Sinology in Frankfurt since 2000

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The retirement of Chang Tsung-tung in 1999 initiated a phase of re-orientation of Frankfurt sinology. After a brief vacancy and a substitution of the professorship, Dorothea Wippermann was appointed professor for Chinese studies in 2001. Chinese studies re-focused on a more contemporary orientation. Interdisciplinary cooperation in teaching and research was strengthened and cooperation with Chinese universities and research institutions were initiated. At the same time, a stronger integration into the infrastructure, culture and economy of the city of Frankfurt began. Richard Wilhelm had already aimed at connecting China studies and the civic society of Frankfurt, and this was now attempted on a new basis with modern concepts. This was also the reason for the re-vitalization of the China Institute in 2006.

As early as 2002, the department had installed a junior professorship, to which Natascha Gentz was appointed. The establishment of the Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies (IZO) in 2004 with its manifold activities in teaching and research, to which Frankfurt sinology contributed to a considerable degree, placed intra-university cooperation on a new basis. When Natascha Gentz was appointed professor at Edinburgh University, she was succeeded by Elisabeth Kaske. In 2007, Iwo Amelung was appointed professor of culture and history of China. He mainly works on cultures of knowledge, history of science and general history of the late Qing and the Republican era.

After Elisabeth Kaske being appointed professor at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Yang Zhiyi, a Princeton educated literary scholar, was appointed for the junior-professorship. This position has been tenured. Chinese studies in Frankfurt also profits from the professorship of Area Studies East Asia with a special focus on China, which has been established in the Department of Political Science and to which Heike Holbig has been appointed.