, diseases and medical care. The Institute’s researchers are mining them to extract relevant data and develop a database.


6. Research on Historical Urban Geography

Along with the acceleration of urbanisation in China, urban studies became an academic focal point and has drawn wide attention ever since the 1990s. China’s urbanisation cannot be separated from the historical foundation of Chinese cities and its characteristics from Chinese history cannot be disregarded. Shanghai, where the Institute is located, is an international metropolis and the most well-known city in China. Its urbanisation calls out for research by the Institute on historical urban geography. Historical Atlas of Shanghai (Shanghai Lishi Dituji 上海历史地图集) edited by Prof. Zhou Zhenhe emerged under precisely such a background.

At present, the Institute is focuses on the following aspects of research in this area.

 (1) Research on urbanisation. This direction mainly investigates the changes in urban population and changes to urban built-up areas throughout history. In recent years, it has gradually been applying GIS technology to achieve a detailed case study of the city.

 (2) Research on urban space. Historical urban geography has always taken the restoration of urban physical space in the past as the main focus of research. However, as the research progresses, while greatly enhancing the precision of studying urban physical space using GIS, it is necessary to strengthen the study of urban social spaces. In particular, it is of great importance to make use of various research materials and combine existing theories urban studies to closely analyse the characteristics of activity space for different social strata and occupations in every city in the past. This is a direction the Institute should head in when studying historical urban geography.

 (3) Research on urban landscape. In accordance with the focus urban ecology, the Institute gives an overall consideration to both natural landscape and artificial landscape, so as to have a systematic understanding of urban landscapes during historical periods.

 (4) Research on historical urban maps. Research on and utilisation of historical urban maps is one important approach to enhance the study of historical urban geography. China has preserved a large number of historical urban maps, especially from the modern period. Searching for, organising and studying historical urban maps is another of the Institute’s important directions for historical urban geography research.


7. Research on Historical Cultural Geography

Historical cultural geography is a relatively new branch in the field of historical human geography. Due to the inherent historical attributes of culture, it is naturally necessary to go back in time to conduct research on cultural geography.

Prof. Tan Qixiang had long since paid attention to the regional differences in historical culture. Besides composing multiple pieces of guidance for the research on China’s historical cultural geography, he also instructed Lu Yun (卢云) and Zhang Weiran (张伟然) in writing their doctoral dissertations on dynastic and regional historical cultural geography. With his effort, the Institute’s research on historical cultural geography has been topping the lists throughout China since the 1980s. On top of this, Prof. Zhou Zhenhe is also committed to developing and driving research on historical cultural geography. He has been continuously instructing doctoral dissertations about regional historical cultural geography since the 1990s.

At present, the Institute focuses on following aspects of research in this area.

 (1) Research on religious cultural geography. This direction is focuses on the study of Buddhist geography, Christian and Catholic geography, Taoist and folk religion geography. Special importance is attached to the perspectives and methods of religious ecology and religious sociology as well as the application of GIS technology.

 (2) Research on urban cultural geography. Little focus has been placed on differences in terrain in previous research on historical cultural geography. In fact, as a result of intensive population, industry and information, the cultural geographical pattern in cities is significantly different from that in rural areas. The Institute is focused on deepening its exploration on urban cultural geography by combining trends in culture with urban geography.

 (3) Research on musical and literary geography. In this area, satisfactory results in have not yet been achieved so far in China, but academic circles and society have high hopes for it. Using currently existing studies as a basis, the Institute further explores musical and literary geography.

 (4) Research on cultural exchange and communication. The Institute focuses on the communication of culture in space and among large groups of people. Special importance is attached to the investigation into cultural exchange and communication between different regions in China and that between China and foreign countries as well as the mechanisms involved.


8. Research on Historical Social Geography

Historical social geography focuses on the study of the formation, distribution and changes of population groups in various regions throughout history. It explores the influence of geographical factors on social culture, including population groups, the geography of customs and social transition.

When exploring human phenomena, modern geographers Zhang Qiyun (张其昀) amongst others have touched upon aspects of social geography such as the relationship between geographical environment and the nature of social groups. However, after 1949, human and social geography were ignored for a long while. Research on social geography was not redeveloped until the 1990s. At the Institute, research on historical social geography began in the 1990s.

The Institute’s Prof. Wang Zhenzhong (王振忠) has long been engaged in research on historical social geography. Starting from the economic culture of the Huizhou region and Huizhou merchants’ business activities in various regions as well as their social influence and according to a large number of rare manuscripts, he is committed to research into grassroots society and structure in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Based on several enriching case studies, he investigates some important issues in historical social geography.

At present, the institute focuses on following aspects of study in this area.

 (1) Integrated research on the geography of transport and social geography in the Qing dynasty.

 (2) Sorting and studying textual sources about Huizhou guild halls since the Ming and Qing dynasties.

 (3) Collecting and sorting rare manuscripts from Huizhou.

 (4) Theoretical work for the discipline of historical social geography.


9. Research on Historical Geographic Information System

Historical geographic information system is another emerging research direction in the Institute and began in 2000. With GIS technology, along with Harvard University, the Institute established the China Historical Geographic Information System (CHGIS).

Over a decade of efforts have yielded great progress in following three aspects of CHGIS.

 (1) The standardisation of the data on 1:100 million digital map ArcChina, thereby greatly enhancing the underlying precision.

 (2) The expansion of the original time panel data of historical geography to time series data, thereby greatly enlarging the data size.

 (3) The use of GIS technology to construct data management and a presentation platform, thereby making data management, presentation and sharing easier.

At present, the Institute focuses on following aspects of study in this direction.

 (1) Expanding the CHGIS database. The Institute compiles historical space data in the modern (1911-Sep. 30, 1949) and contemporary periods (since Oct. 1, 1949).

 (2) Compiling a thematic historical space database. The Institute actively collects, sorts and digitises a variety of basic data, processes the data for building a thematic database, and integrates it into CHGIS.

 (3) Constructing a historical space analysis lab. The lab aims to provide spacial data analysis services and related technical support for research on humanities & social sciences.