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Teaching About Asia: August 2011

The USC US-China Institute's monthly newsletter for educators.
August 20, 2011


USC U.S.-China Institute

Teaching About Asia Newsletter

August 2011


    Teachers and USCI staff at the Japanese Garden at CSU Long Beach. Part of a field trip during the successful 2011 Summer Residential Seminar at USC! 

Classes are underway at USC and we imagine your fall term is about to start as well. We wish you the best possible academic year.

We`ve just wrapped up our summer seminar focusing on premodern East Asia. Teachers from San Diego to San Jose joined us for a lively couple of weeks, which included museum and garden visits, movie nights, and probing looks Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history and culture. The largest single group participating in the seminar came from Escondido Charter High School, an innovative school forging ties with schools and businesses in China.

This fall the USC US-China Institute is offering two National Consortium for Teaching about Asia seminars. One will focus on East Asia for U.S. History Teachers and be offered at the UTLA Building in Los Angeles. The second will focus on pre-modern East Asia. Dates and additional details will be announced soon. USC and UCLA are also partnering on a October 21-22 conference on Media Culture in Contemporary China. A special Saturday session for teachers will be part of that event. Among the fall talks that are especially valuable for teachers are one by Shelley Riggers on Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island Global Powerhouse (September 26) and Ezra Vogel on Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (November 9).           

Included in this newsletter are Museum exhibitions on Asia at the Bowers Museum and at the Huntington Library. Learning opportunities and resources include lessons on Japan, and Silk Production. Please make sure to read the testimonials of participating teachers from previous seminars!  

Please  share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe by visiting the USCI website`s newsletter subscription page and selecting the "K-12 Education" subscriber category. As always, we invite educators to share their thoughts and to raise questions in our discussion forums: Visit the forum to see what your colleagues are up to. You can browse the public forums. To post messages, you`ll need a user ID and password. Write to us at to sign up.

In this issue:

USCI Events
USC Events
City Events

Learning Opportunities  and Resources for Teachers
Museum Exhibitions on Asia
Teachers on Asia 


   ♦  USCI Events   

  •  Media Culture in Contemporary China: A conference and workshop for educators
Date: October 21-22, 2011 (conference); October 22, 2011 (teacher training program)
Cost: Free, $25 registration fee to hold your spot
Location: UCLA James West Alumni Center and Fowler Museum Auditorium, October 21, 2011
                  USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism Auditorium, October 22, 2011

This conference will explore the globalization of the China entertainment industry and the impact of film and TV on public perception of history and culture in China. Teachers are invited to sign up for a Saturday teacher training program, focusing on how to integrate the information and presentations from the conference into teaching. Refreshments and lunch are included.

Conference sessions will focus on the state of the film and TV industry in contemporary China; recreating Chinese history and classic literature in film and TV; and the globalization of theme parks. The conference will feature a keynote address by Chinese producer and director Zhang Jizhong.  Renowned for his TV serializations of the classic Ming dynasty novels, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Water Margin, and Journey to the West, he is currently creating a Chinese theme park based on the Monkey King legend.

To register, please complete the form here and send it as an email attachment to or fax it to 213-821-2382. This form is only used for registering the teacher training session. Additional reservations will be required for both days of conference and the screening. Please RSVP here for the conference and screening.

The registration deadline is Oct. 14. There are only 25 spots reserved for teachers, so act now if you wish to attend.

   ♦  USC Events   

Date: September 16, 2011
Cost: $35 registration fee
Location: USC Campus, Los Angeles, CA
Chinese Investments in Latin America
Please join us for a one-day conference on China`s economic involvement in Latin America.
Speakers include:
Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, President, Institute of the Americas
Richard Drobnick, Director, Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER), USC Marshall School of Business
Yuan Peng, Assistant President of Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) and Vice President of Institute of Latin America, CICIR, Beijing
Yang Shuoguo, Associate Research Professor of Institute of Latin American Studies, CICIR, Beijing
Enrique Garcia, President and CEO of CAF Development Bank of Latin America, Caracas
More event information forthcoming.
Sponsored by CIBER, Institute of the Americas and U.S.-China Institute.
Contact: Suzette Furbeyre
Phone: (213)740-7133
Date: September 17, 2011, 4-5:30PM
Cost: Free
Location: Davidson Conference Center, Club Room
Address: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089

A talk by Shelley Riggers discussing her book about global impacts that Taiwan has on the world.

