Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies ›› 2022, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 27-46.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2022.01.002

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National Consciousness in Foreign Language Education and the Interdisciplinary and Cross-boundary Integrated Development of the Discipline of Foreign Language and Literature

WANG Yinquan()   

  • Online:2022-02-28 Published:2022-01-27


With some major readjustments in the intension of disciplinaries and increased awareness of serving national strategies and social needs, the discipline of foreign language and literature (DFLL) has seen accelerated integration with other disciplines in recent years. Many emerging strategic opportunities such as the effort toward the new liberal arts, the establishment of interdisciplinary study as China’s 14th disciplinary category, and in particular, the establishment of area studies, originally one of the five major research fields of the DFLL, now as a primary discipline under the cross-disciplinary category, has raised fresh questions and posed new challenges to the development of the DFLL in the new era. These opportunities reveal the urgency and importance of the pushing back of disciplinary boundaries and the promotion of interdisciplinary research on the basis of a stronger DFLL per se. To this end, it is necessary to clarify, construct and highlight the following five dimensions in top-level strategic design regarding the DFLL: how to raise the national consciousness of those in the DFLL and their initiative to promote national foreign language capability and responsibility to respond to China’s economic and social needs; how to construct a knowledge system and a discourse system with Chinese characteristics; how to balance the knowledge of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, realize the renewal of knowledge structure, and open the interdisciplinary research in the era of the techno-humanities; how to achieve cross-boundary integration and advance area studies; how to highlight cultural exchanges between China and other countries and mutual learning between heterogeneous civilizations. In short, a sure path of the DFLL’s innovation of the epistemic and discourse system lies in its serving the country’s strategy and safeguarding national interests, communicating the rationale for China’s theory and practice of global governance to the global community with its strong capabilities in foreign language and culture and area studies hardly rivaled by other disciplines, building a discourse system with Chinese characteristics for external communication, and facilitating Sino-foreign people-to-people exchanges, mutual learning and dialogue between civilizations on an equal footing.

Key words: discipline of foreign language and literature, cross-boundary integration, national consciousness, area studies, cultural exchange and mutual learning between civilizations

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