Welcome to School of Foreign Studies, Nanjing University ！简体中文
The history of the Department of English of Nanjing University can be traced back to 1917, when Nanking Higher Normal School, a predecessor of Nanjing University, began to offer the Specialized English Courses, and to January 1920, when the normal school set up its Department of English, one of the earliest in China. The past course of over 100 years has witnessed the dedication and rigor the department persistently displays in pursuit of academic excellence. It is noted for its significant contributions to the progress in areas of English language and literature studies in China.
The department was one of the four earliest programs of English language and literature that the State Council’s Academic Degrees Committee granted the eligibility to confer doctoral degrees in 1981. It was put on the priority list of disciplinary development at the provincial level (1995) and the national level (2002). In addition, it was given the titles of Ministry-of-Education Higher-Education Distinctive Discipline Construction Site (2008), First-Batch National-Level First-Rate Undergraduate Discipline (2019) and Jiangsu Province’s First-Batch Demonstration Major with the Integration of Ideological and Disciplinary Education (2021).
The Department of English at Nanjing University is a well-structured, research-intensive and vibrant community of 36 faculty members, all committed to the fulfilment of their professional duties. Of them, 27 hold professorship (including 1 Senior Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences and 1 foreign member of the Academia Europaea) and 16 are registered doctoral supervisors. Additionally, 4 of them are enrolled in the Distinguished Scholar Program at the national level and 3 at the provincial level. The department has also won some of the highest honors in pedagogical activities such as the title of National Distinguished Educator and Baosteel Awards for Teaching Excellence. Meanwhile, it attaches much importance to team cooperation and the growth of promising young scholars. For instance, the teaching and research team of “English Language and Literature Studies” has been on the list of the Nanjing University Academic Teams of Excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences and has won the support of the Qing Lan Project in Jiangsu Province.
The English department faculty upholds high professional standards for its members and encourages them to dedicate themselves to top-class teaching and research. Prof. Wang Shouren, one of the first few winners across China of the title “National Distinguished Educator,” takes the lead in this respect. He also heads the team of “British and American Literature and Culture Studies,” which was acclaimed by Nanjing University in 2019 as one of the exemplary research teams for its professionalism as well as academic contributions.
The Department of English boasts of a high-caliber faculty. Capable and rigorous, they are dedicated to equipping English majors with broad and global perspectives and cultivating top-tier talent in English language, literature and culture. The program also prepares students to meet the updated needs in cross-cultural communication and research activities, which is critical in the rapidly evolving world.
The education philosophy here is “fostering integrity through education” and “taking undergraduate education as the foundation.” Following these concepts, faculty members are encouraged to integrate their teaching experience and academic research into pedagogical practice. Over the years, the department has been committed to designing and developing quality courses and teaching materials. Many textbooks are included in national textbook publication plans, including Selected Readings in British Literature, An Introduction to Literature, and Spoken English. Notably, Selected Readings in British Literature (4th edition), compiled by Prof. Wang Shouren, won the first National Award for Textbook Compilation (second prize) in 2021.
The department’s constant efforts to reform its educational and pedagogical practices have achieved much recognition. The projects “Innovating Foreign Language Education with Research-Based Curriculum” and “Developing a Cross-Cultural Competence Training System in Foreign Language Education: New Proposals and Practice” both won the National Teaching Achievement Awards (respectively, second prize in 2014 and first prize in 2018). The team of “British and American Literature and Culture” won the title of National Exemplary Teaching Team of Excellence (2007). The “Research-Based Curriculum Design of British and American Literature and Culture” topped the list of Higher Education Achievements in Jiangsu Province (2011).
The department has also launched several online courses on the China University MOOC platform, including “Translation in Practice,” “British Novels,” “Heritage of Western Intellectual Tradition,” and “Heritage of Chinese Intellectual Tradition.” This marks an important endeavor to promote the sharing of high-quality educational resources and advance the hybrid mode of teaching. Among these online courses, “Translation in Practice” was awarded the “National Excellence Online Open Course” in 2018. “British Novels” and “Heritage of Western Intellectual Tradition” were included in the first group of National First-Rate Undergraduate Courses in 2020. In 2021, “Heritage of Western Intellectual Tradition” was also chosen by the Ministry of Education to be a model course with the integration of ideological and disciplinary education.
Featuring high quality in teaching and management, the department follows in undergraduate education the university’s “System of Three Orientations,” that is, education for specialization, for employment and for integration with other disciplines. With this system, the undergraduates are given the latitude to formulate their individualized course schedules and choose from multiple paths for growth. Meanwhile, the department encourages and selects outstanding students to participate in various exchange programs each year.
Students in the English Department consistently rank among top performers in the national tests for English majors, and have made remarkable achievements in competitions at home and abroad. Notably, Liu Xin, Cai Li, Hong Ye, Xia Peng, and Chen Xing won the championship of the National English Speaking Competition. Xu Wenxia, Han Bingbin and Cai Wenqiang won the first place and were awarded the Best Actress and the Best Actor in the Fifth Chinese Universities Shakespeare Festival.
Graduates from the department are highly competitive in the job market, with many securing positions in government agencies, public enterprises and institutions, specializing in fields such as international affairs, finance, media, and education. The employment rate has remained at a remarkable 100% over the years. Additionally, many graduates choose to pursue further studies at internationally prestigious universities, as well as some renowned universities in China. Their areas of study span diverse fields, from language, literature, and East Asian studies to business, media and journalism, a demonstration of their high interdisciplinary adaptability and academic research potential.
As part of Nanjing University, a research-intensive institution that covers a wide range of disciplines, the English Department places consistent emphasis on academic research with an annual output of dozens of quality publications in Chinese and international journals, and has been widely recognized for notable accomplishments in fields of British and American Literature and Culture, English Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, and Translation Studies. For instance, the four-volume Literary History of United States and the New Age English-Chinese Dictionary have both received the National Award for Outstanding Achievements in Humanities and Social Sciences Research (both second prizes). The four-volume Research on the Postwar World Process and the Process of Foreign Literature, A History of British Literary Criticism and Herman Melville Reconsidered: A New Interpretation won the first prizes of the Outstanding Achievements in Philosophy and Social Sciences in Jiangsu Province. The department also encourages faculty members to undertake research projects at both provincial and national levels, and among them, three are ongoing key projects supported by the National Social Science Foundation, namely, On the Development of Foreign Literature in the Post-War Era (Host: Prof. Wang Shouren), On the Translation and Interpretation of William Morris’ Artistic and Socialist Thoughts (Host: Prof. Yang Jincai), and Frontiers in Contemporary European and American Theatrical Theories (Host: Prof. He Chengzhou).
Department of English
School of Foreign Studies
163 Xianlin Avenue