Shelley Rigger will discuss her new book Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Rigger explains how Taiwan exercises a role in the world far greater than its tiny size would indicate. The work highlights and political breakthroughs so impressive they have been called "miracles." Rigger links these accomplishments to Taiwan`s determined society, vibrant culture, and unique history. Drawing on arts, economics, politics, and international relations, Rigger explores Taiwan`s importance to China, the United States, and the world. Considering where Taiwan may be headed in its wary standoff with China, she traces how the focus of Taiwan`s domestic politics has shifted to a Taiwan-centered strategy.

Shelley Rigger is Brown Professor of Political Science at Davidson College in North Carolina. She’s taught there since 1993. Rigger is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard and is one of the foremost experts on Taiwan. She’s the author of Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan`s Democratic Progressive Party (2001), as well as monographs such as Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwanese Nationalism (2006) and many articles.
Contact: US-China Institute
Phone: 213-821-4382
Sponsor(s): USC U.S. - China Institute 

 ♦  City Events 

Date: September 14, 2011, 10AM - 3PM
Location: Chinese American Museum
Address: 425 N. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Engage in a lively chat with Albert Lew as he relives his childhood days in the original Sun Wing Wo Store. Experience what it was like inside the hustle and bustle of this vital community center as seen through the eyes of a then thirteen-year old Albert, who worked in the store upon his arrival to the United States in 1937.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Albert Lew moved to China with his parents at the age of five during the Great Depression. In 1937, Albert Lew was thirteen years old when he came back to the United States to earn money to support his mother and younger siblings in China. Upon his arrival, Albert worked in the Sun Wing Wo general store and herb shop, located in Chinatown, and owned and operated by his uncles and cousin. After working at the store for six months, his older sister and her husband arranged for Albert to join them in San Francisco. Albert eventually served in the U.S. Navy and worked for the Department of Water and Power. He has since retired in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
Scheduled appearances: The SECOND WEDNESDAY of every month. 
Date: September 18, 2011
Time: 11AM
Location: Arcadia County Park
Address: 405 S. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006
The Harvest Moon Festival is a time to give thanks for the autumn harvest and to celebrate family. Hoiliday celebrations include the gathering of families, consumption of moon cakes, lighting of brightly coloren lanterns, and enjoyment of a full bright moon. Not exclusively a Chinese event, this festival is also celebrated by Vietnamese, Koreans and Filipinos.

     ♦  Learning Opportunities and Resources for Teachers

This well-illustrated and informative site introduces how silk production was integrated in rural life. Produced for a current exhibition, the interactive resources are excellent.  Please visit:

These lessons are tailored to the California Social Studies/History Standards and the World History Standards. They have been developed in consultation with specialists on Japanese history and literature and with experienced classroom teachers.

The Newseum (Washington DC) has just announced a new online site for teachers.

The Digital Classroom utilizes 12 of the most popular videos (and accompanying resources) from the museum..The videos and resources are designed to bring news literacy, journalism and history to students.

The URL is

You will be directed to register where you will be sent a password and a Survey Monkey evaluation.

The 12 videos cover the following topics: The First Amendment, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bias, Edward R Murrow, Getting It Right, The Digital Revolution, News Apps, The Press and Civil Rights, Running Toward Danger, Sources, Watergate,What`s News.

Resources include: introductions, essential questions, links NCTE standards, links to web sources, and an extensive viewing guide.

Jordan is a retired professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. He`s collected 150 stories he has used with college students to illustrate  values and norms. They range from stories about exemplary rulers to opera tales. How might you use one or more of these stories with your students? Please share your thoughts in the Asia in My Classroom forum.

This is a well-established and popular program. None of the evenings planned for 2011-2012 focus on East Asia, but East Asia has been touched upon in previous events. One evening was one "cross-cultural exchange". Click here for an essay on this, which includes Buddhist-inspired ceramics and more and here for discussion questions. The museum draws on its collection to offer 6th grade teachers recommendations.

    ♦  Museum Exhibitions on Asia

Dates: October 1, 2011
Location:  2002 North Main Street Santa Ana, CA 92706

*Adult Weekday $21.00  
*Senior Weekday $14.00  
*Senior Weekend $19.00  
*Student Weekday $14.00  
*Student Weekend $19.00  
*Adult Weekend $23.00  
*Student (6-17) Weekday $12.00  
*Student (6-17) Weekend $14.00  

In 2008, the Bowers was honored to host the highly-acclaimed, record-setting Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, declared by TIME Magazine as one of the top 10 museum exhibitions of that year.

