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Teaching About Asia: May 2012

U.S.-China Institute's monthly newsletter for K-12 educators.
May 1, 2012


Teaching About Asia Newsletter 

May 2012 



Shanghai Sprawl (diametrik photo, 2005, Creative Commons)


Dear Educators, 


The USC U.S.-China Institute's summer residential seminar for educators begins July 23rd. The focus will be on "East Asia since 1800". This is one of our National Consortium for Teaching about Asia programs. The registration deadline is Firday, June 29, 2012, but we will likely fill up ahead of that, so apply now. Teachers who teach at a school located at least more than 30 miles from USC are eligible to apply. If you have already participated in one of our seminars, we encourage you to tell a friend or colleague about this opportunity.

On May 21 and 22, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and USC U.S.-China Institute are honored to host the 10th Annual Chinese Internet Research Conference at USC Davidson Conference Center. This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars, analysts, industry leaders, journalists and legal practitioners from around the world to examine the impact of the Internet on Chinese societies, its social, cultural, political and economic aspects, as well as how China is changing the Internet.



Sidney Rittenberg learned Chinese in the U.S. Army and was sent to China at the end of World War II. He ended up joining the Chinese Communist Party as it fought for control of China. After the communist success, he was accused of being an American spy spent years in solitary confinement. Released, he worked for Chinese broadcasting, rising to become a prominent figure - until he was again sent to prison during the Cultural Revolution. Finally released, he's been a part of China's opening to the world, translating for Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and working as a consultant for major U.S. firms. Rittenberg will soon turn 91. We invite you to join Sid for a screening of The Revolutionary, a new film about his experiences. We'll host the event with the Asia Society on June 12. Producers Irv Drasnin and Lucy Ostrander will also participate.


Later this summer we're delighted to be taking 14 California teachers to China and Taiwan on a study tour that will include historical sites, visits with families, students, and others. These teachers are all graduates from California NCTA programs.  



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 Summer Institute 2012
USCI Events   

professionaldevelopmentUSCI Summer Institute 2012  - Open for Application 


Dates: July 23 to 26, and July 30 to August 2, 2012
Time: 9AM - 4PM
Location: USC Campus

The USC U.S.-China Institute is offering an intensive eight-day equivalent of our "East Asia since 1800"  professional development seminar for K-12 teachers employed outside of the greater Los Angeles area.


To be eligible to apply, you must teach at a school located more than 30 miles from USC.  Priority in enrollment will be given to World History and Language Arts teachers, but all teachers are encouraged to apply.  Enrollment in the seminar will be limited to 24 participants.


Sessions will meet at USC from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday, July 23 to Thursday, July 26 and Monday, July 30 to Thursday, August 2, 2012. For these meeting days, participants will be provided with housing and parking accomodations adjacent to USC, as well as breakfast, lunch and refreshments.  Participants will also be taken on field trips to Asia-specific cultural sites around Los Angeles.


Teachers who successfully complete the seminar and its follow-up requirements are eligible to receive:

    ⇒  $500 stipend for each participant for satisfactory seminar participation and completion of requirements 

    ⇒  $200 in East Asian reference and teaching materials for each participant

    ⇒  Six USC Rossier School of Education continuing education units (processing fee applicable)


For detailed information, please check our website: 


Thoughts about USCI Summer Institute 


I feel so much more knowledgeable about the three East Asian cultures we studied that I am seriously considering developing an East Asian Studies course as a seventh period enrichment class at our school...I feel comfortable with teaching the history and literature at this point, and I believe I could recruit people from the community to fill in gaps I have regarding art and language. Such a class would give me the opportunity, too, to use the information that I acquired on Korea...I now certainly have a treasure trove of materials I feel I can comfortably and competently use in the classroom. I am so looking forward to sharing this wealth with my students.                                     

