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Teaching About Asia - February 2008

USCI's monthly e-newsletter on news and resources for teaching about Asia
February 22, 2008

A congregation of ice creatures (?) at the 2008 Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan
(By Christopher Chan, via Creative Commons-licensed photos)

With the dreary winter weather we have been experiencing lately, what better way to spend the weekend or a perhaps even a weekday than at the museum?  We are lucky to have a wealth of Asia-related musuem resources and exhibitions in the Los Angeles area all year around, and some current offerings are highlighted below. 

One of the untapped gems of the South Bay, the Chen Gallery houses the private Chinese art collection of Sunrider International founder Dr. Dr. Tei-Fu Chen - the museum accomodates student groups and provides tours in English, Spanish and Chinese.  The Huntington will unveil its "Garden of Flowing Fragrance," the Liu Fang Yuan, tomorrow - many past and present USCI seminar participants will recall speaker and film scholar Yang Ye (UC Riverside), who worked with the Huntington in the naming of the garden.  Want the multimedia museum experience instead?  Many exhibitions can be accessed online, including the recent MOCA restrospective on Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Teachers planning ahead for summer are invited to join us at our USCI Summer Residential Summer Institute on East Asia from July 28 to August 7.  Designed for teachers living outside Los Angeles County who do not have the opportunity to participate in our academic year teacher training seminars, the Summer Institute features an East Asia-centered syllabus, film nights and museum outings and meetings with visiting scholars and education professionals.   Details are being finalized - we will keep you posted.

Join us in our ongoing discussion on teaching about Asia!  Our public "Teaching About Asia" web forum is an online community of educators dedicated to bringing more of Asia into the classroom.  It's easy to sign up - just send us a quick e-mailScroll below to the "Teachers on Asia" section to see what forum members have been talking about.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe (go to our newsletter subscription page and select the “K-12 Education” subscriber category). As always, we welcome your feedback - please write to us at

In this issue:


♦  USCI in the Classroom - Discover Asia at USC

The USCI website ( is your one-stop shop for news and resources about China and the rest of Asia. Our comprehensive events calendar provides the most up-to-date listings of China- and Asia-related events, and we invite teachers and friends to visit the USC campus for lectures and conferences that are free and open to the public. Campus maps and visitor information can be found hereUpcoming USCI offerings include:

 •  USC Chinese American Students Association (CASA) 9th Annual Culture Show

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2008
Time: 6:30 pm
Bovard Auditorium
Cost: Free for USC students; $5 for general public

Featuring the USC Wushu Team, TCDance, C3, and Vanguards, CASA's production of "Mr. Chinatown" details a young man's struggle to find balance between personal goals, family expectations, and conflicting Western and Eastern ideals.

For additional information, contact Catherine Gao at 408-425-8291or

•  China – Fragile Superpower

Speaker: Susan L. Shirk, UCSD Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and USC U.S.-China Institute Board of Scholars
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Location: USC University Club, Banquet Room
Cost: Free; refreshments will be provided

During 1997-2000, Susan Shirk served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.  She founded in 1993 and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), an unofficial “track-two” forum for discussions of security issues among defense and foreign ministry officials and academics from the United States, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea.  Her latest book, China: Fragile Superpower, was published this spring.

•  Political Cross Currents in China’s Corporate Restructuring

Speaker: Jean Oi, Stanford University
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: USC University Club, Banquet Room
Cost: Free; refreshments will be provided

Jean Oi's work focuses on comparative politics, Chinese political economy, and corporate restructuring and governance in Asia. She also conducts research on rural China, including work on village and township finances, rural development and debt, as well as work on village elections. Professor Oi's book, Rural China Takes Off: Institutional Foundations of Economic Reform was named by the library journal Choice as one of the "outstanding academic titles" of 1999.

•  Investing $1.5 Trillion

Speaker: Donald Tang, Bear Stearns and Asia Society Southern California Center
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: USC Davidson Conference Center, Vineyard Room
Cost: Free; refreshments will be provided

Donald Tang's distinctive vantage point as both a Mandarin-speaking native Chinese and Asian American business leader gives him uncommon insight into the emerging business, policy, and cultural climate throughout Asia.  His life work is to develop bridges of cooperation that will bring sustained prosperity and peace around the globe.

♦  Non-USCI Learning Opportunities

For information on the learning opportunity below, please contact the host organization directly.

