For a month this summer, from July 12 to August 11, 2014, the History Department will host a visiting scholar from China, Gu Hongliang. Dr. Gu is a professor in the Institute of Modern Chinese Thought and Culture and the Department of Philosophy at East China Normal University in Shanghai.

Dr. Gu’s research involves the philosophy of the modern Chinese thinker, Liang Shuming (1893-1988), and its relationship with Western philosophies. His current project focuses on the interactions between Liang, a prominent new Confucian scholar and social activist, and John Dewey and Bertrand Russell, famous Western philosophers both of whom visited China between 1919 and 1921. Gu’s research analyses how Liang Shuming read into the works of Dewey and Russell and how he absorbed intellectual elements from them to shape his own Confucianism.

While at ECSU, Dr. Gu Hongliang will work with Dr. Catherine Lynch, emeritus professor in the History Department and an expert in the study of Liang Shuming. Lynch and Gu met during Lynch’s Fulbright year at ECNU in Shanghai, 2002-2003, and since then have maintained an academic exchange regarding their mutual interests. Lynch is currently working on a book (under contract with Guangxi Normal University Press) of interviews she conducted with Liang Shuming in 1980 in Beijing.

During his stay at ECSU, Dr. Gu would be pleased to meet with students and faculty and discuss his work and Chinese philosophy in general. Interested students and faculty can contact Dr. Lynch at lynchc@easternct.edu .

Gu Hongliang and Catherine Lynch in Xitang, an historic water town outside Shanghai, in December, 2013.


Department of History and Department of English University Hour presentation, October 2, 2013, 3-4 p.m. Johnson Room Library. Poetry of John Guzlowski.

Born in a refugee camp after World War II, John Guzlowski, a Professor Emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, came with his family to the United States as a Displaced Person in 1951. His parents had been Polish slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Growing up in the immigrant and refugee neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, he met hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead comrades and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. His poetry, fiction, and essays try to remember them and their voices.

On October 9, 2013, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, one of the first students from Fisk University to participate in the Freedom Rides, will speak at the University Hour, co-sponsored by the Department of History. The event will take place at the Student Center Theater 3-4 p.m.