Global Humanities and Xian University

Chinese Students in Class

Photo by Ingram Publishing

Sixteen faculty, staff, and administrators traveled to China this spring. The trip included cultural explorations of Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, and a visit to Xian Province. The Global Humanities Institute has had an academic partnership with Xian University since 2013.

“Seminars Abroad” in China, India, and El Salvador are an important part of the Global Humanities Institute. They are funded through a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2012 to 2018).

The visit to Xian University included tours of international student housing and art department studios, and musical performances by Xian University students. A colloquium on the role of the humanities in higher education and society was also held with administrators and faculty. Discussions featured an open exchange of information, ideas, and perspectives. Shared concerns included the need to instill social and global responsibility through teaching, the need to prepare students to make ethical decisions, and the need to instill students with a curiosity for other peoples and cultures.

The success of these discussions paved the way for new possibilities in web conferencing and co-publishing. Enthusiasm was shown for “global classrooms,” a Global Humanities Institute initiative that enables MC faculty to collaborate with colleagues abroad. In a “global classroom,” students from two different classes in two different parts of the world are given the opportunity to engage in class discussions on a variety of topics.

Xian University and the Global Humanities Institute have also collaborated to provide more opportunities for MC faculty. The initiative, called “Sabbaticals Abroad,” was realized with the support of CPOD this year. MC faculty can visit Xian University while on sabbatical, give lectures, participate in curriculum discussions, and visit classes.

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