Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies News News: Chinese Studies spring2021more

Chinese Studies Professor and Alumni Become 2021 Wilson China Fellows

The Chinese Studies program is delighted that two of our alumni, Emily Matson ’12 and Auston Strange ’12, are joining current Associate Professor Emily Wilcox as Wilson China Fellows! Prof Wilcox taught both Matson and Strange while she was a visiting assistant professor at William & Mary.

Emily Matson holds a Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Virginia.

Austin Strange holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and works at the University of Hong Kong.

Prof. Wilcox recently rejoined the department as an Associate Professor of Chinese studies after teaching at the University of Michigan.

You can read more about Wilcox, Matson, and Strange’s wonderful accomplishment in the recent write up by the University.


News News: Chinese Studies News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2021

Collaborative Translations and Epochal Transformations, East and West

AlfonsoXDuring the 12th and 13th centuries, Toledo, Spain, became a neuralgic center for the production and dissemination of knowledge in Europe.  As part of what came to be known as the Renaissance of the 12th Century, the collaborative translations carried out in Toledo by Jewish scholars, Mozarabic Toledans (Arabic-speaking Christians), and Christian intellectuals from all over Europe made available to the Latin West key texts by Hippocrates, Aristotle, Euclid, Galen, and Ptolemy, among others, that would make possible the foundational works by Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon.

LinShuQuijoteWhile the collaborative translations in medieval Toledo fundamentally changed the Latin West, the translations of Western classics into Mandarin carried out by Lin Shu (1852-1924) and his “factory of writing” transformed modern Chinese culture and offered new ways to imagine Chinese national identity.  Lin Shu, however, represents the case of a translator who was not versed in other languages, and hence depended on over 20 different bilingual assistants.  This collaborative system allowed Lin Shu’s “factory of writing” to offer Chinese versions of almost two hundred classics of Western fiction, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), Oliver Twist (1837-9), and, via an English translation, of Cervantes’ Don Quijote (1605).

LinShuIncLin Shu’s Don Quijote was a great editorial success. Recently, the Instituto Cervantes published a Spanish rendering of Lin Shu’s version.  Given the occasion, BBC Mundo interviewed Prof. Michael Gibbs Hill, specialist in Lin Shu’s work, and author of Lin Shu, Inc.: Translation and the Making of Modern Chinese Culture (Oxford UP, 2013).  Prof. Hill explains that Lin Shu’s collaborative methodology was not uncommon at the time, and that it allowed him to make authors like Dickens and Tolstoi available to Chinese readers.  Lin Shu’s “factory” was so efficient that it produced around 180 titles over 20 years.  And while the Quijote translation seems to be rather ‘faithful,’ Prof. Hill explains that Lin Shu would sometimes introduce deliberate changes.  For instance, his version of Dickens’ Oliver Twist underscores a very negative image of England in order to suggest that, by identifying its ailments, literature could transform and better a society.  Despite his success, Lin Shu eventually came to be seen as too commercial, and too conservative by his younger readers.

The full note from BBC Mundo is available in Spanish.

Prof. Hill has published translations of Ge Zhaoguang’s He wei Zhongguo?, and of the introduction to Wang Hui’s Xiandai Zhongguo sixiangde xingqi.

News: Chinese Studies News: German Studies Spring 2021

Diversity Recognition Awards for Professors Ellis and Hui!

Every year in April, W&M’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrates members from the campus community for their efforts to promote Diversity and Inclusion. In Spring 2021, two faculty members from Modern Languages and Literatures were recognized: Professor Robin Ellis from German Studies and Professor Calvin Hui from Chinese Studies. You can read up on their awards here. MLL is grateful to our faculty members who strive to make a positive impact!

News News: Chinese Studies News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2021

Research Labs in MLL? Yes!

Most of us do not think of the humanities when they hear the word “lab”. A research lab conjures up images of bunsen burners and beakers, microscopes and white coats, and perhaps various signs warning of fire hazards and chemical spills posted inside and out. But those who attended the first of two MLL Undergraduate Research Showcases, part of W&M’s “April is Undergraduate Research Month,” could hear all about labs in Modern Languages and Literatures. Paul Vierthaler, Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies, and Rachel Varra, Assistant Professor in Hispanic Studies and in Linguistics, gave us an overview of what their labs look like, and of the kind of work students do in those labs. Like any lab, there is a lot of equipment: computers that are more powerful than your regular laptop, specialized software, recording devices, but also: mini-fridges and sofas. Students spend a lot of time in these spaces. Much of the wdatlasork they do is inherently collaborative – a somewhat unusual approach to research in the humanities. Prof. Vierthaler’s students spoke about bringing ideas for data processing to him and developing and workshopping apps; another group of students is creating a game to help raise awareness of human trafficking. Prof. Varra’s students are interviewing Spanish speakers in the community and learning how to transcribe recordings and compile a corpus. The lively discussion and the numerous questions from the audience prove that interdisciplinary work – with Data Science and with Linguistics in these cases – and collaborative forms of research are of great interest to students.

News: Chinese Studies sidebar Spring 2021

Qian Su elected president of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Virginia

Qian Su, a senior lecturer in Chinese studies in the Modern Languages and Literatures department, was recently elected president of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Virginia (CLTA-VA)! The CLTA-VA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and improving Chinese language education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Congrats to Qian for this impressive honor, and thanks for your impressive commitment and service to Chinese Studies!

Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2020 News: Chinese Studies

Chinese Studies hosts a career panel

This semester was relatively quiet in the Chinese Studies program, but we did have one memorable career panel as part of William & Mary’s homecoming festivities. On the evening of October 13, two Chinese Studies alumni and two professionals working in China-related fields joined us for several hours to discuss their career paths, surprises they’d encountered since graduating college, and general advice for students about to set off into their post-graduation life. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from people at different stages of their careers and resulted in a very productive conversation. We were joined  by Alex Bate (W&M ’18), Helen Taylor (WM ’07), Susan Jakes, and Graham Webster (and you can see their biographies below). Chinese Studies looks forward to hosting more events like this in the coming semesters.


Alex Bate ’18 is an Asia Analyst at Sayari Labs. Prior to Sayari, she worked in due diligence, open-source investigative analysis, and Chinese market research and policy analysis. She received a degree in International Relations and Chinese from William & Mary and has studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She speaks Mandarin and Spanish.

Helen Taylor ’07 is the Director of Grant Programs at the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery where she coordinates program design and oversees implementation of transformative projects. Helen previously conducted human rights policy advocacy at Physicians for Human Rights and the U.S. Department of State, where she also managed a $60 million grant portfolio. She holds a Master’s in Human Rights Law from Hong Kong University and dual B.A. degrees in International Relations and Chinese Studies from William & Mary. As a Fulbright Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar, Helen conducted qualitative and quantitative research on marginalized communities in Latin America and East Asia.

Susan Jakes is Editor of ChinaFile and Senior Fellow at Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations. From 2000-2007, she reported on China for Time magazine, first as a reporter and editor based in Hong Kong and then as the magazine’s Beijing Correspondent. She covered a wide range of topics for Time’s international and domestic editions, including student nationalism, human rights, the environment, public health, education, architecture, kung fu, North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and the making of Bhutan’s first feature film. Jakes was awarded the Society of Publishers in Asia’s Young Journalist of the Year Award for her coverage of Chinese youth culture. In 2003, she broke the story of the Chinese government’s cover-up of the SARS epidemic in Beijing, for which she received a Henry Luce Public Service Award. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. Jakes speaks Mandarin and holds a B.A. and M.A. from Yale in history. Her doctoral studies at Yale, which she suspended to join ChinaFile, focused on China’s environmental history and the global history of ecology.

Graham Webster is a research scholar and editor of the DigiChina project at the Stanford University Cyber Policy Center and a fellow with New America. A joint effort of Stanford and New America, DigiChina is a collaborative project to translate, contextualize, and analyze Chinese digital policy documents and discourse. Webster also writes the independent Transpacifica e-mail newsletter. He was previously a senior fellow and lecturer at Yale Law School, where he was responsible for the Paul Tsai China Center’s U.S.–China Track 2 dialogues for five years before leading programming on cyberspace and high-tech issues. In the past, he wrote a CNET News blog on technology and society from Beijing, worked at the Center for American Progress, and taught East Asian politics at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Graham holds a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is based in Oakland, California

Graduates 2019-2020 News: Chinese Studies Spring 2020 More

Brian Donahue named Chinese Studies Outstanding Graduate

donahue_brian_chin-300pxA hearty congratulations to Brian Donahue, who has been chosen as Chinese Studies’ outstanding graduate for the class of 2020! Brian majored in Chinese Studies and minored in biochemistry. Between his sophomore and junior years he participated in the William & Mary study abroad program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He also studied Chinese Language at Shaanxi Normal University on a Department of State Critical Language Fellowship during Summer 2019. In the future, Brian plans to study medicine and work with Chinese communities.

Graduates 2019-2020 News: Chinese Studies Spring 2020 More

Congrats to the Chinese Studies class of 2020!

Chinese Studies Graduation Zoom Celebration
Chinese Studies Graduation Zoom Celebration

The Chinese Studies program is delighted to announce that eight students graduated from the major on Saturday, May 16th: Carleton Anderson, Brian Donahue, Michael Giovanniello, Carolin Helmholz, Erika Marr, Gabrielle Ramirez, Williams Song, and Jack Toll.

Another seven students earned a minor in Chinese Studies: Camden Cathell, Sarah Chen, Laura Chier, Samuel Fortune, Sophial Luwis, Nikita Mellor, and Athena Zacharakos.

It was a pleasure celebrating with you on the 16th! We wish you good luck in your future endeavors!

Faculty Awards News: Chinese Studies Spring 2020

NEH Summer Stipend – Congrats, Prof. Hill!

Michael Hill, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at W&M, has received a prestigious NEH Summer Stipend. The project he is working on is a multilingual one on Reading Distance: Chinese and Arabic Literatures at the End of Empire.
Parts of his work-in-progress have already been published. You can read more here. Congratulations!

Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Graduates 2018-2019 News: Chinese Studies

Senior Profile: Colleen Mulrooney (Chinese Studies, 2019)



Colleen Mulrooney (’19), Major in Chinese Language & Culture

I came to the College of William & Mary with one simple hope—well, one among a few others, but the most important one was gaining a deeper understanding of China. I had been learning Chinese since age 13 and felt really ready to just declare a Chinese major as soon as I could. William & Mary was actually my first choice school becausethe Chinese department looked so strong.

