It is both a pleasure and an honour to be able to welcome you to the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History. For the past two years, since I became Director, I have continued to work very closely with my predecessor, Dr. Xiaoxin Wu, now Administrative Director, as well as with our dedicated staff to provide support and encouragement to all those who study the history of East-West cultural encounters as well as the history of Christianity in China.
The focus of the Ricci Institute’s work, while primarily historical, has always been interdisciplinary; and we are committed to continuing that tradition by working with scholars from across the world who are engaged in research that includes topics as varied as the history of education and medicine, as well as missionary translations, art, and music.
Every visitor, whether a new graduate student or a distinguished senior professor, has contributed to enriching our own understanding of these intercultural encounters. We are both excited and honoured to have researchers apply to come to the Ricci Institute from all over the world. Just over the past two years, besides scholars from across the United States, we have had academic guests from China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Mexico, and Canada, to name just some of the countries.
We are particularly pleased to encourage and support the use of our unique collections by providing doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships and travel grants that make it possible for scholars to come to the Ricci Institute to conduct both shorter- and longer-term research.
In June 2016 the Henry Luce Foundation provided us with a generous grant to expand our activities to study the history of Christianity and East-West encounters in China, Japan, and Korea. With the Foundation’s support, beginning in the summer of 2017, we are launching new post-doctoral and Junior Faculty fellowships as well as international workshops in Europe, the U.S., Japan, and China. We have also just launched a new series of academic monographs with Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden and Boston entitled, “Studies in the History of Christianity in East Asia”. We look forward to welcoming you to the University of San Francisco and to the Ricci Institute.