15th Anniversary ASN Conference Held at ECNU in Shanghai

November 6, 2018

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In early November, the US-China Education Trust (USCET) and East China Normal University (ECNU) hosted a special 15th anniversary edition of the popular American Studies Network (ASN) Conference in Shanghai. 

The two-day event included an array of prominent speakers and panel discussions around the theme, The Impact of Education Exchange on US-China Relations: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Among the notable and accomplished participants were Fei Chunfang, Director of the American Studies Center at ECNU; Fu Meirong, Professor and Deputy Director of the American Studies Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU); and Mei Renyi, Professor and Director Emeritus of the American Studies Center at BFSU. 

Shelly Fisher Fishkin, a Joseph S. Atha Professor of the Humanities and the Director of American Studies at Stanford University gave the first of two keynotes at the conference. She focused her remarks on China and transnational American studies during the last fifteen years. 

This was followed by a second keynote address from Cheng Li, Director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution who spoke on the importance and merits of education exchange amidst current tensions in US-China relations.

In total, more than 80 people participated in the conference representing some 37 Chinese and American universities and think tanks.  

In addition, and with an eye towards the future, USCET partnered with BFSU to host a special session of the Graduate Student Forum. Since 2008, USCET has    been promoting the participation of graduate students at ASN conferences through paper competitions in hopes of nurturing the next generation of American experts in China. 

This year’s first place winner was Zou Hongjin for her paper on the Changing Dynamism of Sino-U.S. Educational Ties: from a Crisis-management Tool to an Institutionalized Bridge. Li Huiyi was able to place second for her paper titled, Do Study Abroad Programs in China Understand What American Students Really Want? Both winners now have the opportunity to join a USCET delegation attending the 2018 American Studies Association (ASA) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Tianhong Yin placed third in the competition. 

Overall, the Graduate Student Forum included 29 participants this year, representing 9 different universities.

The ASN and the ASN Conference launched in 2004 with 22 members. In the years since, membership to the Network has grown to 54 members and the conference continues to be a successful platform for scholars of American studies to come together and network, share research, and develop joint projects.

Enjoy this video highlighting the last 15 years of the ASN Conference.