By the time I actually got around to declaring that long-awaited Chinese major my sophomore year, my major advisor, Dr. Calvin Hui, joked that I had already taken so many courses in the Chinese department that I might as well declare two Chinese majors. It was completely accurate. The Chinese Department courses were great and engaging because there are so many parts of China to be seen. In my time here, I took both Chinese freshman seminars, Modern Chinese Literature, Chinese Pop Culture, Calligraphy, Chinese Cinema, the Senior Capstone Seminar, and every Chinese language class from Chinese 301 through 404. Then in these classes, the topics I got to research and write about ranged from Japanese colonialism in Taiwan, to Chinese memes, to my senior research paper about counterfeit products featuring the British cartoon Peppa Pig, and how these products made a mark on modern Chinese society. Sometimes, it did not even feel like homework.

Better yet was how practical it all was. When I studied in Taiwan, there were actually several instances where material I had learned about in class was brought up. A teacher on my study abroad program actually brought up a Lu Xun short story I had read in Modern Chinese Literature. Other friends there would talk about some of the films and TV shows I watched for the freshman seminar and Chinese Cinema classes. So much of what I learned in class has been really helpful in that very practical study abroad setting, and it will absolutely continue to help me in years to come.

Most important, however, was the supportiveness of the Chinese program. The professors were always willing and ready to help my classmates and I to achieve whatever we were aiming for. From winning the Jiangsu Cup Chinese Speech Contest as a Freshman, to getting a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Taiwan, and finally now, receiving a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan for this coming academic year, the professors at the Chinese Department have supported me every step of the way. Whenever I needed extra practice before a speech contest, or a recommendation, or even just advice, they were always there to help. This, in turn, inspired me to work as hard as I could.

I have nothing but gratitude for my time studying with the William & Mary Chinese Department, and I am not even sure what to say leaving it. It is a really bittersweet feeling. I am looking forward to the coming year, but I will miss dearly those who helped me get to it.



Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Yanfang Tang will retire by the end of Spring 2019.

Professor Yanfang Tang will retire by the end of Spring 2019.  We will miss her!

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Graduates 2018-2019 News: Chinese Studies

Senior Profile: Alec Sharkey (Chinese Studies, 2019)



My time in the Chinese department here at William & Mary has been one of unforgettable moments and wonderful experiences. Before coming to William and Mary I had spent time in both middle and high school studying Chinese language and culture, but my studies here at William and Mary truly elevated my previous studies to the next level. The language courses helped to refine my vocabulary and give me the tools to speak with Chinese citizens. The tough, but fair, rehearsing of vocabulary and speeches helped me onto the right path for the tonal subtly needed to navigate the Chinese language. My experience here, however, was not solely focused on the study of the Chinese language but also an exploration of Chinese culture. While here I was able to explore modern Chinese cinema and literature throughout the 19th to 21st century, ancient Chinese poetry, and the rise and historical significance of Pan-Asianism in the continuing narrative of East Asia. Additionally, I was fortunate to study shanzhai (counterfeit) culture in my Senior capstone course and explore what it means to be shanzhai or at the very least labeled shanzhai. It would be remiss to not also touch on my incredible experience in China itself on William & Mary’s Summer Study abroad, where I was able to spend two months at Tsinghua University studying Chinese language and conducting research on guan’xi.

The department has helped me mature as a student as well. Whether it be learning how to reach out to citizens to probe for answers while studying at Tsinghua or digging through databases to find the evidence necessary to support that Communist Theme Parks in China stand as fascinating integrations of capitalism and Communism, the department has encouraged me to take my studies into my own hands and let my curiosity drive me to even greater heights. All the while providing support at every step along the way. As I begin the next steps in my career and head to China to teach English in Shenzhen, I am proud to have had the opportunity to study with William & Mary’s Chinese Department.

Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Graduates 2018-2019 News: Chinese Studies

14 Chinese Majors Will Graduate in Spring 2019!

They are:

  1. Carleton J. Anderson (CJ)
  2. Shani Cave
  3. Nicole C. Cook (Nicole)
  4. Eleanor K. Currie (Ellie)
  5. GyuHui Hwang (GyuHui)
  6. Giselle Jernigan (Giselle)
  7. Benny Li (Benny)
  8. Natasha L. Mortensen (Natasha)
  9. Colleen M. Mulrooney (Colleen)
  10. Emily J. Pearson-Beck (Emily)
  11. Robert A. Rust (Robert)
  12. Alec Sharkey (Alec)
  13. Robert W. Sherman (Rob)
  14. Griffin T. Vasile (Griffin)
Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Calvin Hui has received a prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship

Calvin Hu Profile Image

Another good news! Professor Calvin Hui has received a highly prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship to finish his book project entitled _Useless: Fashion, Media, and Consumer Culture in Contemporary China_. This book draws on film and fashion to track the emergence of consumer culture in China’s encounter with global capitalism. The first part stages an analysis of a commodity chain of fashion involving production, consumption, and disposal. The second part focuses on the representations of fashion and consumption in Chinese cinema in the 1960s (the socialist period), the 1980s (the economic reforms period), and the 2000s (the globalization period). Such portrayals help decipher the symptoms of otherwise imperceptible contradictions of contemporary China. The third part discusses labor and waste as the repressed undersides of consumption. This research demonstrates the relevance of cultural studies, western Marxism, and post-structuralist theory in investigating Chinese visual cultures.

See ACLS website:

Faculty Awards Faculty Profiles News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Calvin Hui has received tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Calvin Hu Profile Image


Good news! Professor Calvin Hui has received tenure! He will be Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at William and Mary beginning in fall 2019!

See his faculty profile:


Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Jennifer Rhee’s Book Talk _The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor

Professor Jennifer Rhee from Virginia Comonwealth University gave a book talk entitled The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor (Minnesota University Press, 2018). This talk was held on 17 April 2019, Wednesday, at 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Washington Hall Room 315. 
This talk draws on her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor (University of Minnesota Press, 2018). She will trace connections between robotics technologies and cultural forms at the sites of dehumanization and devalued labor. She will argue that the figure of the robot in contemporary culture and technology is largely shaped by the conceptions of the human, and more importantly of the dehumanized. Looking specifically at the labor of drone operators and what she calls “drone art,” or contemporary artistic responses to drone warfare, she will characterize drone warfare as the labor of racial dehumanization. Drawing on the racialized dimensions of early cybernetics military research, she will look at drone art that responds to drone victims’ dehumanization by examining the limits of identification as a means to ethical response. Instead, drone art, as she will discuss, points to an understanding of the human through unrecognizability, difference, and unfamiliarity, rather than recognition, familiarity, and knowability.
Jennifer Rhee is an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She works in media studies, feminist science studies, and literature and science. Her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor was published in 2018 with University of Minnesota Press. She is currently working on her next book on counting technologies. In this project, she traces counting technologies’ entanglement with race, from statistics’ role in eugenics in the 19th century to the contemporary digital counting practices of big data, predictive policing software, and biometric surveillance. She is a recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship in 2019.
This talk was sponsored by the Chinese program, and Arts and Sciences. It was organized by Professor Calvin Hui in Chinese Studies. 
Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies News: Chinese Studies Spring 2019

Professor Yiman Wang’s talk on Chinese-American Actress Anna May Wong

The Chinese program was excited to present Professor Yiman Wang’s talk concerning the first Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. This talk was held on 27 March 2019, Wednesday, at 5:00-6:20 p.m. in Washington Hall 315.
Title: Regarding Anna May Wong: An “Oriental Flapper’s” Transnational Stardom

Anna May Wong (1905-1961), the most well-known pioneering Chinese-American screen-stage-television performer, forged a four-decade long career from 1919 to 1960. My presentation will focus on her transnational shuttling between the US and the interwar Europe, Australia as well as China. I argue that her transnational movements made her a glamorous and exotic cosmopolitan who significantly also doubled as a migrant performer-worker who ventured into various media formats while navigating precarious work conditions (due to race-gender-class and other socio-political inequities) for better work opportunities. I analyze the ways in which she “greeted” her international public through acting, giving interviews, letter-writing, photo-gifting, anti-Fascist activism and other activities. From her interstitial position that defied any essentialist categorization, working at time prior to the formation of the hyphenated Asian-American identity politics, she developed double-entendre signature performances that subverted gender-race stereotypes and enabled her to foster a political and critical consciousness in her international audiences both in her times and in the 21st-c. Studying Wong as an exemplary case, my presentation addresses the broader question of how to (re)write feminist media histories.
Speaker: Professor Yiman Wang is an Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Remaking Chinese Cinema: Through the Prism of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hollywood (2013). For her academic profile, please see:
This talk was sponsored by the 100 Years of Women at W&M, Confucius Institute, and Film and Media Studies. It was organized by Professor Calvin Hui in Chinese Studies.
Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Talk: East Asian Cinema’s Occidental Eye: Fair Ophelia and Sweet Hamlet

Speaker: Alexa Alice Joubin (Professor of English, George Washington University)
 Talk: East Asian Cinema’s Occidental Eye: Fair Ophelia and Sweet Hamlet
Date/Time: 22 October 2018 (Monday), 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Venue: Washington 317
Abstract: East Asian cinema has given us fresh interpretations and visually stunning renditions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Korean and Chinese Ophelias are no longer silent; they gain agency by being seen and heard through various strategies. Prince Hamlet is given Confucian virtues. This illustrated presentation explores Chinese cinematic adaptations of one of the most canonical and widely translated Western dramatic works.There has always been a perceived affinity between Ophelia and East Asian women. In May 1930, British writer Evelyn Waugh entertained the prospect of Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong playing Ophelia: “I should like to see Miss Wong playing Shakespeare. Why not a Chinese Ophelia? It seems to me that Miss Wong has exactly those attributes which one most requires of Shakespearean heroines.” While East Asian Ophelias may suffer from what S. I. Hayakawa calls “the Ophelia syndrome” (inability to formulate and express one’s own thoughts), they adopt various rhetorical strategies—balancing between eloquence and silence—to let themselves be seen and heard. Chinese Ophelias seem to possess more moral agency.
Speaker’s Bio: Alexa Alice Joubin is Professor of English, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Theater, and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington D.C. where she co-founded the Digital Humanities Institute. At MIT, she is co-founder and co-director of the open access Global Shakesperes digital performance archive. ( At Middlebury College, she holds the John M. Kirk, Jr. Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in the Bread Loaf School of English. Her latest books include Race (in the Routledge New Critical Idiom series; co-authored with Martin Orkin); Local and Global Myths in Shakespeare Performance (co-edited); and Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (co-edited). Alexa will be a visiting professor at Yonsei University in South Korea later this year.
* This event is sponsored by AMES and the Reves Center.
Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Post-socialism in Hong Kong: Zone Urbanism, Urban Horror, and Post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema

Talk: Post-socialism in Hong Kong: Zone Urbanism, Urban Horror, and Post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema

Speaker: Professor Erin Huang (Princeton University)
Date/Time: 28 November 2018 (Wednesday), at 5:00-6:20 p.m.