--- Robin Fontana, 2011 USCI Summer Institute Participant,  
                                                                      2012 USCI East Asia Study Tour Participant 


I have a new understanding of and appreciation for East Asian history, cultures, civilizations, literature, and people that I never had before. I came away from an intense, comprehensive seminar taught by experts who gave me a very memorable experience. There were many "firsts" for me: being a student at USC, watching a Chinese movie and a Japanese movie with subtitles, using the online forum to share and discuss the daily topics, and sampling new foods in Chinatown and Little Tokyo. My new network of colleagues is priceless. I am motivated to teach the East Asian units this year, and I have already planted the seeds with my principal that Chaparral Middle School needs a Zen garden. Thank you one and all!  


                                          --- Dylis Becker, 2011 USCI Summer Institute Participant,
                                                                     2012 USCI East Asia Study Tour Participant


 uscieventUSCI Events  

Date: May 21-22, 2012 

Location: University of Southern California, Annenberg Auditorium (ASC) 204                                                                                                                  Address: Davidson Conference Center, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Cost: Free

Hosted by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the USC U.S.-China Institute, the 10th Annual Chinese Internet Research Conference - CIRC10 - will be held on May 21-22, 2012, in Los Angeles, the world`s entertainment capital. CIRC10 will examine trends and themes as we explore the ways in which the Internet and other technologies interact with Chinese cultural and social life.  


China today has the largest Internet population of any country and it has made its presence felt in the Internet space. In all aspects of the Internet - online gaming, micro blogging, search engines, ecommerce, content regulation, Internet governance, international domain names - China is both changing and being changed by the Internet.  


The annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC) investigates these phenomena, asking probing questions into what, how, to what extent, and why these changes are taking and have taken place.


This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars, analysts, industry leaders, journalists and legal practitioners from around the world to examine the impact of the Internet on Chinese societies, its social, cultural, political and economic aspects, as well as how China is changing the Internet.

Date: June 12, 2012

Location: The Ray Stark Family Theatre, George Lucas Building, SCA 108                                                                                                                      Address: Davidson Conference Center, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Cost: Free, RSVP required at



The Film 


Sidney Rittenberg arrived in China as a GI interpreter at the end of World War II. Discharged there, he joined the Chinese Communist Party, and was an active participant in the Chinese communist revolution and its aftermath. An intimate of the Party`s leadership, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, he gained prominence at the Broadcast Administration, one of the most important agencies of government. But in the convulsions of a giant country constantly reinventing itself, he twice ran afoul of the leadership, and served a total of 16 years in solitary confinement. He returned to the United States in 1980. 


Rittenberg's story would be just a footnote to history, except for his exceptional intellect, uncompromising honesty, and engaging personality. Over a five-year period, award-winning former-CBS journalist and China specialist, Irv Drasnin, interviewed Rittenberg to produce a compelling, complex and unique understanding of the 20th century`s biggest revolution. From Sid first meeting Mao in the caves of Yan'an, to his becoming famous and powerful during the Cultural Revolution, to his battling insanity in solitary, his journey and his profound insight illuminate a much greater history-a history few Chinese are aware of, let alone many Americans, told by an American who was there. 


Click here to watch the trailer.

museumMuseum Exhibitions on Asia

  • Gallery Talks: Ancient Art of China


    The Bowers Museum presents a docent-led tour on the ancient art of China.  


    Date: 06/01/2012
    Time: 1PM 
    Address: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706 
    Cost: included with museum admission  
    Phone: (714) 567-3677 

    Please join an expert docent for a 20 minute tour of this exhibit. Expand your knowledge, learn the history, ask plenty of questions about the artifacts and much more.

    Contact: Bowers Museum  
  • Kimono in the 20th Century  


    Exhibition Dates: March 30, 2012 - March 10, 2013
    Location: Pacific Asia Museum, in the Frank and Toshie Mosher Gallery of Japanese Art
    Address: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
    Phone: (626) 449-2742


    This exhibition features a gift in 2008 from the June Tsukamoto-Lyon collection, which provided breadth and further quality to Pacific Asia Museum's already substantial collection. Kimono in the exhibition run from the most formal type reserved for very special occasions to children's clothing, undergarments and light summer wear. Fabric patterns in the kimono range from deep black with reserve details in white, to Op-art that dazzles the eyes, with each garment giving a strong sense of the wearer's taste, the modes of contemporary fashion, or requirements of the season in which the kimono was worn.




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