The Wisconsin China Initiative was launched in 2007 to both serve as the contact point for information about UW-Madison connections with Greater China and to bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, alumni and leaders in business and government. The Initiative is housed in the Division of International Studies. It is staffed by Associate Director Laurie Dennis, and directed by Professor Nicole Huang
Above: Photographer and scientist Yin Kaipu of Chengdu (with his back to the camera at right) leads School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim (wearing a white scarf) and others through the "Evolving Landscapes" exhibit. Photo by Meghan Lepisto of the Nelson Insitute for Environmental Studies.
Photo exhibit on China runs through Nov. 27
Yin Kaipu of the Chengdu Institute of Biology could barely contain his excitement as he moved through the Ruth Davis Design Gallery, explaining his collection of photographs to onlookers. He pointed to the tree stump of a sacred gingko tree, gestured at a village in Sichuan that he considers to be “clean and beautiful like Madison,” then turned to a photo of a young man he located with much difficulty to document the history of a bamboo bridge. Speaking in Chinese with a Sichuan-accent, Mr. Yin gathered crowds every time he passed through the gallery.
He was in Madison the first week of November as part of a delegation from China celebrating the opening of the exhibit, “Evolving Landscapes: 100 Years of Change in Western China.”
The exhibit, hosted by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the School of Human Ecology and the Wisconsin China Initiative, is being displayed Nov. 3-27 in the Ruth Davis Design Gallery, Nancy Nicholas Hall (School of Human Ecology), 1300 Linden Drive. Hours of operation at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery: Tuesday - Thursday, 10AM - 4PM; and Sunday, Noon - 5PM.
All photo texts appear in both English and Chinese, and are written either by Mr. Yin or by a UW-Madison faculty expert in history, anthropology, design or the environment.
Students from UW-Madison along with groups from Madison West High, Middleton High and more have joined the public in visiting the exhibit this month.
At a symposium related to the photographs, Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins presented Mr. Yin with a plaque (see photo at right) recognizing his contributions to ecology and photography.
The pairs of images in the Evolving Landscapes exhibit were taken by two accomplished scientists who, separated by more than 100 years, explored the rugged landscapes of China’s Sichuan region. Mr. Yin, whose institute is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently retraced the steps of early 20th century British naturalist and photographer Ernest Henry Wilson, who had taken hundreds of large-format photos in southwestern China – one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world outside of the tropics. Mr. Yin, a botanist, re-photographed the same locations captured by Wilson, allowing viewers to explore a complex range of environmental, social and economic changes.
“One hundred years from now, you can retake my photographs,” Mr. Yin told student groups visiting the exhibit.
Journalism and Chinese Language major Meghan Chua was among those who listened to Mr. Yin’s commentary on the photo exhibit. As part of a class project, she followed the Chengdu Institute of Biology delegation as they visited the UW-Madison Arboretum and joined symposium events during their week in Madison. Click here to watch her slideshow that features the voices of Yin Kaipu and Chengdu Institute of Biology Director Zhao Xinquan.
As Meghan Chua narrates in her slideshow, “they came a long way to look at photographs of where they had come from.”
Parent Program goes global with Chinese site
UW-Madison students studying far from home may have access to many campus resources, but their parents don’t always have the same support — especially when they don’t speak the same language.
Students from China make up the largest international undergraduate student population on campus. Since August, the Parent Program has reached out to parents who speak Mandarin Chinese with a new corner of the updated Parent Program website.
Click here to read the full story.
Shanghai Seminar program concludes first year, issues new call for proposals
Year One of the Shanghai Seminar Program resulted in $30,000 in grant funding for conferences in China that ranged from language education to voice medicine to environmental conservation to intellectual history. The 2014 Call for Proposals is now available by clicking here. The deadline for proposal submissions is March 3, for grant money that will need to be used by May 2015.
“I am particularly pleased with the diversity of the winning proposals, across humanities, educational science, environmental science, and medicine,” said Wisconsin China Initiative Director Nicole Huang of the awards for 2013. “The awarded proposal for the spring call, ‘Situating Utopias,’ for instance, brings together colleagues in China studies, Japan studies, and Korean studies from the UW-Madison, with participants from East Asia, fulfilling our goal of taking UW-Madison to that entire critical region.”
Click here , to read the full story, including the list of 2013 award recipients.
Taiwan finance leader begins scholarly work at UW-Madison
by Laurie Dennis
Ambassador Yen Ching-Chang, Taiwan’s Minister of Finance from 2000 to 2002 and its first ambassador to the World Trade Organization, launched his scholarly work at the University of Wisconsin Law School by offering a talk September 26 (see photo at right) on Taiwan’s status in the global economy.
Calling himself a “cautious optimist,” Mr. Yen described Taiwan as standing at a crossroads in terms of its economic development.
Click here to read the full story.
Badger trio sees "Channel C" Success
by Laurie Dennis
Update, October 2013: Channel C has set up a new website: http://wischannelc.com/ and continues to post new videos. UW-Madison News reported on the student initiative in the story "Students create Channel C to encourage cultural conversations." Meanwhile, one of the original Channel C posts,"Why Chinese Students Don't Speak English" is now at 28,760 views and counting on youtube!
What started as a mutual interest in encouraging better integration of Chinese students on campus has blossomed into a YouTube success for three Badgers from China.
University of Wisconsin-Madison seniors (in photo above, from left:) Muge Niu, Fangdi Pan and Cecilia Miao launched “Channel C WISC” in April, and have since aired nine shows on YouTube, touching on such diverse topics as how to encourage more interaction among Chinese and non-Chinese social groups, the shock of realizing one of the three victims of the Boston Marathon attack was a Chinese student at an American university, and the difficulty non-Chinese speakers have pronouncing Chinese names.
The show has garnered over 175 subscribers and some episodes have gone viral: the April 23 episode “Why Chinese students don’t speak English,” racked up over 4,500 hits.
We have talked a lot about how having a growing number of international students on campus should provide a unique learning opportunity for all in our campus community,” said Wisconsin China Initiative Director Nicole Huang. “Muge, Cecilia, and Fangdi have taken cross-cultural communications into their own hands and created a model for many to follow. Their lively, interactive forums prompt many of us, faculty, staff, and students alike, to think further of what each of us can do to make this a truly inclusive and forward-looking place. “
Click here to read the full article and see the list of Channel C shows.