China at Wesleyan: Some Highlights

Why Liberal Arts Matters

Why Liberal Arts Matters

As university leaders in Asia and elsewhere have sought to broaden curricula in recent years, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth writes for CNN about the importance of a liberal arts education, which gives graduates "more tools with which to solve problems, broader perspectives through which to see opportunities, and a deeper capacity to build a more humane society."

"We should think of education as a kind of intellectual cross-training that leads to many more things than at any one moment you could possibly know would be useful. The most powerful education generates further curiosity, new needs, experiences to meet those needs, more curiosity and so on," he writes. Read a translation of the essay in Chinese here (Translated by Yiming Zeng '15).


Distinguished scholars from China

Distinguished Scholars from China Discuss Comparative Enlightments at Wesleyan

In May 2013, Wesleyan hosted the Chinese-American Scholarly Exchange Forum at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. The forum brought 15 distinguished scholars from China to discuss the topic of "Comparative Enlightenments" with American counterparts.

Gao Xiang, vice secretary of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and editor-in-chief of the Social Sciences in China Press, called the forum, "A golden example of what exchange should be between academic communities in the United States and China." Read more. 


Jared Wang

Jared Wang '15

Hangzhou, China

After attending a large public high school in Hangzhou, China, Jared Wang '15 was looking to study in a smaller, more personal environment for university.

"Here at Wesleyan, the professors are all very knowledgeable, and I can approach them more easily," he says. "If I had gone to a Chinese university, I wouldn't have had the same amount of personal contact with the professors." Though he was initially nervous to speak up in class, Jared says, "After I came here, I realized that the amount you learn also depends on how actively engaged in class you are."



Ao Wang

Wang is an Expert on Medieval Chinese Poetry, Literature

Ao Wang, assistant professor of Asian languages and literatures and East Asian studies, shares with his students a passion for Chinese poetry and intellectual debate over East Asian cultural issues. 

Originally from Qingdao, China, Wang was drawn to teach at Wesleyan because of its vibrant and active intellectual community. "The students at Wesleyan are serious about their studies," he says. "They dedicate themselves to their work, and push their teachers to do a better job." 

Wang's courses include "Chinese Poetry" and "Gender Issues in Chinese Literature and Culture." Read more.

Vera Schwarz

5 Questions with... Vera Schwarcz

Vera Schwarcz is the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies. The Wesleyan Connection interviewed her about Chinese Studies in Israel, her observations on how Chinese society has changed since she started visiting the country in the 1970s, and how her studies of Chinese history inform her work as a poet. Here is an excerpt:

"I have been going to China at least once a year since 1977. After my longest sojourns in 1978-79 (as a member of the first group of official exchange scholars) I have not ceased to marvel at the rapid economic reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping. The pace of transformation has been, simply put, beyond imagination. I still cannot fathom how my Chinese friends have managed to survive in such a rapidly developing society... This fast paced transformation has brought progress as well as much destruction in its wake." Read more. 

Glenn Stowell

Stowell '13 Writes, Edits, Translates Books of Chinese Poetry

Glenn Stowell '13, an economics major, edited and translated Yan Jun's You Jump to Another Dream, published by Vagabond Press. It is a full-length collection of poetry in English from one of China's breakout experimental writers and musicians. Stowell began his work on You Jump to Another Dream in an independent study with Assistant Professor Ao Wang. An Olin Fellowship provided Stowell with funds to travel to China and work with Yan Jun on the book. 

Stowell's first collection of poetry, Until We Leave, was published by Stethoscope Press, a Wesleyan-funded press. 

He is the recipient of DKE international short story contest in 2010, was named a Wesleyan Student Poet for 2011-12, and has been published in The Tulane Review. Read more.