Chinese Economic Development and Change: Understanding China’s Many Self-Images

Summer 2011
Southern China
June 7-30, 2011

Program Highlights

  • Explore the cultural heritage and historical richness of China.
  • Travel to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Xuwen, and Hainan Island.
  • Be introduced to Intercultural Communication, Chinese language, Chinese history, Chinese culture, and Chinese gong fu (i.e., kung fu).
  • Stay with a Chinese host family.
  • Participate in the traditional forms and rituals of martial arts.

Program Description

This is a three-week international study abroad immersion course to south China. It is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study and experience the region's mercurial economic development and how this development has affected Chinese self-images. The primary purpose of the course is to give students the opportunity to explore the affect of economic development has had on Chinese self-images about freedom and human rights issues, environmental challenges, and the martial arts. Chinese self-images will be compared to and contrasted with American views about China and the Chinese people.

Particular emphasis in the course will be paid to Chinese martial arts, including martial arts demonstrations and tours while in China. Additionally, prior to our departure to China, a special two-day Asian Studies Marital Arts Workshop at CSBSJU is scheduled in January 2011 to coincide with Chinese faculty, administrators, and students who will visit CSB/SJU from Zhanjiang Normal University.

CSBSJU students who have applied for the southChina course are strongly encouraged to participate in this two-day martial arts seminar. The workshop will be led by visiting Jeet Kune Do kung fu Sifu (master) Mike Rutter. Sifu Rutter will also be available to lecture about Bruce Lee's influence on American culture and demonstrate kung fu techniques. Participation in the seminar is not a requirement of this course and thus does not influence students' course grade. The cost of the Martial Arts Workshop is free for students signed up for the June short-term course.

The course includes travel to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Xuwen, and Hainan Island, seminars taught by CSBSJU and Zhanjiang Normal University faculty members, supporting seminars in Intercultural Communication, Chinese language, Chinese history, Chinese culture, and Chinese gong fu (i.e., kung fu), visits to historic sites, and a Chinese host family experience.

Course Learning Goals

  • Explore and explain the affects of economic development on Chinese self-images about freedom and human rights issues (e.g., Tibet, internet use, Google, Uighurs). Compare and contrast these Chinese self-images with American views about Chinese freedom and human rights issues.
  • Explore and explain the affects of economic development on Chinese self-images about environmental challenges (e.g., air and water pollution, overpopulation, climate change, clean energy, cap and trade). Compare and contrast these Chinese self-images with American views about Chinese environmental challenges.
  • Explore and explain the affects of economic development on Chinese self-images about martial arts (e.g., Films made in China, the US, and elsewhere portraying Chinese martial arts and artists; the popularity of Chinese martial arts worldwide). Compare and contrast these Chinese self-images with American views about Chinese martial arts.

This course will be attractive to and useful for CSB/SJU students in several disciplines, including Asian Studies, History, Political Science, Communication, Economics, Sociology, and Management.

Program Cost

More information about program costs will be available shortly.

Director

Dr. Philip Kramer is the Director of the Office of Academic Review and Curricular Advancement at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Since his time as an undergraduate Political Science major at UCLA, Dr. Kramer has studied and been interested in Chinese government and politics. He is an active Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do martial artist, the martial art created, practiced, and taught by Bruce Lee.

Program Resources