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Shanghai Seminar grants send Badgers across China


Peace Corps volunteer Ben Elmakias in China for summer 2015


Shanghai alumni celebrate March Madness 2015!


September 2014: Summer programs bring students from top Chinese universities


June 2014: Pharma collaboration links experts in Taiwan, Wisconsin


June 2014: UW dairy scientists develop training curriculum for Nestle China


June 2014: Sustainability Office holds Shanghai workshop.


February 2014 Shangdong University president welcomes former UW professor


Language Corner


Study Abroad notes


The November 2013 photography exhibit and symposium, "Evolving Landscapes: 100 Years of Change in Western China" attracts more than 900 visitors to the design gallery at the School of Human Ecology.


October 2013 Badger trio sees "Channel C" success


March 2013: West High students take up Chinese brushes


October 2012: China Town Hall focuses on impact of social media


1979 Delegations to China have Enduring Impact


More WCI stories...


The Wisconsin China Initiative was launched in 2007 to both serve as the contact point for information about UW-Madison connections with the China region and to bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, alumni and leaders in business and government.  The Initiative is housed in the International Division at the University of Madison. It is staffed by Associate Director Laurie Dennis.



Families like that of Lim Ben (seated at center above) in Oakland, Calif., had to contend with the Chinese Exclusion Act. Debate today over immigration and building walls is nothing new, as is indicated by the 1882 newspaper cartoon below, titled "The Anti-Chinese Wall," with bricks labeled "jealousy," "law against race," "fear," "competition," etc.

New PBS documentary on Chinese Exclusion Act to be screened first in Madison

Film provides insights into immigration debate today

MADISON - The keys to understanding current issues on immigration, citizenship, and labor might be found in radical legislation enacted in the United States more than 100 years ago.

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act is the only federal legislation to single out and name a specific race and nationality for exclusion from immigration and citizenship. The legislation, which was in place for more than 60 years, exposed Chinese Americans to forced registration, segregation, and violence.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison will host two uncut screenings of “The Chinese Exclusion Act.”  The first showing will be on Monday, April 24 at 6 p.m. in Union South’s Marquee Cinema and will be followed by a discussion with Codirectors Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu of Steeplechase Films. The second screening will be held on Wednesday, April 26 in Room L150 of the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building.  These Madison screenings will precede the May 2017 debut of the film on the PBS series, the American Experience.

The documentary exposes connections between the Chinese Exclusion Act and the history of American civil liberties and immigration. Experts explore how social, political, economic, and cultural circumstances paved the way for the legislation that continues to impact attitudes on race, culture, and identity in America.

“The issues discussed in the film are relevant to today's national conversation, and the filmmakers are to be credited for reminding us that history is a great teacher only if we pay attention to its lessons,” said Wisconsin China Initiative Director and Professor Jerry C.P. Yin. “The film and discussion on Tuesday should provide us with an opportunity to learn from some of our past mistakes.”

  • Monday, April 24 – 6 - 8:40 pm., Marquee Cinema, Union South.  Free public screening of a new documentary on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.    Stay for pizza and Q&A with the directors after the film. RSVP through Eventbrite, the WCI Facebook page, or  by email to ldennis@eastasia.wisc.edu
  • Tuesday, April 25 – 4 p.m., DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard Street. The Wisconsin China Initiative will host a panel discussion about the Chinese Exclusion Act and its relevance to today.  The filmmakers, Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu of Steeplechase Films will speak at 4 p.m. on “Why This Film Matters.”  Then starting at 5:15 p.m. there will be a panel, “Who is American? The continuing impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act” featuring award-winning author, journalist and activist Helen Zia joined by UW Asian American Studies Faculty Victor Jew and UW Law Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes. RSVP through Eventbrite the WCI Facebook page, or by email to ldennis@eastasia.wisc.edu
  • Wednesday, April 26 – 6:30 p.m., Room L150, Conrad A Elvehjem Building, 800 University Avenue.  Second screening for the Chinese Exclusion Act documentary.  . RSVP through Eventbrite, the WCI Facebook page, or  by email to ldennis@eastasia.wisc.edu

Click here to see the full press release.

Download the event poster.

The "Chinese Exclusion Act" campus events are made possible by an Anonymous Fund grant. Hosted by the Wisconsin China Initiative, with co-sponsorship from the WUD Film Committee, CEAS, and Asian American Studies.


