History of the DVCS

Deutsche Vereinigung für Chinastudien 德語地區漢學協會

A Brief History of Our Association

The German Association for Chinese Studies e.V. was founded in March 1990 at Humboldt University in Berlin as an initiative by East German Sinologists and Chinese scholars.

The desire for a German sinological association had already arisen a few years earlier. In 1988, on the occasion of a conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) in Weimar, the then chairman of the EACS, Göran Malmqvist, approached the board members with the suggestion to initiate the establishment of their own sinological or Chinese scientific associations in the countries they represented.

EACS board member Professor Eva Müller managed to excite her colleagues at Humboldt University for this idea. Colleagues from Leipzig University supported the project. However, the Ministry for Higher and Technical Education of the GDR found the project suspicious, which is why the application was initially rejected.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, they took advantage of the changed situation and mood and held a founding meeting on March 13, 1990, at Humboldt University in the circle of staff of the East Asia (China) section, attended by 32 people. The registration in the association register at the district court Berlin-Mitte took place on May 18, 1990.

Initially, cooperation began between Humboldt University, the East Asian Collections Berlin, the Institute for Linguistics at the Academy of Sciences, "Asia Consult" (a company formed by Chinese scholars who were originally located at the Central Council for Asia, Africa, and Latin American Sciences of the GDR), Leipzig University, and Free University Berlin.

These efforts began to bear fruit in the following year. By June 1991, there were already 42 members, a third of whom came from the old federal states. In new elections during the general meeting in 1991, besides three old members, two representatives from the old federal states were also elected to the new board.

The I. Annual Meeting of the Association, the "China Days," took place at the end of October 1990. Since 1991, DVCS meetings always have a theme or a motto, which sometimes is relatively broad, sometimes very specific. The meetings have usually been held over two days since 1996 and typically provide space for 20‒30 contributions.

At the founding of the association, a series of publications was planned, which, however, only came about several years later. Since then, almost every meeting has been followed by a collected volume with only a few exceptions. The conference contributions have been regularly published by Harrassowitz Verlag in Wiesbaden since 2003.

In recent years, the number of members has noticeably grown. Currently, the association counts about 220 members, including several residing and working in German-speaking countries abroad and other European and non-European countries. The purpose of the association was amended in November 2014 by resolution of the general meeting to promote the development of Chinese studies across the old and new federal states and throughout the German-speaking area.