Department of English

    The history of the English Department of Wuhan University can be traced back to 1893, when the Ziqiang Institute opened foreign languages courses. In 1896, the courses were expanded to English, French, German, and Russian. In 1898, Japanese was added. Gu Hongming, the master of Chinese culture, taught English in the Ziqiang Institute for many years. In 1902, the Ziqiang Institute was renamed the Foreign Languages Institute. In 1913, the National Wuchang Higher Normal College was established, and set up an English Division in which Chen Tanqiu, Zhang Bojun, and Zhu Guangqian are well-known alumni. The English Department was founded in 1922. In 1925, the National Wuchang University changed the Department of English to the Department of Foreign Literature, for which Wen Yiduo was hired to offer the Modern English and American Poetry courses.

    In 1928, the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Wuhan University was established, with the Department of Foreign Literature within its jurisdiction. Chen Yuan, Fang Zhong, Zhu Guangqian, and Wu Mi served as the heads of the Department successively. Other renowned professors who taught in the Department include Chen Dengke, Yuan Changying, Zhou Xuliang, Miao Langshan, and Glaser. In 1935, postgraduate education was launched.

    In 1950, a large-scale adjustment of departments was carried out among the domestic universities, and the English major of Wuhan University (English Section of the Department of Foreign Languages) was merged into Sun Yat-sen University. In 1958, Wuhan University’s School of Chinese Language and Literature resumed its Department of Foreign Languages.

    During the Cultural Revolution, the teaching of the Department of Foreign Languages was greatly affected and graduate education was interrupted for a time. In March 1978, Wuhan University officially resumed graduate enrollment, and foreign language majors began to recruit Master’s students. From then on, the English major has adhered to the tradition of attaching importance to education and research, and  aims at cultivating comprehensive talents with solid foundations and open minds. A large number of English scholars have been trained for the country, and many  graduates have become the backbone of their relevant fields. For example, Wan Exiang, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress and chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, and Liu Yazhou, general of the People’s Liberation Army, are English major graduates of the Department of Foreign Languages, Wuhan University.

    In 1990, the School of Foreign Languages and Literature of Wuhan University was established and became the first foreign language school among the key comprehensive universities in the country. The English Section of the Department of Foreign Languages was also changed to the Department of English. Since then, the development of the English Department has begun to diversify, with English and American literature and translation studies and linguistics advancing side by side, each exhibiting its own style. Since the new century, the development of the disciplines has reached a new level, and the disciplines have gradually refined and advanced. In 2010, the translation studies of the English Department turned into Department of Translation and Interpretation. In 2011, the Department of English began to enroll doctoral students.

    The English Department has comprehensive teaching programs with the right to grant bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. There is a postdoctoral mobile station for visiting scholars and postdoctoral researchers at home and abroad to engage in scientific research and academic exchanges. In recent years, the Department has actively carried out international collaboration and exchanges: collaborating with the University of Aberdeen to establish the Confucius Institute of the University of Aberdeen; setting up the mechanism for long-term academic collaboration and regular exchange of teachers with the University of Wollongong; and establishing long-term exchange programs with many world famous universities so as to provid short-term exchange opportunities for undergraduates of the English Department. In the third semester, the English Department not only invites teachers from well-known international universities to offer short-term language and professional courses, but also invites foreign experts to conduct short-term academic training and seminars for teachers of the Department.

Department Head: Zhang Guoqing

Deputy Department Head: Huang Zhong, Zuo Guangming, Li Danli


Wuhan University