Venue: Washington Hall 219

The film, directed by the Hong Kong director Fruit Chan (陈果), is called The Midnight After (那夜凌晨,我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅VAN) (2014).

Trailer (2 minutes):



This talk examines the condition of Chinese “(post-)socialism” in Hong Kong—a city without “socialist” legacies—as a way of addressing the emergent history of radical deterritorialization and reterritorialization in the era of the “post.” Proposing “zone urbanism” as a critical lens—a phenomenon of zoning that renders space into a programmable and reproducible spatial software—the presentation traces Hong Kong’s infrastructural revolution since the early 1980s that intimately connects the city to special economic zones in mainland China. From the controversial construction of New Hong Kong Airport to expressways, tunnels, and bridges designed to enhance the speed of movement in South China’s economic circles, “(post-)socialist” Hong Kong is arguably transformed into Southeast Asia’s transport super city and logistics hub. While recent scholarships on Hong Kong highlight the Umbrella Revolution in 2014 as the city’s protest against its loss of political sovereignty, this presentation probes a longer history of zone urbanism and traces the emergent aesthetics of infrastructural phenomenology in post-handover Hong Kong cinema. Problematizing the relationship between “Hong Kong” as a planned abstract space of transit and as a corporeal space under tremendous pressure to accommodate its human population, post-1997 Hong Kong cinema suggests a number of ways for re-experiencing, re-sensing, and touching the city’s infrastructural space while producing a plethora of experiences on the widening spectrum of movement and displacement. While focusing on the zoning phenomenon in South China, the talk theorizes (post-)socialism as a universalizing condition with regional differences that is creating new centers and peripheries.



Erin Y. Huang is Assistant Professor in East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and a comparatist working on modern China and Sinophone studies. Her research interests broadly include cinema & media studies, Marxist urban theory, gender & sexuality studies, comparative socialisms and post-socialisms, and phenomenology. She is completing her first book, Urban Horror: Global Post-socialism, Chinese Cinemas, and the Limits of Visibility, where she theorizes urban horror as Marxist phenomenology, and an emergent horizon of affects that rehearses the potentiality of future urban revolutions after the supposed end of revolutionary times.

Princeton University professor lectures on Hong Kong post-socialism, cinema

Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Adventures in Beijing (by Brian Donahue)

Aventures in Beijing (by Brian Donahue)

I remember first looking out the airplane window as my flight began its descent into Beijing Capital International Airport. A smile was plastered on my face as I realized that, after six years of studying Chinese, I was finally in China. Despite the jubilation, anxiety took over as I realized for the next two months, my Chinese language abilities would be put to the ultimate test. The first week went by faster than I could imagine. Within two days, our program visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Lama Temple. On the third day, we officially started our intensive language classes, where we met three amazing laoshi who would serve not only as our teachers, but who would also become great friends.

After finally getting into the groove of things, navigating China’s capital became a breeze. My friends and I spent much of our time just outside of Tsinghua’s campus in the infamous Wudaokou (五道口) neighborhood of Beijing. Given its proximity to many of China’s top universities, a large number of students, both domestic and international, live here. As a result, many restaurants in Wudaokou cater to the cosmopolitan audience. A favorite of ours was Pyro Pizza, an American-owned pizzeria that provided us with a sometimes-necessary taste of home.

My favorite memory of Beijing came one night while exploring the city with my mom. My mom, fortunately, had a business trip to China at the same time I was there. After hearing much about Jingshan Park’s spectacular views of Beijing at sunset, I decided to save that excursion for when my mom was there. Because Jingshan doesn’t have a subway stop, my mom and I decided to be adventurous and walk from her hotel near Tiananmen Square to Jingshan Park, an approximately 2.2-mile walk. This excursion took us through some quieter streets of Beijing that ran parallel to the Forbidden City. The traditional hutong’s in this area were completely restored. It was here that I saw the magic of Beijing and could happily share it with my mom. When we finally reached Jingshan Park, the panoramic view of the city at the top was so stunning that not even photos could do it justice.

My greatest thanks goes out to everyone who made this trip possible. It truly changed my perception of China and helped me to finally connect the language I had spent so long studying to the culture it belongs to. My greatest thanks goes to the three laoshi who helped improve my confidence in my Chinese tremendously and challenged me to improve my skills. I anxiously await the day I get to return to China and once again experience its allure.

Beijing 2

Fall 2018 News: Chinese Studies

Summer Study Abroad – Beijing, China (by Annecy Daggett)

By Annecy Daggett

When I found out I had been accepted into the William and Mary Summer in Beijing study abroad program, I was filled with pure excitement, but as the program neared, I developed many reservations about studying abroad. In the weeks leading up to my departure, I worried I wasn’t ready to live in a foreign country for seven weeks, especially a country as different from the United States as China. I questioned the decision to study abroad the summer after my freshman year, thinking maybe I should have waited until the next summer. But as soon as I arrived in Beijing, all these worries disappeared, and the excitement set in. Having traveled to China once before for a week, the new culture didn’t come as a complete shock, but this time I was fully immersed. I quickly became accustomed to ordering meals in Chinese and paying in yuan. Even without a language pledge, my American friends and I started speaking Chinese to each other outside of class because in China it just felt natural. One of my favorite experiences from the trip was visiting the Summer Palace with a few friends. After walking around the historic site and admiring the beautiful architecture, we found a place to sit, enjoy the scenery, and play a Chinese card game. We ended up surrounded by Chinese children and adults, watching us play and offering tips and advice for the next move. Even as outsiders, we were welcomed into their culture with enthusiasm.

Not only were excursions to famous sites incredible but so were the daily experiences of living in a foreign country. Every day was an exciting new adventure. From ordering food in Chinese, to navigating the subways, to playing pickup ultimate Frisbee with students from around the world, every day was filled with new experiences and opportunities to practice Chinese. Nearing the end of my time in Beijing, I began to miss living in China before I even left. Returning to the United States, I missed hearing Chinese all around me. I missed ordering in Chinese and eating with chopsticks. After my study abroad experience in China, I wondered why I ever doubted that it was the right decision.


Beijing 1

News: Chinese Studies

Advanced Chinese Students Create Annual Newsletter

Students in Advanced Chinese: Reading & Writing course (fall 2018), divided into two teams, created two annual bilingual newsletters of Chinese Program in 2018. Students report the study abroad experience, professors’ research and teaching, students’ and alumni’s awards and scholarships, Chinese House and much more.

1.Gold Team’s Newsletter

Chinese Newsletter Final Draft

2. Green Team’s Newsletter

Green Team Newsletter Final

News: Chinese Studies Spring 2018 Spring 2018 Featured

Nicole Cook (International Relations and Chinese, ’18) receives Boren Scholarship

CookNicole Cook is graduating with a double major in International Relations and Chinese Studies. About her undergraduate experience in the Chinese Studies Program at W&M and herplans for the future, Nicole states: “I feel beyond blessed to have been a part of the Chinese Studies Program all four years! I truly love the challenge of mastering a second language so different from English. I entered William & Mary never having studied Chinese, but the encouraging faculty and supportive environment have fostered some of my favorite college experiences. During the summer of 2016, I studied in Beijing through the W&M Summer Study Abroad program. I am excited to return to China this fall, studying for one academic year in Guilin as a Boren Scholar. As a Boren Scholar, I will be taking 20 weekly hours of one-on-one Mandarin classes taught by the Chinese Language Institute, a small Mandarin Learning Center affiliated with Guangxi Normal University. I hope to achieve professional fluency through my studies. In particular, I hope to focus my studies on topics that will be of future relevance to a career in US-East Asian security policy, such as Chinese economic development and CCP leadership.”

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2018 Featured

W&M Chinese Students Participate in the 17th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest

Three W&M students from the Chinese Program went to Boston to participate in the 17th Chinese Bridge Speech contest (East USA Preliminary) last Saturday at U Mass Boston. We achieved a great success! Michael Briggs (白杨)won the 2nd place and Grace Klopp (格蕾丝)won the 3rd place in the Beginners Group. Emily Pearson-Beck(李美丽) won the 2nd place in the Advanced group.We are really proud of the students and wish to thank the Confucius Institute which has generously sponsored students’ trip to Boston!

News: Chinese Studies Uncategorized

Prof. Lily Wong of American University on Transpacific Affects and Chineseness



The Chinese Program presented the talk entitled, “Sex Work, Media Networks, and Transpacific Histories of Affect”  on February 15, 2018. The speaker is Professor Lily Wong of American University. Professor Wong is a specialist on the politics of affect/emotion, gender and sexuality, comparative race, and media formations of transpacific Chinese, Sinophone, and Asian American communities. Her book, Transpacific Attachments: Sex Work, Media Networks, and Affective Histories of Chineseness, is published by Columbia University Press in 2018.


IMG_2625In the talk, Professor Wong discussed the figure of the Chinese sex worker—who provokes both disdain and desire—has become a trope for both Asian American sexuality and Asian modernity. Lingering in the cultural imagination, sex workers link sexual and cultural marginality, and their tales clarify the boundaries of citizenship, nationalism, and internationalism. Based on her new book, Transpacific Attachments, Professor Wong discussed the mobility and mobilization of the sex worker figure through transpacific media networks, stressing the intersectional politics of racial, sexual, and class structures. She focuses on the transpacific networks that reconfigure Chineseness, complicating a diasporic framework of cultural authenticity. While imaginations of a global community have long been mobilized through romantic, erotic, and gendered representations, Professor Wong emphasized the significant role sex work plays in the constant restructuring of social relations. “Chineseness,” the figure of the sex worker shows, is an affective product as much as an ethnic or cultural signifier.


The lecture was attended by around 60 audiences from faculty members and students. This event was organized by Chun-yu Lu and sponsored by WMCI and Reves Center.