Now, in 2011, the warrior spirit lives on! The Bowers Museum is proud to announce the sequel, opening Oct. 1, 2011, Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy. Tickets on sale now. Showcasing the latest discoveries from Emperor Qin’s tomb complex of warriors, including the one and only mysterious green-faced warrior, this extraordinary new exhibition provides an intimate glimpse into 3 ancient dynasties – the Qin, the Han and the Tang. 1000 years of Chinese history will be on display, including the massive army of miniaturized terra cotta warriors with smiling faces that were characteristic of the Han dynasty.

Dates: September 22 - August 1, 2011, 7-8:30PM
Location: The Huntington Library, Friend`s Hall,1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Admission: Open seating; advance tickets required. For tickets, call 626-405-2128.

The Ron McCurdy Collective will present an evening of music by Li Jinhui, known as the “Father of Chinese popular music”.  The evening will represent a collection of Li Jinhui’s highly popular Chinese folk songs orchestrated for concert piano, pipa and jazz quintet in a multimedia and multicultural setting.  Although during his time, Li Jinhui was a controversial figure with many critics calling his music “vulgar” and “common”, his compositions became the main genre of music in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the 1930s and 1940s.  Li’s collaboration with American jazz artist Buck Clayton had a transformative effect on Li’s musical evolution and ushered in an era of “Chinese jazz” which dominated the nightlife scene in nightclubs around Southeast Asia in the 1930’s.  This performance will feature world-renown concert pianist Jing Ling Tam, pipa and vocal artist, Min Xiao-Fen and the Ron McCurdy Quintet.  Scholar and film professor from Indiana University, Stephanie DeBoer designed the video.  Orchestrations and arrangements compiled by Gary Shields and Ron McCurdy.

Dates: September 24, 2011
Location: The Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Admission: Free; advance tickets required. For tickets, call 626-405-3503.

Religious and spiritual concepts have been significant influences in the creation of gardens in China, both private and imperial. In particular, Buddhism has had an extended and profound connection to gardens and their owners. Four speakers will present their findings on Buddhist and other spiritual ideas in the gardens of Chinese emperors, monks and scholars.

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:15 Welcome

James P. Folsom, Marge and Sherm Telleen / Marion and Earle Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, The Huntington
June Li, Curator of Liu Fang Yuan, the Chinese Garden at The Huntington

9:30 Introductory Remarks

Richard Strassberg, University of California, Los Angeles

Session I

Moderator - Richard Strassberg, University of California, Los Angeles
Miho Fukuda, National Taiwan Normal University “Mongolian Imperial Gardens in the Forbidden City during the Yuan Dynasty”
Natasha Heller, University of California, Los Angeles “Monks in Landscapes, Monks in Gardens”

12:30 Lunch

2:00 pm Session II

Moderator - Ina Asim, University of Oregon
Kevin Greenwood, Willamette University “The Imperial Self and the Eastern Academy: a Lost Garden of the Qianlong Era (1736-95)”
Stephen Whiteman, Middlebury College “A Religious Program at Bishu Shanzhuang, the Summer Palace of the Qing Emperors”

Registration is required. Please click here for registration materials.

Contact: Michelle Bailey
Phone: 626.405.3503

     ♦  Teachers on Asia

Thoughts about USCI 2011 Summer Residential Seminar: "USCI 2011 Summer Residential Seminar provides a fantastic opportunity for me to evaluate and to organize the existing knowledge I have had about China and Japan, in addition it also fill in the huge knowledge gap I have always had about Korea. As I was learning from all of the wonderful presentations each day, I was constantly thinking about what and how could I incorporate as much of the knowledge into my current curriculum as possible. I think the answer to my own question is relevance and correlation.

Ying Fisher, Saugus High School, William S, Hart UHSD

Reflections on USCI 2011 Summer Residential Seminar: "The USCI 2011 Summer Residential Seminar is both educational and informative. It covers a wide range of information about geography, history and culture of East Asia as well as resources that can be used in class. Moreover, it provides a forum for us to discuss and share our information and thoughts regarding the materials covered during the session. Overall, I gained general knowledge about Chinese, Korean and Japanese geography and history."

Shelly Liu, Manhattan Beach Middle School, Manhattan Beach USD

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 USC U.S. - China Institute

3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
United States of America

phone: 213-821-4382
fax: 213-821-2382