2014-2015 programs

PBK national speaker Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Sept.17-19, 2014

The China Institute, in cooperation with Phi Beta Kappa Bucknell chapter, served as the local host for PBK national speaker Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Wasserstrom is a well-respected and prolific Asia scholar. He is the editor of Journal of Asian Studies, the flagship publication of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) — the largest professional association of Asian studies in the world. His recent book, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, has become a popular textbook across the country.

Professor Wasserstrom gave a public talk titled "Angry Ghosts: Chinese Boxers, Foreign Invaders, and the Tragedies of 1900", which provided a vivid account of the Boxer Rebellion and its enduring legacy. He discussed his research projects with a group of faculty from various departments and programs during the dinner reception in his honor. He also visited the East Asian studies and political science departments and held informal discussions with interested faculty there. In addition, he visited Zhiqun Zhu's East Asian politics class and answered many questions from the students, such as how he developed an interest in Asia at an early age, and what he thought about the China-Japan historical dispute.

CHINA Town Hall

Oct.16, 2014

Working with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, we joined 65 other locations nationally to share an informative hour with former President Jimmy Carter via video. Carter was the US president when the PRC and the United States officially established diplomatic relations in 1979. He also welcomed Deng Xiaoping to the White House in January 1979, the first visit to the United States by a Chinese leader after 1949. One has to be impressed by President Carter's insight, intelligence, knowledge and stamina during the 45-minute session, during which he answered a wide range of questions about China and US-China relations selected from the national audiences.

Dean of College of Arts & Sciences Professor George Shields opened the evening's program with remarks about how such programs promote diversity and global awareness on campus.

President Carter's video session was followed by a talk by Dr. Jennifer Adams from the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID). Dr. Admas has rich experience in international development, having worked in Latin America, Africa, South Asia and China. She did an excellent analysis of what China has been doing in Africa and how it has been received by African countries. She also discussed the impact of Chinese investment in Africa and how the United States and China can cooperate to promote development in Africa and elsewhere.

The Institute presented a special student panel about "study abroad", highlighting three Bucknell students with overseas experiences. Taylor Cotter '15 (management) spent a semester studying in Hong Kong in Fall 2013, Sean Xu '15 (political science and philosophy) studied at Oxford University during his junior year, and Yijing Qu was an exchange student from University of Nottingham during the 2014-15 academic year.

All three students spoke about their unique experiences and how study abroad helped open their minds. They also covered other interesting issues such as culture shock, integration with local communities, and travel safety.

Shanghai Dance Group

Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2014

Working closely with the Department of Theater & Dance and Professor Er-dong Hu, the China Institute co-hosted and supported a Shanghai dance group formed by student dancers from Shanghai Jiaotong University and Shanghai Normal University.

Bucknell students and Shanghai students got down to business right after they met each other and began to practice together when the Shanghai students landed on Bucknell campus. The culmination of their hard work was the impeccable performance "East Meets West: Fall Dance Gala 2014" that the students from Bucknell and Shanghai jointly presented to the audience on the evenings of Dec. 5 and 6. After the performances and during the receptions, everyone heaped high praises to these diligent and intelligent students and their professors.

2013-2014 programs

Faculty Forum

Sept. 25, 2013

Song Chen, a China Institute steering committee member and Assistant Professor of Chinese History, (East Asian studies) kicked off the "Faculty Forum" with a stimulating talk on "The End of Individual Heroism?-Studying Later Imperial China (800-1800) in the 21st Century."

CHINA Town Hall

Oct. 28, 2013

We hosted a national CHINA Town Hall, in cooperation with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, which featured former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The CHINA Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving some 60 cities throughout the United States.

Secretary Albright's brief comments and Q&A session were followed by a talk by Professor Margaret Lewis from the Law School of Seton Hall University. Lewis gave a timely presentation on the rule of law in China in the aftermath of Bo Xilai's arrest. Bo was a key contender for the top post within the Communist Party but apparently lost in the power struggle and was subsequently charged with corruption and abuse of power.

A Delegation from the Shanghai Dance Academy

Oct. 29, 2013

The China Institute, assisted by the Department of Theater & Dance, hosted a delegation from the Shanghai Dance Academy headed by Madame Chen Baihua, vice chair of the Shanghai Dancers' Association. The delegation also included dance teachers from Shanghai Ballet Company and Shanghai Jiaotong University. During the working dinner, we discussed opportunities for faculty/student exchanges and program cooperation in the future.

Watersleeve Dance Demonstration

November 6, 2013

Er-dong Hu, a steering committee member and Associate Professor of Theater & Dance at Bucknell University, demonstrated with three of his students the movements of the watersleeve dance. In response to questions from the audience, Professor Hu also discussed cultural significance and aesthetic beauty of Chinese dances.

Japan-China Relations Talk

Nov.14, 2013

The Institute invited Quansheng Zhao, Professor of International Relations and Director of Center for Asian Studies at American University, to present a talk on Japan-China relations. Given the growing tensions between the two Asian nations, the talk was extremely timely and informative. Zhao is one of the very few Asia scholars who are fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese with extensive research and teaching experiences in the United States, China and Japan.

All-student Panel

Feb. 26, 2014

To highlight our student research about China, the Institute held its first all-student panel on Feb. 26. Four current Bucknell students, one from each class, were selected to present their research. The students and their topics were:

  • Stephen Bessasparis '14 (international relations), "The Reed that Bends: Lineage Organizations and Popular Religion in Modern China."
  • Emerson Davis '15 (economics and political science), "Outlooks on the Chinese Communist Party's Legitimacy."
  • Liz Lilienthal '16 (philosophy and East Asian studies), "The Bonds between China and Israel: History and Challenges."
  • Sam Jacobson '17 (geology), "Chinese Officials during the Song Dynasty: A GIS Perspective."

Paintings from Yunnan Province

March 15 - April 8, 2014

The Institute, working with the Office of International Student Services, featured an exhibition of paintings by primary school students in China's remote Yunnan Province. The paintings were collected by Bucknell students during Bucknell University's first service-learning trip to China in May 2013. Professor Zhiqun Zhu served as the faculty leader for the trip.

NGO's in China

March 24, 2014

Professor Jennifer Hsu of University of Alberta gave a talk about the development of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China. Co-sponsored with the environmental studies program.

China and Innovation: Past, Present and Future

April 3-4, 2014

The Institute hosted an international conference on "China and Innovation: Past, Present and Future". University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, whose works on offensive realism are on the must-read list of international relations and political science students, was the keynote speaker on Thursday, April 3. His provocative talk "Can China Rise Peacefully?" attracted a roomful of students and faculty at the Trout Auditorium, who raised many challenging questions during the Q&A session.

The conference on Friday, April 4, was divided into four panels: innovation in history, business and economics, politics and governance, and science and technology. Leading scholars and experts in the fields from Cornell, Virginia, MIT, Iowa, UPenn, Cal State, Pitt, West Chester, GE, IMB as well as Bucknell presented their cutting-edge research at the conference. Dongbai Ye, Consul for Science and Technology from the Chinese Consulate General in New York, gave the luncheon talk about his country's innovation policy and strategies in the 21st century.