Institute for American Society and Culture
USCET’s programming for American Society and Culture aims to promote Chinese understanding of the role that socio-cultural factors, including religion, play in all facets of American life.
In partnership with the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, USCET held the 2014 Institute on American Society and Culture (IASC) from December 8-12. Lectures focused on the effects of religion on the US-China relationship. Lecture topics included the impact of African American Christianity on the United States, the roles of American culture and China in the Progressive and Global eras, immigrant religions in America, religion in Texas, religions of America’s youth, and international religious freedom in US policy. Speakers included Dr. Carol Lee Hamrin, Dr. Elisa Zhai Autry, and Dr J. Gordon Melton.
The second Institute for American Society and Culture (IASC) was held from May 11-17 at Fudan University’s Center for American Studies. The lecturers were American professors Mark J. Rozell and David Hackett. Rozell is a Public Policy Professor at George Mason University and an expert on American politics. Hackett is an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Florida with expertise in American Religious History and the Sociology of Religion.
Participants were graduate students and young faculty engaged in researching issues related to American religion that would benefit from further study. Rozell and Hackett provided interesting and rich information on the role of religion in the U.S. society to the participants. After the lecturers, our faculty participants showed great interest in incorporating what they learned about religion into their future teaching on the U.S. to their students.
The inaugural Institute for American Society and Culture was held from May 28-June 2, 2012, at Fudan University. Under the direction of Professor Xu Yihua at the Center for American Studies, twenty students were selected to study how religion affects American society and culture. William Dinges, Professor at The Catholic University of America, and Kenneth Wald, Professor at the University of Florida, provided stimulating lectures on topics ranging from First Amendment rights to religion in presidential elections. Many of the students began the conference with limited understanding of the role of religion in American society. However, they left with a renewed fascination and excitement for research in the field, with some noting that they would incorporate religion discussion topics from the IASC as new components in their American Studies concentrations.