Fall 2017 Issue Featured News: Chinese Studies

Chinese Studies: Experiencing China

Experiencing China

Sophia Wischnewski (Chinese Studies, ’20)


IMG_2568The Journey Begins

My experience traveling along the journey piqued my curiosity about the new world I was soon to encounter. From the time I was enrolled in a Chinese immersion program at 10 years old, I could only dream of visiting one of the world’s most powerful nations. Nine years later, my dream became reality. William and Mary’s brief immersion program gave me the opportunity to see China outside of my previous Chinese language and culture courses. However, I’ve come to find that reading about China and briefly living in China are completely different.

My first day in Beijing was riddled with culture shock. I was obligated to become independent, and that alone truly helped by forcing me to use my language skills. With out the comforts of Google Translate, I had to figure out the meaning of words on my own. I will always remember the word 厕所 (restroom) because of this experience.

The Real China

I visited four cities in China: Yanjiao, Baotou, Beijing, and Zhuhai. All were completely different. They all had different dialects and words. I thought it was a challenge to understand people in the southern and northern states in the U.S., but now I feel that China, as a nation, is not only a master in the art of Kung Fu, but also a master of languages for being able to understand so many dialects.

I had the opportunity to stay with my friend and her family for a week and a half before returning to Beijing. Since my friend Sally was the only one who spoke any English, I had to speak in Chinese with her family. Sally was strict with me in that she not only refused to give me a fork and learn to eat with chopsticks, but also encouraged me to use my language skills outside of her home as well. I felt that living with her and meeting other people were the greatest experiences I have had in my time learning Chinese.

IMG_4335I not only experienced the language, but the culture as well. During my stay I developed a cold and was brought to the doctor. Traditional Chinese medicine is still a common practice among modern medical solutions. Instead of prescribing me pills or syrup for my symptoms, the doctor looked directly into my eyes and advised me to drink a hot cup of water before going to bed and getting up in the morning. He said I needed more rest and time to get accustomed to the environment. All he gave me was root juice as a vitamin. I was told later by my friend’s mother that Chinese people believe that harmony between one’s diet and life style habits is the essence of good health. Sure enough, after a delicious home-cooked dinner, hot water, and rest, I was in even better health then I was in the U.S.

Chinese vs. American Cultures

Aside from learning about Chinese culture, I thought a lot about modern American culture in the process of learning Chinese. I reflected on how much I, just one person, was representing my own country while being a part of China’s society. I learned China believes in symbolism, so everything created acquires a unique purpose. I also noted that the U.S also associates itself as a symbol of freedom. I found this ideal American concept to be quite fascinating during the program. Not only did the American college and high school students extensively pursue their desires during the time in Beijing, but they also expressed the same American mentality of freedom in their accomplishments.

When I was in Beijing, I noticed differences between Chinese and American college students. A sense of destructiveness and a wild spirit was the impression given off by Americans, especially for the younger generation. During student events, such as the talent show, both American and Chinese students were encouraged to share a talent which embraced a bit of their cultural background. The two groups did very different performances. The acts performed by American students generally included songs about partying, individuality, and carefree actions. This music alone could potentially create misunderstandings of Americans, but it also helps spread American culture and American representation on a global scale. The Chinese music performed was a mixture of Chinese folk and modern day songs. The beats were slow, and the notes were long and drawn out. It created a tranquil ambience along with a happy atmosphere from common themes of love, inspiration, fortune, and tranquility in the lyrics.IMG_4787

The Journey Continues…

I learned so much in so little time. I feel like I cannot fully to express my feelings about my experience in China. The food, the places, and the friendships I’ve made are too valuable to be measured and conveyed into a single paper, and yet, that alone reveals how much this trip has impacted my thoughts and my future.

Faculty Profiles Fall 2017 More Featured News: Chinese Studies

New Faculty Profile: Michael Hill, Chinese Studies

New Faculty Profile: Michael Hill, Chinese Studies

Nicole Cook (International Relations and Chinese, 18’)


michael hillWelcome to William and Mary! Now that you’ve been in Williamsburg for a few months, how has your time been so far?

I’ve been having a great time! I have two really excellent classes this semester, a senior seminar and a course on Chinese pop culture. One of the reasons why William & Mary is so attractive is the great students. For example, in my senior seminar, I have 13 students who are able to work with pretty difficult materials in Chinese language. Their ability to work with the material is really exciting to me. It makes it really fun to teach.

Do you mind telling me a little about your career before coming here? What inspired you to begin studying Chinese?

I started Chinese in my sophomore year of college. At that time, I decided I was either going to study Chinese or Russian, and decided I would try Chinese. I had a great first teacher and was hooked! I took some time off between undergraduate and graduate school to not only work, but also to go to China. I made my first trip in 1997 a couple years after college. After that, I started undergraduate school at Rutgers University and finished at Columbia University. In between, I also spent time working at a translation company. The job involved translating things between Chinese and English that were not very exciting, like contracts, financial documents, and pharmaceutical packaging. This was an especially valuable experience as part of what I study is the history of translation between China and the West. I then worked at the University of South Carolina for 9 years before coming here.

You mentioned your research in the history of translation. Is that your primary focus of research? Do you have other projects you’re working on now?

Both my PhD dissertation and the first book I wrote were about Lin Shu, the first major translator of Western fiction into Chinese. He didn’t know any foreign languages but still managed to work with speakers of English and French to translate works into Classical Chinese. That was a really fun project because many of his translations changed quite a bit from the original to the Chinese translation.

More recently, I began leaning Arabic for my current research, which is on the history of cultural relations between China and the Middle East (late 19th century through the 1950s). Last academic year, I had a fellowship with the American Council of Learned Societies that allowed me to work at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress. This gave me a unique opportunity to work on collecting sources for my project.

What classes will you be teaching next semester?

In the spring, I’ll be teaching a survey class on 20th century Chinese literature in English and a COLL150 class called “What is China?” The freshman seminar is based on the title of a book I’ve translated by a scholar named Ge Zhaoguang, which is scheduled for publication in January 2018. The book is interesting in the way it talks about different perspectives on Chinese history and major questions in Chinese history. So, for example, what is territory in China? The answer changes depending on if we study the past 1,000 years, 2,000 years or 5,000 years.  He does a really great job of talking about a wide variety of materials so it should be fun to discuss with students.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for students who are currently studying Chinese?

Stick with the language – it’s a long road, but it really pays off. I also encourage students to spend an extended amount of time in the language environment, whether that’s a summer, semester, or even, if possible, a year after graduation. If you go to China within a couple years of graduation and spend time there, you can really get your language skills up to a high level. Then, you have this tool that you can take with you anywhere in your career.

Thank you very much for your time!


News News: Chinese Studies

Professor Hashimoto of Maryland on Postwar Chinese and Japanese Cinema

The Chinese Program presented the talk entitled “Critical Lyricism in Postwar East Asian Cinema: Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town and Ozu Yasujiro’s Late Spring” on October 3, 2017. The speaker is Professor Satoru Hashimoto, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a specialist on comparative East Asian literature and culture.


In the talk, Professor Hashimoto discussed two films produced in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War in China and Japan, Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town (1948) and Ozu Yasujir’s Late Spring (1949), to explore possibilities of postwar East Asian cinema as a critical medium, especially in its historicization of wartime experience. While set against the backdrop of the tumultuous beginnings of the postwar era –– one in China during the Civil War and the other in Japan under the Occupation ––these films are characterized by their singular modes of lyricism which belies such eventful historical contexts. His lecture analyzed these work’s lyrical cinematic languages as an aesthetic topos which intertwines the exigencies of postwar national reconstruction with the long shadows of wartime trauma, thereby critically revisiting some of the ideological premises for conceptualizing the “postwar” in East Asia.

This talk was attended by more than 70 audiences from students and faculty at W&M. This event was organized by Chun-yu Lu and was generously sponsored by WMCI, Reves Center, and AMES.



News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2017

Undergraduate Conference on Modern Chinese Literature

undergradconfUndergraduate students in the Chinese program presented their research projects in “Rewriting Modern Chinese Literature: An Undergraduate Conference” on April 18, 20 & 25, 2017. During the conference, students discussed how modern and contemporary Chinese literature is written and rewritten vis-à-vis the larger sociopolitical, cultural, and theoretical context. Topics presented in the conference included trauma and narrative, identity crisis and history’s intervention, selfhood in nation-building, fatalistic and futuristic writings, the insane and the invisible, écriture féminine and Chinese feminism, women and technology, as well as the tropes from new woman to leftover woman. They discussed tanci play, poetry, short stories, science fiction and popular song lyrics from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan since the late 19th century to the 21st century. Writers examined in the research presentations included Qiu Jin, Liang Qichao, Lu Xun, Yu Dafu, Lao She, Mao Dun, Wen Yidou, Ding Ling, Xiao Hong, Eileen Chang, Mo Yan, Can Xue, Liu Heng, Wong Bik-wan, Xi Xi, Dung Kai-chung, Wu Zuoliu, Pai Hsien-Yung, Chu T’ien-wen, Li Ang, Hsia Yu/Li Gedi, Hao Jingfang, etc.

Among the research presentations, Honor Leahy, a Chinese Studies senior, discussed the effects of technology and modernization in the female poet Hsia Yu and in her popular song writer persona Li Gedi’s creations. Honor argued that the author both condemns and submits to modernization. However, Honor also explored whether technology could destroy creativity while at the same time generating a new approach to artistic creation, and whether the author’s gender affects her attitudes towards modernization and technology. When discussing the Chinese avant-garde writer Can Xue’s surrealistic short story “Hut on the Mountain,” Chinese senior Mauricio Armaza drew on Freudian psychoanalysis and suggested that we could read the uncanny relationship between the I-narrator and the mother as an Electra complex. The rich symbolism in the fictional narrative could be read as the manifest content of Freudian dream while the chaotic history of Maoist China could be interpreted as the latent content. Chinese Studies junior Zach Rubin discussed the transition from tradition to modernity in the turn of twentieth century when the modern nation-state Republic of China replaced the Manchu Qing dynasty in Lao She’s “An Old and Established Name.” Zach suggested that Lao She, a Manchu writer who supported modernization, casts a nostalgic gaze on the good old days but is fully aware of the irresistible and inevitable trend of modernization. Ellie Currie, a Chinese Studies sophomore, suggested that the trope of “leftover woman,” despite being a contemporary coinage, could become the inspiration for new woman; the female protagonists’ isolation is indeed a form of empowerment in Eileen Chang’s “Sealed Off” in 1940s Shanghai and Xi Xi’s “A Woman Like Me” in 1990s Hong Kong.

