Shanghai University Students Come to UK

By Sarah Geegan

Students from Shanghai University (SU) will get a taste of the bluegrass as the UK American Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences will host a summit for SU students on Monday, April 22.
 
Shanghai University is home to one of approximately ten American Studies Centers in China. Funded by a grant from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and pioneered through a joint-venture agreement between SU and UK, the center began operation in 2011. 
 
Since then the facility has served to emphasize the diversity of American culture and experience, to broaden Chinese understanding of American culture and to foster intellectual and cultural exchange. UK's primary contribution involves providing a perspective of the American South and Appalachia. This partnership also facilitates Shanghai students coming to visit UK.
 
The Shanghai student summit will take place from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center, room 363. 
 
Andy Doolen, director both of the UK American Studies Program and of the American Studies Center in Shanghai, said that events like this are central to the mission of the partnership.
 
"The purpose of the center is to try and counter Hollywood stereotypes of the United States by bringing them a more nuanced version of American society," Doolen said. "Our center is rare because most U.S.-China exchanges revolve around business and technology, whereas this facility explores the more profound cultural connections and relationships between Kentucky, the U.S. and China."
 
Last March and last May, UK sent cohorts of UK students and faculty to the center to engage, interact and present to their counterparts in Shanghai. 
 
UK faculty that have presented at the center include professors Richard Schein and Patricia Ehrkamp from the Department of Geography; Doug Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History; professor Ron Pen of the UK School of Music, poet and associate professor Frank X Walker of the Department of English, anthropology associate professor Mary Anglin, and art professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval.
 
Events such as this will continue to facilitate simple knowledge transfer about the U.S. and China, allowing the institutions to work toward better relations. It also provides potential opportunities for joint research ventures, opportunities for UK students and faculty to visit and study in China and to bring Chinese scholars to the U.S.
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu
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