RESEARCH PROJECTS

2016

The New Chinese Corpus Hanku, supported by: Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (2016)

Project director: Ľuboš Gajdoš, PhD., prof. Jana Benická, PhD.

The aim of the project is to build a Chinese monolingual corpus. The building process has begun in spring 2016 and it was supported by the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in 2016. 

The corpus uses an open-source version of the Sketch Engine corpus manager (NoSketch Enigine) as well as open-source tools for tokenization (ZPar) and POS tagging (the Penn Chinese Treebank). The corpus has reached the size of 800 million tokens (June 2016), is equipped with bibliographic, POS, style and genre, phonetic annotation. Syntactic annotation is prepared (autumn 2016). So far, the Hanku corpus is equipped with two subcorpora: (1) zh-law (legal texts from the PRC; texts of laws and regulations), (2) web-zh (texts from the Internet). Texts from different registers will follow (e.g. professional texts, texts of Modern Chinese literature etc.).

2015

 

Brothers in Arms – Perception of China in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, Project No. RG001-EU-14, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, R.O.C.

Project director: Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D.

The aim of the project is to provide a detailed analysis of the perception of the People’s Republic of China in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s on the basis of primary written sources (published travelogues, published articles in journals intended for broader readership, accessible unpublished private travel diaries) and audiovisual sources (documentary films, official newsreels, official press agency photographs, political cartoons). This research topic has been so far almost completely neglected and the research results should illustrate the process of the construction of the image of the PRC (and partially also Taiwan) in Central and Eastern Europe shortly after the foundation of the communist China in 1949. The research outcomes of this project will provide a necessary historical perspective which will contribute to the understanding of current perception of China (and also Taiwan) in Central Europe which is undoubtedly shaped also by the past images. 

 

The 1950s represent a crucial chapter for the construction of the image of China in Czechoslovakia, as during this relatively short period a large number (ca. 15 books) of travelogues were published and the Czechoslovak media (newspapers, journals) regularly provided information on the developments in the People’s Republic of China. These travelogues resulted from a close cooperation between two socialist countries which reached its peak during the years 1950–1959. Czechoslovakia became a socialist country and a satellite of the Soviet regime after the seizure of power by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in February 1948 and the representatives of the Communist Party of China proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The ideological proximity of these two socialist countries facilitated a large-scale political, economic and cultural cooperation.

2013-2016

2013–2016

Academy of Korean Studies: Implementation and Development of Korean Studies at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

Project director: Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D.

Co-researchers: Ms. Zuzana Vavrincová, M.A., MIS.; Ms. Miloš Procházka, M.A.; Mr. Myungsik Sang, M.A.

The aim of the project is to implement, develop and further strengthen the Korean Studies Program at the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. The Korean Studies B.A. program has been established only recently, in September 2012 and the project will make a significant impact on its enhancement in the initial phase.

The project consist of interrelated modules which will together help to further enhance Korean Studies Program in order to become a competitive centre of Korean Studies research and teaching in Central Europe as well as to prepare a comprehensive M.A. Korean Studies Program. Module 1: Development of the Curriculum: The main focus of the research proposal is the development of the curriculum through the invitation of six visiting experts who will deliver courses on selected subjects and the preparation of the teaching materials (two textbooks: Korean Language Textbook for Beginners language for Slovak students; Information Resources and Research Methodology in Korean Studies). Module 2: Improvement of the Academic Infrastructure: the project will enable us to acquire technical equipment required in the teaching process (notebooks, data projector) and this will append the current technical equipment of the Korean Studies Section of the Department of East Asian Studies. Acquisition of Academic Publications: The Korean Studies have no academic tradition in Slovakia, therefore it is inevitable to improve the Korean Studies reference library through acquisition of academic literature in Korean and Western languages.

The project will provide an important synergic effect and comprehensively improve both the “hardware” (technical equipment, library) as well as the “software” (visiting lecturers, two textbooks) of the Korean Studies at the Comenius University in their incubation phase. The support of the Academy of Korean Studies would have a lasting impact and considerably strengthen this newly established program. Meanwhile the staff will prepare – in consultations with visiting experts – a detailed and thought-out  M.A. Korean Studies program (two years, to be launched in September 2016) thus establishing a full-fledged Korean Studies academic program at Comenius University. The project will also result in the development of scholarly networks and considerable strengthening of the ties of our department with other academic institutions from the field of Korean Studies.

2011

2011–2013

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange: Islam in China

Project director: Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D.

The aim of the research project is to write a textbook for the students of Chinese Studies which will deal with Islam in China. The textbook will deal mainly with the Hui Muslims. Geographically the volume will be focused on the Chinese Northwest, traditionally a stronghold of Hui Muslim presence in China. The volume will provide a manifold picture of Islam in China: historic, religious, socio-political and economic aspects of Islam will be taken into consideration and discussed. The textbook will deal with the history of the dissemination of Islam in China since the 7th cent., while presenting also the so-called second wave of the spread of Islam in the 2nd half of the 17th cent., when Sufi brotherhoods established their presence in China and which up till now represent very popular facets of Muslim faith. The historical part will deal with the interaction between Islamic communities and successive Chinese dynasties, the status of Muslims within the Chinese society, the creation of the ethnoreligious identity of the Hui, as well as with the religious and nationalities policy towards Islam/Hui during the People’s Republic of China. 

 

The textbook should provide the student of Chinese studies with a manifold and complex picture of Islam in China in a diachronic context. The topic, namely Islam in China, will illustrate the case of a marginalized ethnic and religious community and its social, political, economic, cultural and religious interactions with the Han Chinese majority and political authority of the central government in the course of history. The textbook should provide a stimulus for the interested student to further pursue his/her own acquaintance with the topic.

2010-2013

2010–2013

International Visegrad Fund, Visegrad University Studies Grant: Relations of Visegrad Four Countries with China

Project directors: Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D.; Ms. Gabriela Pleschová, Ph.D.

During the 20th and early 21st century relations between China and countries located in Central Europe (CE) have experienced interesting twists and turns. From knowing very little about its counterpart, relations between these countries developed to become political allies and rather close economic partners but also unconcerned actors and even political enemies. The most recent twist in the V4-Chinese relations occurred after 2000. It seems that the approaching EU membership of the V4 states encouraged China to reconsider the importance of countries in CE and to start paying more attention to the relationship. As a result of that, an intensification of relations between China and countries of V4 can be expected, that can imply an increased demand for professionals to be trained, who are also familiar with the past and contemporary relations between (Central) Europe and China.

 

The course Relations of Visegrad four Countries with China aims to introduce students to the complexities of the V4 countries relations with China, with the stress on their political, economic and cultural cooperation as well as on the issue of migrants from China. Moreover, by engaging experts from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland who are doing their research in the field of relations with China, students will have a chance to get to know the most recent results of contemporary research on V4-China relations as well as discuss their past professional experience.