WCI starts new Bubble Tea Mondays event

The WCI will be hosting a new community gathering event, "Bubble Tea Mondays," starting Monday, March 6, at 4:30 p.m. in room 336 of Ingraham Hall (1155 Observatory Drive).

These free public events feature free "Bubble Tea" (first come, first served!), conversation and camaraderie.

The opening March 6 event included screening and discussion of two short film clips, "Say My Name" and "Homesick," which are both focused on the experiences of Chinese students on American campuses. Future sessions will have the theme of the Chinese experience at UW-Madison.

March 27 - UW-China History Quiz! Special guest: the nephew of a prominent Chinese economist who was trained at UW in the 1920s, Chen Daisun 陈岱孙 (1990-1997).

April 3 - Session with filmmaker Kenneth Eng about his documentry, "My Life in China"

April 10 - Presentation by UW Math Professor Tonghai Yang talking about the Anhui-based charity he established: the Hometown Education Foundation.

Aprl 17 - The History of China and the UW (Part 2)
RSVP Now - http://ow.ly/1Gov30actPj

The WCI student team has given the event series the Chinese name of "麦屯奶茶日“ which focuses on the Madison location (麦屯, the nickname for Madison) and the student friendly beverage (奶茶) that will be served.

Bubble Tea Mondays is made possible by a "campus climate improvement" grant to the Wisconsin China Initiative from the Chancellor's Office and the International Division of the UW-Madison.


Alums launch language learners fund

When alumni Jarrett Wiesolek (Class of 2011) and Ali Dibble (Class of 2012) met at the Tianjin Nankai language intensive study abroad program in 2009, they did not realize the impact Chinese would have on their career trajectories. And yet, five years later, both were living and working in Shanghai. Understanding the importance of language skills to success in the China market, and wanting to give back to their alma mater, the two recently launched the Chinese Language Learners Bridge Fund (CLLBF) to offer help to Chinese majors and language students. Mr. Wiesolek and Ms. Dibble hope to raise $10,000 to endow the fund, and are well on their way to that goal.

The CLLBF is structured to support both students and the programs that foster their language training. That means 70% of contributions to the fund are dedicated to student scholarships, with the remaining 30% earmarked for continued development of the UW-Madison's Chinese program.

And CLLBF is already benefiting students. In May, Mr. Wiesolek presented the first scholarship award, $250 given to Sydney Farmer (see photo at right).

"Regardless of when the endowment is ready, we are committed to providing at least a $250 scholarship each spring to Chinese language learners," said Mr. Wiesolek.

For more information about CLLBF (the application process is set to open in March for awarding a spring scholarship), contact them at this email address: applycllbf@gmail.com

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Click here to donate to the Chinese Language Learners Bridge Fund.



UW hosts symposium on family medicine in China and U.S.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will host a symposium August 11-14 about the practice of family medicine and community health in both China and the United States.

"The U.S.-China Symposium on Family Medicine and Community Health 中美全科医学与社区医疗保健研讨会," organized by the China International Medical Foundation and the UW-Madison's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, will feature over 65 attendees from China along with keynote presentations by the chairs of Zhejiang University's School of Medicine, Fudan University's Shanghai Medical College, Capital Medical University's School of General Practice, and the director of the Yuetan Community Health Services Center in Beijing.

The Symposium on Family Medicine and Community Health Services has been held for the last 12 years in Beijing, always hosting speakers from UW-Madison and other American universities, but this is the first time that the event will be held in the United States.

"All of us provide primary care services in our communities, often times to vulnerable populations," said symposium director and UW-Madison Professor Kenneth Kushner (see photo at right).  "We feel that all of us can benefit from an exchange of our best practices, so that we can be more effective in our roles in our communities."

CLICK HERE to read the full story.


UW-Madison professor to offer keynote at Beijing conference

UW-Madison Communication Arts Professor Jonathan Gray will be the keynote speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Communication and the Public, to be held June 18-19 in Beijing. Professor Gray's talk is titled, "Swipe for More: Satire, Play, and Citizenship on the Move." He will be introduced by his colleague, UW-Madison Professor Zhongdang Pan.

