John Pomfret examines the remarkable history of the two-centuries-old relationship between the United States and China, from the Revolutionary War to the present day.
Asia Under the Big Top
The Ringling presents the exhibit, "Asia Under the Big Top", exploring how stereotypes and fantasies of Asia played to American audiences under the big top through lithographs printed to advertise American circuses from the last quarter of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. (October 14, 2016 - February 13, 2017)
Fantasies of the exotic Far East have shaped the performing and visual arts of America from the beginning of the country. Traveling circuses, exotic travelers in their own right, embraced the undeniable draw of the people and cultures of Asia, including exotic “Oriental” attractions and spectacles by the mid-nineteenth century.
Hindu snake charmers, Japanese strongmen, and Chinese strongmen were among the types of performers imported to entertain American audiences with both their skill and their foreignness. In addition to the performers, many circuses created productions around tales of the “Far East” like 101 Arabian Nights and Aladdin. The shows capitalized on every opportunity to promote the exotic quality of Asia. Explore how stereotypes and fantasies of Asia played to American audiences under the big top through lithographs printed to advertise American circuses from the last quarter of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century.
This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Howard and Janice Tibbals, the Howard Tibbals Collection, and the Howard Tibbals Endowment.
The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a talk by Lenora Chu, whose new book explores what takes place behind closed classroom doors in China's education system. Chu’s eye-opening investigation challenges assumptions and considers the true value and purpose of education.
The USC U.S.-China Institute, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and USC Shoah Foundation present a screening of the film Above the Drowning Sea, the story of the dramatic escape of European Jews from Nazi-controlled Europe to Shanghai on the eve of World War Two. Followed by a panel conversation.