By engaging with critical theories such as feminist theory, gender studies, postcolonial studies, Holocaust studies and psychoanalysis, the conference indicates an interdisciplinary understanding of modern and contemporary Chinese literature across national borders.

The undergraduate conference was organized by Chun-yu Lu, Visiting Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies.


News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2017 More

Prof. Calvin Hui Gave Keynote at Stanford U

Mannning Cat ClearProfessor Calvin Hui, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies, gave a keynote speech at the Modern Chinese Humanities Conference at Stanford University on April 15, 2017. This conference is jointly organized by the faculty and the graduate students at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. In his keynote address entitled “Copycat China,” Professor Hui introduced his first and second book projects on Chinese consumer cultures and presented the current cutting-edge research being done on Chinese copycat cultures. More importantly, he discussed his work on architectural mimicry in contemporary China and explained how his work contributes to, and intervenes in, existing debates in Chinese cultural studies, and the theories of post-colonialism, globalization, and trans-nationalism. His keynote address was very well-received.

In addition, Professor Hui gave an invited talk entitled “Fake Globalization, Counterfeit China” at the University of Richmond in Virginia in early April 2017. He delivered another invited talk “Copycat Architecture in China” at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China in December 2016. During the past half year, he has also given presentations at the Georgia State University in Atlanta (March 2017), the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Chicago (March 2017), and the HKBU Young Scholars Conference on China Studies in Hong Kong, China (December 2016). His next presentation will be in the Cultural Studies Association conference in Washington D.C. in May 2017. In this conference, he is also the organizer of the panel entitled “Interface: The Cultural Politics of U.S.-China trans-nationalism,” which tries to bring together current researches in Chinese literary and cultural studies, Chinese diaspora studies and ethnic studies, and (new) media studies into conversations.
Faculty Awards News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2017

Prof. Calvin Hui won two more external fellowships!

Calvin HuiPlease join us in congratulating Professor Calvin Hui, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies, for winning the prestigious Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Scholarly Exchange Junior Scholar Grant in 2016. He will use his fellowship year to work on his book project entitled “Fashion, Media, and Chinese Consumer Culture.”

In addition, Professor Hui was awarded the 2016-17 China Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship provided by University of Alberta, Canada. He declined the post-doctoral fellowship in order to keep working with the Chinese majors at W&M.

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2017 More

Hollywood Made in China

The Chinese Program presented the talk entitled “Hollywood Made in China” on April 20, 2017 (Thursday). The speaker is Aynne Kokas, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. W&M students and faculty learned about how Kung Fu Panda 3, Iron Man 3, and Transformer 4 revealed the culture and politics of U.S.-China transnationalism in the 21st century.


According to Kokas, the Chinese market is poised to become the largest theatrical box office in the world within the next two years. But China currently allows only 34 films from around the world to be imported per year (with distribution revenue sharing privileges). In order to circumvent China’s film import quota and access the world’s largest potential film market, Hollywood studios have begun engaging in a range of collaborative ventures to access audiences in the middle kingdom. In February 2016, Shanghai-based US-China joint venture Oriental DreamWorks released Kung Fu Panda 3, which dominated the global box office that month. Disney opened its first theme park in China – a USD 5.5 billion investment – merely four months later. From film co-productions, to animation studios, to theme parks, American media conglomerates are working ever more closely with Chinese firms and Chinese regulators in exchange for access to audiences. Local Chinese filmmakers increasingly create media with an eye toward the international market in order to compete with Hollywood-China collaborations globally. Cash-rich Chinese conglomerates like the Dalian Wanda Group have begun taking major stakes in foreign studios, spurring US government efforts to regulate foreign direct investment in Hollywood. This talk demonstrated how the growth of China’s media market is transforming Hollywood from the inside out.

Aynne Kokas is an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ work focuses on the intersections between Chinese and US media and technology industries.  Her book Hollywood Made in China was published in February 2017 with the University of California Press. Hollywood Made in China examines the cultural, political and economic implications of US media investment in China as it becomes the world’s largest film market.

This event was organized by Professors Calvin Hui and Chun-yu Lu from the Chinese Program.

Talk 1 Talk 2 Talk 3 Talk 4 Talk 5 Talk 6

Fall 2016 Issue News News: Chinese Studies

New Faculty in Chinese Program Discusses Her Teaching and Research


This year we welcome Lu Lu to join Chinese Program. Lu Lu is Visiting Instructor of Chinese Studies. She is a PhD candidate of Chinese Linguistics at the University of Wiscosin-Madison and teaches Chinese language at William and Mary.

How do you feel teaching in the Chinese Program at William and Mary?
Lu: Teaching in W&M is one of the most wonderful experience in my life. I am impressed by how hard the students work to learn a new language. Most of the students are diligent and very responsible for their life. Also, I enjoy working with my colleagues in MLLL and Chinese program. They are friendly, smart, and supportive. I love to discuss teaching and research ideas with my colleagues, which inspire me a lot.

What are you teaching assignments this year?
Lu: I am teaching elementary Chinese and Upper-intermediate Chinese this year.

What is your current project?
Lu: My dissertation is about the interface between music and language in Chinese. The focus is the tone-tune relationship in Chinese local operas, such as Huju and Yueju, and how it affects listener’s perceptions. As for teaching, I am currently working on a research of the effectiveness of peer evaluation and error log on class oral project.

What is your future project?
Lu: I am interested in the code-switching phenomenon among language learners, especially comparing the code-switching patterns between beginning and advanced language learners. Prosodic phonology and how to apply it into teaching Chinese as a foreign language is another interest.

Fall 2016 More News News: Chinese Studies

China’s Monkey King

FullSizeRender-1The Chinese Program presented the talk entitled “Journeys to the West:  The Many Adventures of China’s Monkey King” on November 3, 2016. The speaker is Professor Robert E. Hegel, Liselotte Dieckmann Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of Chinese at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a world-renowned specialist in the narrative and theatrical traditions of late imperial China.

In the talk, Professor Hegel discussed Journey to the West, one of China’s greatest novels from the sixteenth-century.  Its central figure is the Monkey King who is both prankster and serious Buddhist pilgrim, monstrous warrior and interpreter of difficult philosophy.  He also plays a major role in the numerous literary sequels, films, television dramas, video games, and other spin-offs of the novel–each with a slightly different take on his journey to bring South Asian scriptures back to China. The major theme of the talk is the complexity of culture how many elements can be inextricably intertwined–specifically fiction, theater, and religious belief and practice in the case of the Monkey King.

This talk was attended by more than 100 audiences from students and faculty at W&M as well as Williamsburg community members. This event was organized by Chun-yu Lu and was generously sponsored by WMCI, Reves Center, and Arts & Sciences.




Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Graduates 2015-2016 News: Chinese Studies Spring 2016

Congratulations to our Chinese Majors!

MLL Graduation Ceremony (15 May 2016)

Chinese Majors 2016 MLL Graduation Ceremony

Picture 1: Marshall Richards, Isabel Perrin, Benjamin Neville, Jacob Keohane, Skyy Eshleman, Gille Cuda (Note: Five other seniors, including Max Lipkin, Charles Kelly, Rachel Johnson, Kathy Shi, and Lauren Leupold, also graduated. They could not attend the MLL graduation ceremony because of other commitments.)

Chinese Majors and Faculty 2016 MLL Graduation Ceremony

Picture 2: Chinese majors and faculty

Chinese Faculty 2016 MLL Graduation Ceremony

Picture 3: Calvin Hui, Yanfang Tang, Chun-yu Lu, Peng Yu, and Qian Su

News: Chinese Studies Spring 2016

Chinese Majors’ Projects 2015-16

In fall 2015, seniors majoring in Chinese took Professor Calvin Hui’s course CHIN 428 Advanced Seminar in Chinese (Fake Globalization, Counterfeit China). By the end of the course, they did research and produced a paper relating to the course’s major concerns. See below selected projects from the seminar.

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2016 More

Make Love and War: Prof. Chun-yu Lu Presented on Chinese Popular Romance During the Wartime

As part of the Bellini Colloquium series for spring 2016, Prof. Chun-yu Lu shared her research with the W&M community.  On April 21, 2016, Prof. Lu presented a talk entitled “Make Love and War: Chinese Popular Romance in ‘Greater East Asia,’ 1937-1945.”

Prof. Lu’s talk focused on Chinese popular romances produced and consumed in the Japanese colonized and occupied regions during the Second Sino-Japanese War and investigates the complex relationships between emotion, representation, and consumption vis-à-vis wartime politics.

In the talk Prof. Lu introduced two of her case studies of Chinese popular romances under Japan’s domination. The first case is Begonia, a tremendously popular novel and its theatrical and cinematic adaptions in wartime Shanghai. The second case is a popular writer, Wu Mansha, a Chinese mainlander in colonial Taiwan and his propagandist romance that promoted Japanese imperialism in the Chinese language.

Prof. Lu suggested that when Begonia in Shanghai intends to tell a tragic love story of two individuals and their sufferings, its dramatic articulation stimulates a shared sense of victimhood and an indirect protest collectively. In contrast, when Wu Mansha explicitly promoted young couples to unite and fight for the “greater good,” the propagandist messages in his popular romance novel was used for his personal safety and private profits. By comparing these popular romances, Prof. Lu argued that while the wartime regime dictated that private emotions and love are to be devoted to the ultimate public needs—the war, and hence the individual would merge with the collective and eventually disappear, through writing and consuming popular romances writers and readers reaffirm their individual existence when they struggle between the tensions of patriotic love and romantic love. So paradoxically, wartime popular romance is a collective channel for confirming individual existence.

Chun Yu 2 Chun Yu1

News: Chinese Studies

W&M Team Took the Stage of 2015 Jiangsu Cup Chinese Speech Contest at GWU

team photo
From left: Alexandra Bate (Bronze Award), Caroline Lebegue (Silver Award), Colleen Mulrooney (Gold Award), Peng Yu (coach)

Good news! On November 1, W&M students won first place in the 2015 Jiangsu Cup Chinese Speech Contest at the George Washington University. Three students of Chinese language, Colleen Mulrooney, Caroline Lebegue and Alexandra Bate, entered the final round of the contest. In the end, Colleen won a Gold Award, one of the two grand prizes; Caroline received a Silver Award alongside five other finalists; and Alexandra was one of the recipients of the Bronze Award. The Gold Award winner receives a full scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Nanjing University. All other award winners receive a full scholarship to study Chinese at Nanjing University for a semester.