The two-day conference will be held at the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, with the theme of "Body, Lived Space, and Mobile Media." Panels will be held on the following topics:

  • Ethics and Rhetorics of Social Networking Sites (in Chinese)
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Digital Placemaking in Locales and Globalizing Time (in English)
  • Persuasion and Influences in Social Media (in Chinese & English)
  • Multiple Facets of Mobile Networks (in Chinese)
  • Affect and Aesthetics of Digital Performances (in English)

The first annual conference in this series was held last summer in Hangzhou, and received support from the WCI's Shanghai Seminar fund. In summer 2017, the conference will head to Madison, Wisconsin.

The symposium is organized by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Arts of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the College of Media and International Culture of Zhejiang University with the support of the Institute of Journalism and Communication of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Click on the conference website for more information. https://www.asc.upenn.edu/…/body-lived-space-and-mobile-med…


Delegation of judges visits campus

A delegation of legal experts and judges from China's Supreme Peopl'e Court, and Intellectual Property courts in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai ended a 10-day visit to the U.S. with a stop in Madison. The group was hosted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

The study tour focused on judicial protection of intellectual property rights. In Madison, the group met with leaders at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation to discuss WARF’s patenting and licensing activity in China, which isdriven by the increasing amount of joint research taking place between scientists at UW–Madison and universities in China. (Click on Chinese delegation discusses IP rights at WARF to read more.) The delegation also toured the Discovery Building (see photo above), and joined a roundtable at the Law School hosted by the East Asian Legal Studies Center. The visit ended with a panel discussion downtown that the Wisconsin China Initiative co-sponsored, together with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The panel (see inset photo), organized by the Madison International Trade Association, featured discussion about about how U.S. businesses can protect their trademarks and IP in China.


Obit for UW Class of '09 Chinese major, Aaron Paul Ayotte

Aaron Paul Ayotte, 29, a Chinese major who attended the summer program in Tianjin and graduated with the UW-Madison Class of 2009, died at his home in California on Friday, March 11, 2016. Click on the link to see his full obituary:



Above: The 1979 delegation to China led by Chancellor Irving Shain, who is seated at front,center, with his wife, Millie. This photo was taken at Mao's birthplace in Hunan. This month, representatives of the Wisconsin China Initiative will be seeking to reconnect with some of the scholars that the Shain delegation met in 1979.

WCI Director offers three talks on UW-China history

Wisconsin China Initiative Faculty Director Jerry Yin will be the featured speaker at UW Founders' Day celebrations in China. He will be giving a talk on the history of the UW in China at each event. His talk will look at the University of Wisconsin's extensive history of engagement with China, including training young scholars and collaborating for research partnerships with key universities and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Alumni can choose from three cities this month to join in Founders' Day festivities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

Beijing. Sunday, February 21 - 7:00- 9:00 p.m. Capital M – Beijing / 前门M餐厅, 3/F, No.2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street 北京市前门步街2号3层

Shanghai. Wednesday, February 24 - 7:00-9:30 p.m. Solo, 237 Hengshan Lu, near Yongjia Lu, Xuhui district, Solo - 上海市徐汇区衡山路237号, 近高安路

Hong Kong. Friday,
February 26 - 7:00- 9:00 p.m. Empire City Huaiyang, 8/F, Convention Plaza Shopping Arcade, 1 Harbour Road, 香港灣仔港灣道1號會展廣場8樓

Photo below: Wisconsin's 1920 China club soccer team included at center (fifth from the left) Chen Daisun 陈岱孙, who went on to become a prominent economist in Beijing. These are some of the anecdotes from the UW archives that Professor Yin will highlight at his Founder's Day talks.


Roach to offers lecture on China economics

Are investor concerns over a "crash-landing scenario" for the Chinese economy overblown?  UW alumnus Stephen Roach ('68 BA Economics) thinks so, and he will be on campus Homecoming Week 2015 to give a public lecture on China's economic scene.

His talk, "China's Hard Landing: Fact or Fiction?" will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Law School's Lubar Commons (Room 7200).

Dr. Roach is a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.  He will address the recent devaluation of China's currency,  Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to America and more at this free public lecture. Co-sponsored by the Law School's East Asian Legal Studies Center and the Wisconsin China Initiative.

He offered the inaugural "Red Cap" Lecture on China & Global Economics in April 2014. His most recent book, "Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China," examines the risks and challenges in the Sino-US relationship.


