Campus News

February 1, 2010

Year of the Tiger brings China focus

A photo exhibit, "Looking Back After 30 Years: Marking the 30th Anniversary of China-U.S. Diplomatic Relations," is on view until Feb. 7 at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum.

And there are more opportunities to learn about and extend the relationships between the two nations here at the University.

February features a talk by Johns Hopkins Professor Dan Guttman, “Translating Rule of Law Between Chinese and American Operating Systems,” Thursday, Feb. 4, sponsored by the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning, Emory Law and the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. Then on Friday, Feb. 5, Xie Feng, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States, will speak on “U.S.-China Relations” at 2 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library, co-sponsored by the Halle Institute and Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute, which promotes academic exchanges between Emory and Nanjing University, is housed at Emory’s department of Russian and East Asian Studies and at Atlanta Public Schools’ Coan Middle School.  The Institute provides internship opportunities for Emory students and organizes book exhibits and training workshops for school teachers in its mission to promote cross-cultural understanding.

The Confucius Institute will also sponsor events later in February for Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Tiger. It begins Feb. 14, including a puppet show titled “Tiger Tales” performed by Chinese Theater Works Inc. from New York.  The Emory performance will be 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 in White Hall 208.  Attendees will receive a small Chinese New Year gift and a Chinese dinner will follow the performance.

Noting the “auspicious partnership between Emory, Atlanta Public Schools and Nanjing University,” the Woodruff Library has recently established a Chinese Culture Corner on Level One.

A March 5 conference led by Associate Professor of Chinese Cai Rong and Emory Distinguished Visiting Professor of China Studies Mary Bullock brings China experts from Nanjing and across the U.S. to campus to present their research on Chinese literature, culture, media and historical memory.

For Emory faculty interested in but unfamiliar with China, the conference is an opportunity to learn more and discuss their ideas with top scholars, says Vice Provost for International Affairs Holli Semetko, director of the Office of International Affairs and The Halle Institute. “Some of the Emory faculty who attend will be invited to take part in a Nanjing study trip in June that will promote cross-cultural learning and foster research opportunities,” she adds.

The March conference is the first cosponsored by Emory and Nanjing, organized by The Halle Institute and Nanjing’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

“We aim to rotate conferences annually or every other year between Emory and Nanjing, as funding permits. Topics will come from the faculty,” says Semetko. “We are also looking into opportunities for Emory faculty publications to be published in Chinese, and this is also a potential outcome of the joint conferences.”

The Confucius Institute will host a Chinese textbook workshop and exhibition on campus this spring. About 1,000 volumes of recent textbooks ranging from kindergarten through high school, to college and adult learning, as well as cultural materials published in China for the teaching of Chinese as a second language, will be exhibited.

The Emory-China connections have had a high profile since the end of 2009, when the Halle Institute, Confucius Institute and The Carter Center collaborated on a series of events to celebrate the 30 years of U.S.-China relations.

One big milestone in the Emory-Nanjing relationship was the Dec. 3 signing of a memo of understanding between the two institutions by Provost Earl Lewis and Nanjing Associate Vice President Zhou Xian. The MOU launched the Emory-Nanjing Visiting Scholar Program, which involves the Laney Graduate School, Emory College and Emory Law, with a special focus on faculty and graduate students in women’s studies, political science, sociology, history, Jewish studies, law, the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts and the Graduate Division of Religion.  The program may expand to more schools and units depending upon interest.

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