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Teaching About Asia - May 2009

USCI's monthly e-newsletter on news and resources for teaching about Asia
May 1, 2009

Teaching About Asia Newsletter

May 2009

Are you or your colleagues seeking a summer professional development opportunity?  If you are employed at a school located 30 miles or more outside USC, then we invite you to apply for the USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar on "East Asia Since 1800."  The nine-day program, held July 27 to 31 and August 3 to 6, will provide participants with housing and parking accomodations at USC and feature presentations from university lecturers and excursions to Asia-specific cultural sites around Los Angeles.  Individuals successfully completing seminar requirements will receive teaching resource materials and Continuing Education Units from the USC Rossier School of Education.  Please see below for additional information on the seminar and how to apply.

Looking for a family-friendly activity?  This weekend, Asian puppetry will be the focus of afternoon and evening festivals at the Pacific Asia Museum and the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga.  Both will feature puppetry performances, as well as interactive games and demonstrations. 

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).

In this issue:

♦  USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar - "East Asia Since 1800"  ♦
♦  Explore Asian Puppetry  ♦
♦  Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District - China Journey 2008-09 

♦  New Documentary Films on East Asia  ♦
♦  Museum Exhibitions on Asia  ♦
♦  Teachers on Asia  ♦

♦  USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar - "East Asia Since 1800"

Dates: July 27 to 31 and August 3 to 6, 2009
Location: USC Davidson Conference Center
Open to: K-12 educators employed at schools more than 30 miles from USC
Application deadline: Friday, June 26, 2009 or until seminar fills

The USC U.S. – China Institute (USCI) and the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) are offering a nine-day residential summer seminar for K-12 educators employed outside of the greater Los Angeles area.

To be eligible to apply, you must be employed at a school located more than 30 miles from USC. Enrollment is limited to 24 participants and priority will be given to high school world history and language arts teachers, though all K-12 educators are invited to apply. 

The deadline for application acceptance is Friday, June 26, 2009, or until the seminar is full.  We will begin reviewing applications and admitting participants in early June.

Sessions will meet at the USC Davidson Conference Center from 9 am to 3 pm from Monday, July 27 to Friday, July 31 and Monday, August 3 to Thursday, August 6, 2009. For these meeting days, participants will be provided with housing and parking at the USC Radisson Hotel, as well as breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

One seminar meeting day (TBD) will be devoted to an all-expenses-paid field trip to Asia-specific cultural sites around Los Angeles. 

Seminar Content

Focusing on helping teachers address the California history, social studies, and language arts standards, we will offer presentations on the history and culture of East Asia, as well as discuss how case studies can be used to explore a variety of issues.Sessions include discussions of revealing primary source materials as well as literature and film recommendations.

Among the topics covered will be:

  Geography / Premodern China, Japan, and Korea (philosophy, social structure, key institutions)
  19th Century Domestic and External Challenges
  War, Revolution, and Nation-Making
  Economic Development and Social / Cultural Change
  Relations with the United States
  21st Century Challenges and Opportunities
  Web Research / Web Collaboration

Seminar Benefits

Individuals who successfully complete the seminar and its follow-up requirements receive:

  $200 in East Asian reference and teaching materials
  $200 East Asia-focused resource materials for use in the classroom
  Six USC Rossier School of Education Continuing Education Units (CEUs), processing fee applicable
  Eligibility to apply for a subsidized study tour to East Asia (tentatively set for summer 2010)

DOWNLOAD the USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar Application Form in:


In addition to the completed application form, you will need to submit:

  1. A short 1-2 page resume (curriculum vita) that includes a list of your educational and work experience
  2. A letter from your school principal confirming your teaching assignment
  3. A refundable deposit check for $50, made payable to "University of Southern California," to hold your registration; the check will be returned to you at the conclusion of the seminar


Submit application materials:

USC U.S.-China Institute
Attn: Miranda Ko
3535 S. Figueroa St., FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262

(213) 821-2382


Questions?  Call 213-821-4382 or e-mail

 ♦  Explore Asian Puppetry

 →  Pacific Asia Museum - Puppets Festival

Date: Saturday June 6, 2009
Time: 12:00 to 4:00 pm
Location: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Education coordinator: Amelia Chapman, 626-449-2742, ext.19 
For additional information: call 818-352-5285 or click here

Explore Asian cultures through hands-on crafts, exhibits, and dance. Enjoy free admission to the galleries plus crafts and performances from China, Pakistan, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Japan, and the Himalayas. 

