On the 26th & 27th June 2022, the 130th anniversary of Pearl S. Buck's birth, the 2022 Pearl Buck International Symposium, organized by Jiangsu University (JSU) in joint efforts with the China Institute of International Studies and the Zhenjiang Pearl S. Buck Research Association, was held at JSU.
This years theme was "Mutual Knowledge and Mutual Learning for the Future" and the symposium featured two specially commissioned academic reports and fifteen group reports.
More than 200 experts and scholars from universities and research institutions in China and abroad, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, US-Asia Institute, Confucius Institute of the National University of Milan in Italy all participated in the symposium, either online or in person.Vice Chair of University Committee for CPC affairs Prof. Li Hongbo presided over the opening ceremony.
At the opening ceremony, the President of the Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Lin Songtian, pointed out that Pearl S. Buck devoted her life to friendly exchanges between the Chinese and American peoples, adhered to justice and maintained peace. This achieved and promoted a harmonious relationship between the Chinese and American peoples,with mutual understanding, friendship and mutual assistance, thereby setting an outstanding example for Sino-US people-to-people exchanges and friendly coexistence. It will therefore forever be celebrated and remembered by the people of the two countries. He said that in the current complex international era, the conference was held at an opportune time, expressing the common aspirations of the two “peoples” to be committed to mutual friendship, and also contributing positive energy to promoting Sino-US relations keeping them on the right track of rationality.
Chairman of the Jiangsu Provincial Federation of Social Sciences Qu Futian, said that we should pay attention to and study Pearl S. Buck not only because she is a Nobel Prize winner in literature, but also because she had lived in China for a long time, has deep feelings for the Chinese people, and is a messenger of Sino-US people-to-people exchanges. The concept of cultural equality and cultural integration contained in Pearl S. Buck's works has been increasingly affirmed at home and abroad, which is in line with the concept of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win results advocated by China today. Upholding this philosophy will guide mankind towards common prosperity, and people-to-people exchanges will help to solidify the social foundation of Sino-Foreign ties.
Director of the Center for Humanities Exchanges between China and Foreign Countries of the Ministry of Education Du Kewei, pointed out that education and culture are important areas of Sino-US people-to-people exchanges. Pearl S. Buck has made important contributions to Sino-US cultural exchanges and left a good “story” in the history of Sino-US exchanges. Her personal experience and the stories she tells have had a positive and far-reaching impact on cultural exchanges and educational cooperation between China and the United States. We should study the international humanistic spirit contained in Pearl S. Buck legacy and further enhance the communication and understanding between Chinese and American and Chinese and foreign cultures.
Chairman of the Zhenjiang Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guo Jian, said that Zhenjiang will have a high sense of responsibility and mission to promote the cause of Pearl S. Buck research and enhance international cultural exchanges, create a more connotative Pearl S. Buck Chinese hometown, better restore Pearl S. Buck's work and life experience and lifelong literary achievements in Zhenjiang, and make the spirit of Pearl S. Buck an important support and shining spiritual landmark of urban culture.
President of JSU Prof. Yan Xiaohong introduced the achievements and characteristics of JSU's Pearl Buck research, emphasizing that on the occasion of 130th anniversary of Pearl S. Buck's birth, revisiting the internationalist spirit of Pearl S. Buck is not only a positive action to promote the development of the integration of different cultures, but also a useful exploration to understand the contemporary world, solve contemporary problems and find contemporary answers. JSU will further carry forward the spirit of Pearl S. Buck and let this "human bridge" that connects Eastern and Western civilizations be unimpeded forever.
In order to build a normalized collaboration mechanism for Pearl S. Buck research, the expert group of universities and research institutes discussed and had decided to establish the "Pearl S. Buck Research Universities Alliance" before the symposium to facilitate resource sharing. At the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Jiangsu Province Liu Jiandong, and Vice President of JSU Prof. Zhao Yutao announced the formation of the alliance.
Vice Chairman of the China Writers Association, Tsinghua University Literary Creation and the Director of the Research Center Director Ge Fei and Zhenjiang Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee member Li Jian unveiled at the launch ceremony for "Farewell Pearl S. Buck" and "Eternal Pearl S. Buck- Selected Essays” two books by Mr. Liu Long, which contain precious graphic archives, historical material analysis values of commemorative significance.
President of Zhenjiang’s Pearl S. Buck Research Association and Professor of JSU Lu Zhangping, released the "Global Pearl S. Buck Research Index Report (2022)", which showed the overall status and academic research progress of research on Pearl S. Buck from multiple perspectives through scientific measurement indicators.
At the Sino-US people-to-people exchange seminar after the opening ceremony, former Vice Minister of the International Department, Central Committee of CPC Yu Hongjun, President of the China Institute of International Studies Xu Bu, Director of the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding of Peking University Jia Qingguo, Chairman of the Academic Affairs Council of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies Yang Jiemian, and Professor of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University Xing Liju shared their views and brought new inspiration for understanding Sino-US people-to-people interaction and cultural exchanges in the new era.
Qu Futian and Ge Fei gave special reports on Historical Contributions and Realistic Enlightenment of Two Great Works of the Earth and The Rise of Modern Novels. Ten experts and scholars gave wonderful explanations and shared experiences from their respective professional fields.After the seminar, the representatives of the participating experts visited the “International Pearl S. Buck Literature Resource Center” in the library of JSU to view the Pearl S. Buck literature collection exhibition.
JSU has attached great importance to and deeply cultivated the research field of Pearl S. Buck’s works for many years. In 1996, the “Journal of Jiangsu University (Social Science Edition)” (formerly “Journal of Zhenjiang Teachers College”) introduced a column titled “Pearl S. Buck Studies”. This is the only university journal in China that has a column dedicated to Pearl S. Buck studies. It has organized and published more than 200 translations and research papers of Pearl S. Buck so far, which has effectively promoted the development of “Pearl S. Buck” research. In 2009, JSU established the "Pearl S. Buck Research Institute", which is committed to academic research and foreign exchanges. In 2015, the JSU Library planned to build an “International Pearl S. Buck Literature Resource Center” that integrated collections, displays, service and research of her works. It has now been developed into a characteristic literature center with comprehensive resources, rich content, domestic and international influence, and with free and open access to the world.