The 2015 Jiangsu Cup Speech Contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students studying upper-intermediate and advanced levels of Chinese in colleges and universities in the greater Washington Metropolitan area. This speech contest has expanded since 2011. This year, the contest extended invitations to twelve universities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and sixteen finalists from nine universities entered the final round of the competition. It is the first time that W&M was invited to nominate contestants. Five Chinese-language students were nominated to compete in the preliminary round, and three of them were selected to enter the final round. Each finalist delivered a three-minute prepared speech, answered two questions about China’s Jiangsu Province, and gave a four-minute improvised speech for which they only had five minutes to prepare.

The three W&M finalists delivered excellent speeches on stage and impressed the judges and the audience. The Gold Award winner Colleen Mulrooney, a freshman who came to the College two months ago, is currently studying upper-intermediate Chinese; the Silver Award recipient Caroline Lebegue is a sophomore taking advanced speaking Chinese; and sophomore Alexandra Bate, the Bronze Award winner, is also studying upper-intermediate Chinese.




Fall 2014 News News: Chinese Studies

Visiting Professor of Chinese Jennifer Lee on Teaching and Research

Professor Jennifer Lee arrived at William and Mary in the Fall and has jumped into her duties in the Chinese program. Below is an interview with Prof. Lee about her teaching, research, and life at the College.

News: Chinese Studies

Chinese Program hosted Open House

Chinese Studies Program hosted its annual Open House event on October 3rd, 2014 in Washington Hall 315.

Chinese Program Open House flyer_2014

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2014

Chinese Students Show Their Research Skills

In fall 2013, seniors majoring in Chinese took Prof. Calvin Hui’s course CHIN 428 Advanced Seminar in Chinese, which focused on fashion, media, and consumer culture in post-socialist China. By the end of the course, they did research and produced a paper relating to the course’s major concerns. They also presented their research outputs in the 2014 Chinese Major Forum. You can have a taste of the interesting projects that our Chinese majors produced in the research seminar.

Rachel Faith, Male Cosmetics Advertisement

Tyler Brent, Cooperative Marriage Between Gay Men and Lesbian Women in China

Sara Rock, Dog Ownership in China

Daniel Otto, Changing Views on Sex and Sexuality in Post-Socialist China

Linda Baysore, Peng Liyuan’s Fashion

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2013

Senior Forum Highlights Student Research about Science in China

Science has played a key role in Chinese conceptions of what it means to be modern. Inspired, dazzled, and even threatened by the West’s scientific revolution and its pivotal role in spurring industrial modernity, Chinese thinkers sought to bring the concepts and methods of Western science into Chinese society, industry, and statecraft. The insistence upon science as a mode of knowledge key to modernization has spanned China’s own historical development from the late-nineteenth century to the present day – from the intellectuals’ slogan of the 1920s extolling the virtues of “Mr. Science and Mr. Democracy,” to the present day Chinese obsession with space exploration, the culture of science, or “scientism,” has penetrated almost all spheres of Chinese life.

Visiting Assistant Professor Emily Wilcox devoted her Fall 2012 senior seminar to the topic of “China and the Scientific Imagination.” As students read scholarship concerning the social role of science, much of it in Chinese, they also produced original research papers on a topic of their own choosing. In Spring, these students returned to their papers and revised their findings. This culminated in the Chinese Majors Senior Forum, held on April 19, 2013. Seven students presented their findings to an audience of classmates, faculty, friends, and supporters.

Associate Professor Miranda Brown, a specialist in early Chinese literature and history from the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan, delivered the keynote address: “Reflections on the Origins of Chinese Prophylaxis: The Ills That Do Not Ail,” derived from her book manuscript in progress on the history of Chinese medicine. Prof. Brown’s talk examined the origin of a key principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): preventative measures to avoid illness before they arise and produce symptoms.

According to Dr. Brown, the notion of asymptomatic illness, and the idea that special measures can be taken to prevent it, derived from texts and manuals of statecraft dating back from the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE). Among the many texts she examined, she paid special attention to the manual of statecraft known as Master Hanfei (Hanfei zi, third century BCE). The notion of hidden, invisible diseases, and the need to act against them before they caused harm, served as rhetorical parables that illustrated the need for governments to act preemptively against possible threats to the state rather than wait until these threats had already inflicted damage. The idea of asymptomatic illness and prophylaxis thus originally began as an extended metaphor to describe effective statecraft. By the Han Dynasty (206 BCD-220 CE), however, medical prophylaxis began to transform from a witty metaphor to an actual clinical practice, and would subsequently shape the whole of TCM to the present day.

Following Dr. Brown’s presentation the students presented their work in two panels, with Dr. Brown as discussant. The first panel consisted of four presentations. Bonnie Beckner, a double major in Chinese and Linguistics, examined the origins of the neo-Confucian term “ge wu” (“the investigation of things”) that arose in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Suggesting that ge wu marked the beginnings of a kind of thinking that can be characterized as “scientific,” she explored how this principle was exhibited by naturalist Li Shizhen (1518-1593) in his encyclopedic compendium of medical knowledge, the Bencao gangmu. Max Rozycki, a double major in Economics, explored the topic of monetary inflation in the Song Dynasty. Mr. Rozycki argued that inflation could have been prevented in the Song Dynasty if the state had issued bonds; however, traditional taboos about the state being in obligation to private owners of debt prevented the Chinese state from ever adopting bonds as a form of revenue collection. Dereck Chapman, a double major in Government, explored the role of scientism as it pertains to the developing notion of the modern Chinese citizen. Employing insights from the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Hannah Arendt, Mr. Chapman explored how the Chinese state organized a modern citizenry. Inho Kim, a double major in Economics, explored the meanings of qi, variably translated as “vital breath” or “material force,” and a key concept in Chinese medical and cosmological thought. Mr. Kim explored whether the existence of qi could be proved, and to what extent the existence of qi depended not so much on its actual empirical manifestation, but instead as a function of collective belief and practice.

The second panel featured three papers. Elizabeth Goldemen, a double major in Government, explored the relationship between Communist politics and the development of paleoanthropology and genetics in modern China. She noted the different ways in which the political goals of nation building shaped the trajectories of these two sciences. Clayton Kenerson, a double major in Finance, presented independent research conducted under the guidance of Prof. Yanfang Tang on the sources and consequences of the Chinese real estate bubble. Kevin Mahoney, also a double major in finance, spoke about the rise of microblogging (in particular, the site Sina Weibo) in China, and how the phenomenal popularity of celebrity microblogs constitute a contentious space for political expression and legitimacy.

While the theme of science and society unified most of the forum papers, the students’ own particular disciplinary interests drove their projects. For Ms. Beckner, her work in linguistics led her to trace a particular term, “ge wu,” through Chinese philosophical and medical texts. After graduation, she will teach English for two years in Hangzhou, a scenic town an hour away from Shanghai and a one-time imperial capital. After that, she “will probably come back to (the States) for graduate school.” She hopes the time abroad will help her focus her scholarly interests.

Mr. Mahoney, who studied Finance in addition to Chinese, was more drawn to recent developments in Chinese social media. Although trying to keep up with the latest digital Chinese slang was sometimes difficult, he found the research exciting: “It was a lot of fun. I actually spent more time than I need to reading (blog posts) because it’s actually kind of fun seeing what they’re talking about.” While Mr. Mahoney has one more semester left at WM in order to finish up his finance degree, he will spend the upcoming summer interning in Hong Kong. After graduation, he’d like to work in China, and then is thinking about eventually pursuing a law degree in combination with an MBA. Whatever he chooses to do, he hopes to incorporate what he has learned at WM. “I’d still work with China and use my language skills,” said Mr. Mahoney.

The Chinese Seniors Major Forum allowed WM students to demonstrate how four years of hard work in Chinese language study, coupled with studies in Chinese culture and society, as well as immersion in China study abroad programs, were instrumental in developing their own research projects. They exhibited the College’s goals in greater internationalization as well as modeled the kinds of interdisciplinary work the College is encouraging. Prof. Wilcox’s close work with her students displayed the kinds of mentor-intensive experiences the Modern Languages and Literatures Department has always emphasized in its pedagogy. This year’s seniors are now setting off to pursue new adventures and continued opportunities for learning and discovery.

Featured News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2013 More

WM Celebrates Chinese New Year

WM 2013 Chinese New Year

In the run-up to Chinese New Year, producers and reporters from Chinese Central Television came to William and Mary to report on New Year’s festivities celebrated by WM students. The students displayed their impressive language skills, practiced calligraphy, wore traditional Chinese outfits, and even sang in Chinese!

The reports were aired on the news program “Morning News” (Zhaowen tianxia) on CCTV 13 and a special New Year’s variety program “New Year’s Eve Countdown” (Chun wan dao ji shi) on CCTV 3. Featured in these reports are students Rob Weed and Linda Baysore singing a famous Teresa Teng tune, Sara Rock giving a tour of the Wren Chapel (in Chinese!), other students engaged in calligraphy and other traditional activities, and wishing TV viewers in China (up to one billion people) a Happy New Year.

The reporters noted the impressive fluency of our students, as well as commented on the historic significance of WM as the second oldest college in the country. The clip for the “New Year’s Countdown” also included well wishes from Judy Chu, a Congresswoman from California, and members of the Chinese embassy stationed in the US.
Click the following links to watch the report:

CCTV 13 “Morning News” Report

CCTV 3 “New Year’s Eve Countdown”

Faculty Awards News News: Chinese Studies PBK Award

2013 Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching to Yanfang Tang

tang_yYanfang Tang is a Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the College of William and Mary.  She is the Director of the Chinese Studies Program and also serves as the Director of the Confucius Institute at the College.

She received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in December, 1993. Before arriving at W&M in 1994, she had taught at Michigan State University and Brigham Young University. Although her doctoral training was primarily in classical Chinese poetry and East-West comparative literary theory, she has expanded her course offerings, since her arrival at W&M, to include Chinese cosmology, Yi jing (the Book of Changes), women in traditional Chinese literature, film and Chinese modernization, contemporary Chinese society, the history of the Chinese language, and Chinese behavioral culture. These courses were developed all in response to the rising interest of W&M students in learning about China and Chinese culture.

Professor Tang’s research interests also span a broad range of fields, with the analysis of “culture” as the connecting theme. She has published on poetry and philosophy, culture and text, language and thought, language and communication, as well as integration of culture with Chinese language acquisition. In addition to a  textbook project, she is currently working on a book entitled Meaning without Words: Mind and Methods of Traditional Chinese Poetry. This is a new study of traditional Chinese “modern-style poetry” (jin ti shi) focusing on the underlying philosophical and artistic thought and its embodiment in the distinctive Chinese modes of poetic expression. In terms of professional service, Professor Tang sits on two editorial boards and serves as a manuscript reviewer for many academic journals and presses.