→  Celebrate Puppetry Festival, featuring The Mahabarata in Shadows

Date: Saturday June 6, 2009
Time: 4:00 to 10:00 pm
Location: McGroarty Arts Center, 7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA 91042
For additional information: call 818-352-5285 or click here

A traditional Wayang Kulit shadow play is presented in English and the ancient Kawi language of Bali, with live Gender Wayang gamelan music, ancient songs, offerings and mantras. Festival also features performances and workshops by notable Los Angeles puppeteers.



 ♦  Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District - China Journey 2008-09








The U.S.-China Institute has had the honor of working with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD) on teacher training and professional development programs for several years. On three occasions, the district has managed to raise funds to send groups of teachers to China, and the most recent trip took place over spring break 2009.

You can read about their adventures and see photos at their China Journey 2008-09 blog.  

Congratulations to Rosemary Claire and Barbara Hardesty, the intrepid leaders of the district's efforts to build Chinese language instruction and China studies programs, and to all the teachers who have devoted themselves to incorporating more about China into their courses.









♦  New Documentary Films on East Asia





•  HBO - China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

A vivid and candid look at the human toll of last year's devastating earthquake in central China, this 40-minute verité documentary visits with the parents of deceased children from several district schools a few days after the disaster, sharing in their unimaginable grief at the loss of a child (for most, their only child). Check your HBO station for airtimes.

•  PBS - Wings of Defeat

Brings viewers behind the scenes of World War II’s Pacific theater to reveal the truth about the Kamikaze - the “suicide bombers” of their day. Interviews with surviving kamikaze, rare battle footage and Japanese propaganda reveal a side of WWII never before shown on film. American vets from the greatest generation tell harrowing tales of how they survived attacks. Check your local PBS station for airtimes.

♦  Museum Exhibitions on Asia


•  Pacific Asia Museum - The Samurai Re-Imagined: From Ukiyo-e to Anime

Dates: Through August 9, 2009

Location: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission: Adults $7; students/seniors $5; free every 4th Friday of the month
Education coordinator: Amelia Chapman, 626-449-2742, ext.19 

Explores the roots of the popular Japanese art forms of manga (graphic novels) and anime (animation) in the traditional arts of Japan by examining images of the iconic warrior, the samurai.


•  Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles: Selections from the Mary Hunt Kahlenberg Collection

Dates: Through September 6, 2009

Location: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036; exhibition shown at Japanese Pavilion
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 12 to 8 pm; Friday 12 to 9 pm; Wednesday closed
Admission: Adults $12; seniors (62+) and students $8; children 17 and under free
Education coordinator: Alicia Vogl Saenz, 323-857-6512

More than ninety works highlighting Indonesia's rich and diverse textile traditions dating from the early fifteenth through twentieth centuries. Extremely rare textiles that have been radiocarbon dated to as early as 1403 will be shown. 

•  Pacific Asia Museum - Discovering Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles

Dates: Through September 20, 2009

Ganesha, the so-called “Elephant God,” is one of the most adored and widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. In a series of photographs, New York-based artist Shana Dressler investigates contemporary Ganesha festivals in Mumbai.

•  Bowers Museum - Art of the Samurai: Selections from the Tokyo National Museum

Dates: Through June 14, 2009

Location: 2002 North Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm; open late the fourth Thursday of every month until 8:00 pm
Admission: Adults $12; seniors (62+), students and children (6-17) $9; children under 6 free
Education coordinator: Linda Kahn, 714-567-3679

Features 81 objects from the Tokyo National Museum representing a wealth of artworks related to the everyday, traditional, and official role of the Samurai class of Japan, dating primarily to the Edo period (1603–1868).

•  Bowers Museum - Masters of Adornment: The Miao People of China

Dates: Ongoing

Exquisite textiles and silver jewelry highlight the beauty and wealth of the Miao peoples of southwest China. Symbols of status and culture include finely pleated skirts, complex batik pattered cloth, intricate silk embroidery and shining textiles woven with metal.

♦  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 teaching haiku: "One of the best books I have seen on Haiku and on teaching Haiku is called Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku by William Higgins and Penny Harter... The book has plenty of non-Japanese haiku examples, many are by Spanish or English writers. There is a discussion of Haibun, a travel prose style of Haiku writing. Finally, there are lesson plans to use in the classroom. I recommend this book along with Joseph Tsujimoto's Teaching Poetry to Adolescent Writers."

- Kevin Spachuk, San Fernando High School

→  On Slumdog Millionaire: "I just saw Slumdog Millionaire, and I really enjoyed it... As I watched the movie I couldn't help making connections between the main characters and my students; I teach in a rough part of South Los Angeles, and while my students' lives aren't anywhere near as challenging as Jamal's life, I think it would shock many Americans to see the challenges they struggle with on a daily basis in a movie."

- Karen Ringewald, Bethune Middle 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
fax: 213-821-2382