UW Madison Design Professor Wei Dong has created a multi-sensory exhibit based on Feng Shui concepts.

Feng Shui is focus of new SoHE exhibit

“Chinese Feng Shui is not only a design concept, but also a philosophy that can be applied to all aspects of living, art and design,” explained UW-Madison Design Professor Wei Dong.

His new exhibit at the School of Human Ecology (SoHE), “Harmonious Spaces: Wei Dong and Feng Shui Culture,” is intended to offer a multi-sensory experience of that philosophy, allowing the visitor to move under moon gates and bridges, listen to the sound of water, and enjoy paintings and design related to the concepts of yin and yang.

The exhibit will be in place at SoHE’s Ruth Davis Design Gallery through November 15. “Harmonious Spaces” encompasses 14 elements, including numerous paintings by Prof. Dong, Ming-era furniture, a video on feng shui, a twisting lattice panel bridge, and much more. An opening reception is planned for Sunday, Sept. 27, and will include the following events:

  • 3 – 4 p.m., “The Art and Cosmology of Feng Shui: A Conversation,” featuring Professor Wei Dong along with a panel of commentators (Historian Joe Dennis, Design Studies Professor Terry Boyd, and Ruth Davis Design Gallery Director Sherry Harlacher).
  • 4-5 p.m. Reception with traditional Chinese music, dance and food.

Professor Dong will also hold a brush painting demonstration on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. He will offer lessons to children and the young-at-heart during the Conference for Contemplative Practices to Promote Child and Family Well Being, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9, at SoHE.

Special tours for students and other groups can be arranged by contacting the Design Gallery directly at 608-262-8815. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon – 4 p.m.


Yin is new director of Wisconsin China Initiative

Jerry C.P. Yin, professor in the Departments of Genetics and Neurology, has been named as the new faculty director of the Wisconsin China Initiative (WCI) by Vice Provost and Dean Guido Podestá of the University of Wisconsin–Madison International Division.

“Jerry brings to this important position a broad understanding not just of China, but of the East Asia region,” Podestá says. “He will play a leading role in our efforts to strengthen connections across the campus and to bring together faculty and staff who are interested and engaged in this region. In particular, he will be instrumental in developing more cross-campus collaborations with the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) and other centers in the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).”

CLICK HERE to read the full story.


Research center in China named for UW professor

Beijing Normal University's faculty collaborations with the UW-Madison School of Education have recently resulted in a new research center named after UW-Madison’s own Professor Thomas Popkewitz. 

"The Research Center of Popkewitz Studies" will produce translations into Chinese of 14 books on education by Dr. Popkewitz.  It will also develop collaborative work with other Chinese and international universities, and hold international conferences.

Click here to read the full report.


Third 'Red Cap' lecture attracts full house

Yao Yang, Dean of Peking University's National Red CapSchool of Development and Director of the China Center for Economic Research, offered a lecture March 24 on how party loyalty and economic performance impact the promotion of leaders in China's government. Dean Yao spoke to a full-house audience of over 200 at Memorial Union's Tripp Commons.

YaoYang lectureThe event was the third in the "Red Cap Lecture Series on China & Global Economics," which was launched by Wisconsin China Initiative Board Chair Wade Fetzer in 2014 to raise the "China literacy" of the campus. (Click on the link to read about the October 2014 Red Cap lecture by Dr. Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., and the April 2014 lecture by Dr. Stephen Roach of Yale University.)

"We don't want our students, when they are out in their careers, saying 'Well, why didn't I learn more about China when I was at Wisconsin?'" Mr. Fetzer said at the start of the lecture, wearing one of the "red caps" that are handed out at each event. "We're gradually getting the word out - this is our third speaker in the series, and this is our biggest turnout."

CLICK HERE to read the full story.


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Click here to read about the UW-Madison's first post-Mao era visiting scholar from China, Liu Baicheng. Pictured above is Prof. Liu (at right) with the late UW engineering professor Carl Loper. Prof. Liu, now at Tsinghua University, was honored recently in Beijing for his pioneering role as a visiting scholar.


UW-Madison ranked 24th among world's universities

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was ranked 24th among world universities in 2014 survey by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. Click here to read the full report...


Click here to learn about President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” to increase the number and diversity of American students studying in China.

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Wisconsin China Initiative, The International Division, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

phone: 608.265.6640 email: ldennis@international.wisc.edu