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: Chinese Studies Fall 2012 Featured News: Alumni News: Chinese Studies

Chinese Program 2012 Alumni Feature

by Emily Wilcox


The W&M 2012 graduating class boasted a stellar group of seniors in the Chinese Program. Three students received High Honors for senior honors thesis projects advised by Chinese Program faculty, and more than eighty-five percent studied abroad in China at least once as part of their undergraduate experience. Students double-majored in Chinese and a range of other fields, including Chemistry, Government, History, International Relations, Management, Marketing, and Mathematics.

Now, six months after their graduation, graduates in the 2012 Chinese Program class are thriving in jobs, internships, and scholarships related to their Chinese studies. The following is a sampling of some of the exciting work these students are doing today. Support and skills gained at William and Mary played an important role in achieving these successes; for most, foreign language proficiency specifically was a key criteria in the application and selection process for the jobs and scholarships in which they are now involved.

Congratulations to all of our talented 2012 graduates!


Kate McGinnis (W&M Chinese Major ‘12)

Intern, National Committee on US-China Relations, New York

I am currently interning at the National Committee on United States-China Relations, a non-profit that focuses on bettering the US-China relationship through exchanges and dialogue. In 1971 the National Committee hosted the historic Ping Pong exchange, kicking off the era of ‘ping pong diplomacy’. Today, they continue to host the exchange of teachers, policy leaders, government leaders, and youth. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to work with this organization. So far, I have worked with the development team on our annual Gala Dinner, held at the Plaza Hotel, which raised 1.4 million dollars for the National Committee. In the four weeks I worked on the fundraising campaign I personally raised $78 thousand. I helped compile a briefing book for Navy Officers in preparation for our three-day educational conference on contemporary China. I am so thankful to the W&M Chinese program for giving me a strong foundation in Chinese language and culture, which has allowed me to thrive at the National Committee. I often find myself recalling experiences from my W&M study abroad trip in Beijing when we meet Chinese delegations stopping in at our New York City office. Most importantly, I appreciate the fantastic faculty at W&M who encouraged my interest in all things Chinese.



Timothy McDade (W&M Chinese Major ‘12)

IT Program Manager, Microsoft, Washington State

I graduated from W&M in May 2012 with dual majors in Chinese Language & Literature and Applied Mathematics, and am now working at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. I’m in a leadership training rotational program within Microsoft’s internal IT department, which allows me to experience the breadth of what a global company has to offer. My Chinese major has precipitated all of this – I got my job because of my language skills and travel experience. I plan to continue studying the language and culture in the future, and hope to spend a considerable amount of time working in Beijing and Shanghai. My mentors from the W&M Chinese department provided guidance and support during my job search. My international background and language skills have served me well so far, and will continue to ensure that I have a competitive edge as I move forward in the business world.



Lydia Fairfax (W&M Chinese Major ‘12)

Marketing Specialist, Registrar Corp, Newport News

After graduating from William and Mary, I was hired as a marketing specialist at Registrar Corp in Newport News. Registrar Corp assists companies in the Drug, Medical Device, Food and Beverage, and Cosmetics industries with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory compliance. The firm is headquartered in Hampton, Virginia, and has assisted over 22,000 companies in more than 150 countries, with 19 regional offices in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

 This year, I was working at trade shows in Washington DC and Baltimore when I was unexpectedly approached by representatives from Chinese companies who did not speak English. Although I had to improvise on the spot, I was able to present our company’s services and explain their questions using the Chinese I learned at William and Mary! The background in Chinese language and culture that I gained in the W&M Chinese Program helps me to understand other cultures, which is extremely important in my job due to the international nature of our company and our work. I got my job because of my ability to speak multiple languages. With so many international clients and offices, language abilities are essential in our company.



Stephen Hurley (W&M Chinese Major ‘12)

Boren Scholar, Beijing University, China

I started studying Chinese as a freshman at William and Mary in the fall of 2008. I studied abroad at Peking University through the W&M program in my junior year, and I have since returned to Beijing on a Boren scholarship to continue my Chinese studies. Currently, I am taking a classics course with a philosophy professor from Beijing University — this week we are covering the The Analects — and otherwise I am studying Chinese all the time. Tomorrow I will attend a job fair to get some practice networking, and we have an activity on Friday with the Beijing Film Academy. On my way to class one day, I was browsing the posters outside the campus amphitheater when I was shocked to see an advertisement for The Red Detachment of Women, a revolutionary ballet from the 1960s that we had discussed in my Chinese popular culture class last year. Needless to say, I immediately bought a ticket, and am very excited to see the performance next week.

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TRIP survey: East Asia more strategically significant, say IR scholars

A community of 3,466 international relations scholars from 20 countries believes that East Asia is the world’s region of greatest strategic importance to their nations today.

That was a key finding from the 2011 TRIP survey, published recently by the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (TRIP) at the College of William & Mary. The survey, which was sent to all international relations (IR) scholars in the countries surveyed, included nearly 90 questions on the IR discipline, as well as respondents’ research, teaching and foreign policy views.

Sue Peterson

Three members of the Institute’s staff authored the survey, the largest ever undertaken on the discipline of international relations. They are: Sue Peterson, Wendy and Emery Reves professor of government and international relations and co-director of the Institute; Michael Tierney ‘87, director of International Relations, Hylton associate professor of government and co-director of the Institute; and Daniel Maliniak ’06, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego and a principal investigator on the project.

In 2008, 27 percent of all respondents named East Asia as the region of greatest strategic importance to their nations. That percentage of i

nternational scholars rose to 34 percent in the 2011 survey, with 57 percent of all respondents saying that East Asia will be the most strategically important region in 20 years.

Among U.S. scholars, the percentage responding that East Asia is the most strategically important region today rose from 30 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2011.

“That’s a big change from our last survey,” Peterson said. “A combination of things is responsible for the change, especially the growing recognition of China’s economic power and the concurrent U.S. withdrawal from a major military conflict in the Middle East, which in 2008 had dominated not only U.S. academics’ responses, but those in a lot of other English-speaking communities.

“The majority of scholars always said that in the long run East Asia would be the most important region, but we’ve reached that long run more quickly than we thought.  The reduction of U.S. commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan allowed scholars to turn their academic attention to East Asia.”

More scholars in the United States cited the rising power of China as one of the most important foreign policy issues facing our country over the next ten years than listed any other issue.

Michael Tierney

Scholars also were asked to rate U.S. and Chinese influence on a scale of 1 to 10.  At 4.34, China lags well behind the United States today at 6.63, according to survey respondents.  By 2020, however, IR scholars predict that this gap will narrow considerably with the United States at 5.68 and China close behind at 5.28.

“At the same time that IR scholars are concerned about the implications of China’s rising power relative to the United States,” Tierney noted, “they are not overly worried about the possibility of out-and-out conflict between the U.S. and China.”

When survey respondents were asked to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 the likelihood of war between these two great powers, they put the chance of conflict at 1.33 today and 2.28 over the next 30 years.

The 2011 survey, funded by Arts and Sciences and the Reves Center for International Studies at the College and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is updated and expanded compared to previous surveys.

In 2004, the only International Relations scholars surveyed were from the United States. In 2006, respondents from Canada were added. In 2008, the survey added eight more English-speaking countries.

The 2011 survey includes all of the above, plus scholars from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and Turkey. The total number of respondents from the 20 countries, representing five different languages, was 3,466 scholars, or 49.5 percent of the 7,001 scholars surveyed. No country had a response rate below 36.6 percent.

“We weren’t the first to ask some of these questions,,” Peterson said, “but TRIP is increasingly recognized as the most comprehensive, most extensive, data collection ever undertaken in the field of international relations.”

“IR scholars who want to study the IR discipline and the relationship between the theory and practice of IR,” Tierney added, “increasingly turn to TRIP for data.  One of our major goals is to help provide this public good for the discipline.”

A major paradox revealed by the survey is that, while East Asia is seen by most scholars as having the greatest strategic importance today and in 20 years, the region is relatively unstudied and untaught by international scholars.

In the United States, only nine percent of the responding scholars labeled East Asia as the “main” region of the world they study. Among all scholars, that number is just seven percent.

Peterson explained that there were several reasons for the disparity, among them: TRIP surveys scholars of international relations, not comparative politics, who may be more likely to develop an expertise in the history, culture and language of a particular country or region; and IR scholars who study the foreign policy of East Asia need to spend many years immersing themselves in the study of regional languages and politics.

Daniel Maliniak

On the teaching side, Peterson found less obvious reasons for the disparity between what scholars believe is the world’s strategically most important region and what faculty teach.

Only 34 percent of faculty respondents devote one or more classes in their undergraduate international relations courses about East Asia, less than those who teach about the Middle East and North Africa (37 percent) and Western Europe (43 percent). Among U.S. international relations scholars, 40 percent said they devote one or more classes to a discussion of East Asia, while 44 percent do the same for both the Middle East and North Africa and Western Europe.

“I would have expected more faculty to use case studies and current events to teach about various regions of the world, including East Asia,” Peterson said. “The numbers of faculty who teach about East Asia simply doesn’t match the importance that IR scholars attach to the region. We need to close that gap.”

The entire 2011 TRIP survey can be found here.

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2012

William & Mary opens Confucius Institute

by Beth Stefanik and Megan Shearin

The College of William & Mary officially opened its Confucius Institute on Monday, April 16, with a day-long celebration of events involving William & Mary faculty and administrators, as well as delegates from Beijing Normal University (BNU), the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

The William & Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI) is a collaborative partnership with BNU and Hanban, and will offer Mandarin language and Chinese culture classes, provide teacher training, and augment other programs on Chinese culture for the College and local communities.

“The William & Mary Confucius Institute will contribute significantly to the study of Chinese language and culture at our university and throughout the region,” said President Taylor Reveley. “It’s a special delight for us to celebrate the opening of our Confucius Institute together with President Liu of Beijing Normal University, Deputy Director Wang of Hanban, and Minister Counsellor Fang of the Chinese Embassy, as well as many other distinguished representatives of their organizations.”

The WMCI will become part of a network of more than 300 Confucius Institutes worldwide, and is only the second Confucius Institute established at a university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“It’s especially significant that there are only two Confucius Institutes in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Provost Michael R. Halleran. “The William & Mary Confucius Institute will meet a growing interest in and demand for information about China and Chinese language education here in southeastern Virginia.”