•  Japanese Teacher Training Program at Portland State University in Oregon

Administered by the Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange (ALLEX)

8 Week Program: June 16 - August 8, 2008
4 Week Program: June 16 - July 11, 2008         

The ALLEX/PSU Japanese Teacher Training Program is an intensive course for current teachers of Japanese and those who plan to enter the field.  Effective methodology in teaching Japanese to North Americans is emphasized over a theoretical analysis of the Japanese language.  A faculty of highly experienced visiting professors from across the country lecture in their areas of expertise while mentoring students one-on-one.

Limited financial support is available on a competitive basis. Please see for more information.


♦  Additional Resources for Teaching about Asia - Museums

•  Pacific Asia Museum

One of only four institutions in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands, the Pacific Asia Museum's collection contains over 14,000 works of art, including paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, jades and textiles, and a research library containing more than 7,000 reference volumes relating to Asian and Pacific art and culture.

Location - 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Hours, admission and contact information - see

•  Chen Art Gallery at Sunrider International World Headquarters in Torrance

Sunrider International founder Dr. Tei-Fu Chen's personal collection of more than 500 rare Chinese art pieces dating from the Neolithic Era through the Qing Dynasty is housed in a specially built museum at the company's Torrance headquarters.  The collection includes a one-of-a-kind replica of a Qing Dynasty Imperial Throne, hand-painted manuscripts and other artifacts. Tours in English, Spanish and Chinese can be arranged by calling 310-781-3808.

Location - 1625 Abalone Ave, Torrance, CA 90501
Hours, admission and contact information - see

•  The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens - Liu Fang Yuan, "Garden of Flowing Fragrance," opens February 23

Nature, art and literature meet in Liu Fang Yuan, the Chinese Garden at The Huntington, opening to the public on February 23. Inspired by the centuries-old Chinese tradition of private gardens designed for scholarly pursuits, Liu Fang Yuan combines the scenic beauty of nature with the expressiveness of literature to give deeper meaning to the landscape.  Chinese tea and refreshments are available during public hours in the Freshwater Pavilion.

Location - 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Hours, admission and contact information - see

•  Craft and Folk Art Museum - Contemporary Katagami exhibition from February 10 - April 27, 2008

The first solo museum exhibition of American artist Jennifer Falck Linssen, who utilizes the ancient Japanese art of katagami to create elegant, hand-carved vessels and baskets. Inspired by the delicacy of nature and the beauty of line, Linssen taps into this 1,000-year-old tradition to create sculptures that shimmer with splendor and light.


Location - 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours, admission and contact information - see

•  Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Upcoming special exhibition on Japanese art from the Price Collection from June 22 - September 14, 2008

The Etsuko and Joe Price Collection is world-renowned for its collection of Japanese paintings of the Edo Period (1615–1868) featuring screens, hanging scrolls and fan format paintings, highlighted by fine examples of animal life by Ito Jakuchu (1716–1800).  The exhibition has been on a four-city tour in Japan with enormous success; it was the highest attended exhibition in the world in 2006.

LACMA also houses permanent collections of Chinese, Japanese and Korean art.

Location - 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours, admission and contact information - see

•  Got a good tip on teaching resources? 

→  E-mail us and we will share it in the next issue

♦  Teachers on Asia

•  "Asia in My Classroom" Discussion Forum

Teachers of all levels and subjects are invited to join our "Asia in My Classroom" forum. To become a registered user (enabling you to post to the board), please e-mail us your request along with your name, school, and the grades and subjects you teach.  What teachers have been talking about:

→  On the February 17 USCI "History and China’s Foreign Relations" conference: "[Professor] Harry Harding set the bar way high and made for an excellent forum on 'History and Foreign Relations.' His insightful comments and rapid fire observations regarding the panel’s weekend discussions really made for a wonderful day and a worthwhile trip. As usual the U.S. - China Institute stepped up to plate with a superb panel. If you did not make it, the papers and summaries are online.
- Rocky Parker, St. Margaret's Episcopal School

→  On the just-wrapped Takashi Murakami exhibition at MOCA: "Ovation TV (cable network channel) had a special on Murakami that replays reasonably often. Heres a link to the schedule page on their website.  They also have a short video in the ART tab of their video section that shows highlights from the MOCA exhibit. Look for the second video titled Murokami at MOCA..."

- Mathew Hudnall, San Pedro High School

→  On Chinese language learning resources: "Since my kids have started to learn Chinese in class, I ran across this book on Amazon that seems to have all great reviews. Just thought it might be of help for those venturing to learn the language or at least communicate with their Chinese students. Sounds user friendly for those of us trying to learn foreign languages "later" in life... [The book is Survival Chinese by Don Snow, and can be purchased here.]"

- Kiley Blackstad, Montemalaga Elementary School


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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
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