12th American Studies Network Conference

“Locality and Transnationality: New Approaches to Understanding US-China Relations”

             Peking University | November 13-15, 2015

USCET hosted the 12th Annual American Studies Network, partnering with Peking University’s prestigious School of International Studies on November 13-15, 2015. The theme of the conference was Locality and Transnationality: New Approaches to Understanding US-China Relations. The conference drew participants from over 46 universities across China and internationally. Many of the academics were young upcoming specialists in American Studies and US-China relations.  Presentations covered topics including, The Effects of International Education on Soft Power, Diplomatic Implications of Women’s Work in American Consumer Society, and More Change than Continuity: An Early Evaluation of the Remaking of U.S.-China Relations after 2016. The ASN has evolved in the past 12 years, and USCET is very pleased to serve as a platform to the development of careers for young Chinese scholars. Prominent speakers and leaders in American Studies contributed to the conference:

Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of International Jewish Affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), provided a thoughtful account of the American Jewish experience from Columbus to the present day. The explanation of the Jewish community’s important contribution to American society and political activism added to the depth of understanding of America by the scholars at the conference.

Ms. Aviva Kempner, founder of Ciesla Foundation, an accomplished documentary filmmaker and advocate, spoke of the alliance between African-American and Jewish-American communities in the era leading up to the Civil Rights movement. This was wonderfully illustrated by her most recent film, Rosenwald, which tells the story of the Jewish philanthropist’s contribution to the building of schools in African-American communities in early 1900’s in southern United States. The collaboration of community leaders and Rosenwald was well documented and tells an inspiring story that contributed to greater understanding of American society by Chinese scholars.

The two days of discussion panels featured a range of topics including: the impact of the US presidential election on US-China relations, American feminism literature, immigration and ethnic minorities, and religion. There were a total of 16 lively sessions, all thoughtfully moderated by discussants and promoted active participation.

Professor David Lampton, a preeminent expert on US-China relations, gave the closing keynote speech, which was commented on by Professor Jia Qingguo, the Dean of the School of International Studies. Their closing remarks masterfully presented the current dynamics of US-China relations, and discussed the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and the need for careful navigation in an uncertain and quick shifting global climate. 

Other notable speakers included Ambassador Chen Yonglong, Secretary General of China-U.S. Exchange Foundation and Keynote Chair and Panel Moderator: Huang Ping, President of the China National Association of American Studies. The Israeli Ambassador to China, Matan Vilnai, joined USCET for the conference, giving remarks and support to the ASN. 

This conference is funded by the US-China Education Trust (USCET) and the Institute for China-US People-to-People Exchange at Peking University. 







Rabbi Andrew Baker:美国犹太委员会国际犹太事务研究中心主任,对从哥伦布到现在的美国犹太人的经历进行了详尽的描述。犹太社区对美国社会的重要贡献和政治激进主义的解释,增加了与会学者对美国的深刻理解。

Ms. Aviva Kempner: Ciesla基金会的创始人,是一位颇有成就的纪录片导演和倡导者。这一点在她最近的电影Rosenwald中得到了很好的诠释。这部电影讲述了这位犹太慈善家在20世纪初为美国南部非洲裔美国人社区的学校建设做出的贡献。社区领袖和Rosenwald的合作是有记录的,并讲述了一个鼓舞人心的故事,有助于中国学者对美国社会的理解。

两天的专题讨论主体范围包括美国总统选举对中美关系的影响、美国女权主义文学、移民与少数民族以及宗教。总共有16个生动的会议,所有的讨论都是经过与会者们深思熟虑的。中美关系研究专家David Lampton教授发表了主题演讲,北京大学国际关系学院院长贾庆国教授对此发表了评论。他们的结束语展示了当前中美关系的动态,讨论了未来可能遇见的机遇与挑战以及在充满不确定性和迅速变化的全球环境下需要的谨慎。另一位著名的演讲者包括中美交流基金会秘书长陈永龙大使以及主讲人兼主持人中国美国研究学会主席黄平。以色列驻中国大使Matan Vilnai也参加了该会议,并且对会议发表了评论和支持。