Yanfang Tang, director of the WMCI, echoed these sentiments.

“The opening of William & Mary’s Confucius Institute is a significant event for the College and for our surrounding Tidewater community, providing further international educational programs and activities,” she said. “I expect a bright future where these varied initiatives will lead to a greater understanding of Chinese language and culture.”

The grand opening schedule included a private tour of Rowe House, the home of the Confucius Institute at William & Mary, as well as a trip to the College Child Care Center to observe Mandarin language classes in action. A guided tour of Chinese scrolls and exhibits at Swem Library was led by Dean Carrie Cooper and Bea Hardy, director of the Special Collection Research Center, after which delegates witnessed a College Mandarin class in the Wren Building’s historic grammar school classroom.

A formal lunch was served in the Great Hall of the Wren Building, with musical entertainment provided by four folk musicians from BNU. The quartet included four traditional Chinese folk musical instruments: guzheng, erhu, pipa, and yangqin. Ms. Wang Jie, a visiting instructor of dance from Beijing Normal University, performed a dance entitled, “A Uygur Girl,” which expressed a girl’s happiness after falling in love. An official WMCI plaque was also unveiled at the end of the lunch program.

“This is just the very beginning stage of the William & Mary Confucius Institute,” said Deputy Director General of Hanban Wang Yongli. “We are very dedicated to continuing this relationship between the U.S. and Hanban, and to help the development and understanding of Chinese language and culture through Confucius Institutes such as this one at William & Mary.”

Following the celebratory lunch, a traditional dragon dance was performed in the Sunken Garden. Professional lion dancers and martial artists from Washington, D.C., were on hand to lead the parade while William & Mary students participated with a drum performance, a Yangge dance performance, a Tibetan dance performance and a Uygur dance performance. Three students also engaged in a martial arts display, and Emily Wilcox, a visiting assistant professor of Chinese Studies, performed sword choreography. The events were a culmination of a Chinese Cultural Semester organized by the WMCI.

“We are living in a fast changing world and it’s important to understand each others cultures together, and language is key to the understanding of cultures,” said Liu Chuansheng, Chairperson of University Council for Beijing Normal University. “I believe the WMCI is creating a bridge between our two universities, which will lead to mutual understanding between our two cultures.”

On Tuesday, April 17, the WMCI will host its first official event, the Faculty Forum on Confucian Classics. Participating in the forum will be W&M faculty members T.J. Cheng, Eric Han, Yanfang Tang, Emily Wilcox, Tomoko Connolly and Xin Wu, as well as eminent scholars from BNU, including Professors Wangeng Zheng, Zhen Kang and Zhen Han. Participants will present their research and perspectives on Chinese classics such as the Book of Changes and works by authors such as Confucius and Sun Zi, also known as Sun Tzu.

“The William & Mary Confucius Institute builds directly on our remarkable strengths in the study of Chinese language, culture, history and society here on campus,” said Stephen E. Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center. “The generous support of our Chinese partners will propel us to an even higher level of visibility and prominence in Chinese and East Asian Studies in the years ahead.”

Fang Maotian, Minister Counsellor for Education Affairs, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, summed up the day in his remarks during lunch.

“Education is one of the core elements in the China and U.S. people to people communication framework,” said Fang. “Young students are our future. Through the Confucius Institute we hope that the students at the College will learn Chinese language, be exposed to our rich culture and develop a cross-cultural communication capacity.”

News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2011

W&M Chinese faculty to host teaching workshop

The phenomenal rise of interest in Chinese language study is making a significant mark in the transformation of the K-12 curriculum. As college programs across the country continue to expand, elementary and secondary institutions are also hiring more teachers and building new curricula to accommodate demand for Chinese from schoolchildren and their parents. Increasingly important are partnerships between language pedagogy experts at the university level and K-12 teachers that facilitate the exchange of new ideas, methods and practices.

On April 16, 2011, William & Mary will host the annual Spring workshop of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Virginia (CLTA-VA). This workshop will bring together language teachers from Virginia schools of all levels, from kindergarten and through university.

CLTA-VA was founded in 2008 by a consortium of professors and educators in Chinese language. Since then, it has hosted workshops at the University of Virginia and George Mason University designed to help Chinese teachers of all levels improve their teaching and learn the latest techniques in this growing field. CLTA-VA is also affiliated with the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) and contributes to, to FLAVA’s yearly workshop on foreign language pedagogy. This year, W&M is the host of the CLTA-VA workshop, and the theme is incorporating technology in the classroom. Professor Yanfang Tang and Chinese instructors Qian Su and Liping Liu are all board members or officers of CLTA-VA. This year, they are in charge of bringing the workshop to William & Mary. They expect between 50-70 teachers and instructors from all over Virginia will attend to share ideas, listen to speakers, forge new networks and consolidate old ties. “CLTA-VA is not just for the college level,” says Liu, who holds a doctorate in Education. “It’s also for middle school and primary school. Especially in the DC area, there are many Chinese teachers in the elementary levels.” She noted that the majority of attendees are instructors of elementary and secondary education. Qian Su, the lead Chinese instructor at W&M, echoed these remarks. “As college instructors, we’re doing outreach to help K-12 teachers. Local teachers really look up to what we’re doing in the college level. We see this workshop as a way to help promote Chinese language as a form of enrichment for K-12 students.”

This workshop highlights the heavy involvement of both W&M professors and instructors in contributing to the K-12 community, and in the promotion of Chinese language instruction throughout Virginia. Prof. Tang, Su and Liu are very active in developing and promoting Chinese language pedagogy. Their work also underscores the importance of thorough and dynamic Chinese language training as the key component of the Chinese major and minor programs at W&M. By helping develop Chinese language at the K-12 level, CLTA-VA hopes to funnel talented and experienced language students in Chinese major programs throughout the state, in the same way that programs in French or Spanish benefit from students with secondary education training in those languages.

As a continued part of W&M’s commitment to fostering Chinese language instruction in the community, the School of Education recently approved licensure in K-12 Chinese teaching for W&M students who seek to teach Chinese at the K-12 level. As demand for Chinese teachers in the K-12 level grows, W&M’s Chinese program and the School of Education hope to increasingly take part in fostering new ranks of Chinese teachers.

The structure of a 10 page research paper there is a traditional approach to structuring papers.
News News: Chinese Studies Spring 2011 More

Chinese film digs out of poverty

In the middle of the night, when the police are avoiding unpaved roads, a group of miners transports petrified wood to Shanghai and Beijing. For a group of Uighur miners, this transport of petrified wood is their first stepping stone out of poverty: one piece may earn them over half a million Chinese yuan.

On Tuesday night, the Asian Studies Initiative hosted an on-campus screening of “Deserted Diggers,” a documentary by Chinese independent filmmaker Joy Le Li, as part of the Silk Road events to promote the new major, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Rachel DiNitto, associate professor of Japanese and co-director of the grant-funded Asian Studies Initiative, helped to arrange the screening of the film. The Silk Road events promote Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, which combines East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. The Education Policy Committee approved the new major in fall 2010 and hope to offer the program to students by fall 2011.

“As part of the grant and our interest in kicking off the new major, we’ve set up a whole series of events for this semester,” DiNitto said.

The documentary tracks the lives of a group of Uighur miners in the world’s second largest petrified wood forest of the Junggar Basin near Xinjiang, China. The ongoing conflict between the majority group, the Han Chinese, and the Muslim minority group, the Uighurs, creates disparity in the town of Xinjiang. In order for many Uighurs to provide for their families, the men must mine petrified wood. However, in doing so, the miners risk their lives and safety.

In 2011, the Chinese government outlawed the excavation of petrified wood. Only one company, a Han Chinese company called the Yema Group, was able to obtain the rights to mine the fossilized wood. In order for Uighurs to continue to mine, they had to either mine illegally or share some of their profits with the Yema Group.

DiNitto presented the film to spread awareness of the social issues with the Uighurs. Although Li was unable to attend the screening, DiNitto and Li arranged a live Skype session following the screening for the audience to discuss the film. For the students in attendance, the film offered a rare glimpse into the lives of Uighur miners in China.

“Through watching this specific group of miners, you learn more about the Uighur issue as a whole,” Claire Dranginis ’11 said. “I had heard of the Uighurs before, but I never really knew of them in detail and was curious about the issue.”

In the Skype session, Li recounted the struggle to understand the Uighur minority. Since the Uighurs are often discriminated against in China, Li had to rebel against the Han Chinese negative perception of the minority.

“Some Han Chinese think that Uighur people are backwards and have bad tempers,” Li said. “The groups coexist, but they don’t really intermingle.”

Stephen Hurley ’12 attended the screening after studying abroad in Beijing last semester.

“What Joy said about the Chinese people’s perspective on the Uighurs was, in my experience, right on the dot,” Hurley said. “Some of the teachers in the program gave off the feeling that the Uighurs are us, but they’re not really us.”

The disconnection between the groups was most evident through the story of Jengis, a Uighur miner. Due to his extreme poverty, his wife had left him. Mining petrified wood was his only chance to overcome his situation. He described the daily trials of being a part of the minority and trying to mine petrified wood.

“It’s really hard to dig. We do it. We have no choice,” Jengis said.

Jengis and the other miners shared their personal struggles and opinions on their conditions in the documentary. The eclectic mix of personalities illuminated the life behind the conflict of the Uighurs and Han Chinese. When she arrived in China after studying at Columbia University in New York, Li happened upon the group by chance.

“The way I met this group of Uighurs was really pure luck. I was lost in the desert and I ran into them,” Li said. “They helped me get out of the desert, and I was so fascinated by them. I decided I would go back and make this film.”

The chance encounter in the desert led to the production of a documentary. Li filmed the group over a two-year period and focused on the miners’ lives with their families and their daily struggles in the mines.

The road to the final product was not smooth, as Li often faced police interrogations. Even today, the film has not been shown in China for fear of punitive measures being taken by the government. Still, Li hopes that the film will help other people understand the struggles of the Uighurs.

“I want to let people understand Uighurs better,” Li said. “They have love, they are funny, and they are just like everyone else.”

Dort standen uns eugen detzel und bernd eiberger rede und antwort.
News News: Chinese Studies

Summer 2009 Tsinghua Slideshow

This is a slideshow of the Summer 2009 W&M Study Abroad Program located in Tsinghua University, Beijing. Slide show was made by Tsinghua University Chinese instructor and 2009-2010 House Tutor Longzi Yang.