With the formal establishment of Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations in 1979, Beijing Foreign Studies University, the most prestigious institution of its kind in China, launched the American Studies Center (ASC) at the initiative of Prof. Frank Tang, an American born Chinese and the first director of the Center. The founding principle of the program was twofold: to meet the need of American studies in China, and to promote better understanding of America. The current director of the program is Prof. Mei Renyi, and the acting director is Professor Fu Meirong. Blessed with a highly competent faculty, now consisting of 18 full time professors and 8 adjunct professors, the ASC has strived to upgrade the curriculum, strengthen academic research and broaden international exchanges, thus establishing itself as an outstanding American studies institution in both teaching and research.
Since its founding in 1979, the Center has been conducting Western-style teaching: all courses are offered in English; all textbooks and readings are US/British publications; and all papers, theses and dissertations are written in English, in accordance with established Western academic practices. The ASC classes are characterized with student-centered approach and cultivation of critical thinking, creating a vigorous and deliberative learning environment. This distinguishes the Center among the American Studies programs in China. To help the students lay a comprehensive and interdisciplinary grounding in American Studies, the current ASC curriculum, made up of 28 courses, centers on three major areas: 1) American Government and Diplomacy, 2) American Society and Culture, 3) American Economy and Trade. In addition, there have been short courses and seminars offered by guest speakers from home and abroad to broaden the students’ horizon for better understanding of America. The ASC enrolls about 20 MA students each year, and up to July 2013, it has awarded over 350 MA degrees. In 1996, the Center launched its Ph.D. program, enrolling 10 to 15 Ph.D. candidates every year.
The Center’s research falls into six broad categories: American Foreign Policy, American Society and Culture, American Media, Asian-American Literature, Chinese American Studies, as well as American Economy and Trade. The ASC faculty has devoted to academic research by publishing scholarly monographs, papers in widely recognized journals and by attending national and international conferences. Besides, the center has been active in academic and educational exchanges. Since 2007, it has hosted a number of national and international symposiums, including three American Studies Network (ASN) conferences, and organized four American studies institutes for scholars from other universities in China. The ASC also finds its expression in national and international media, with a few professors often speaking on TV talk shows on topics about America and the world.
The long-term goal of the ASC is to strengthen its leading position among the American studies programs in China, and to set up a network of American studies in North China with the program at BFSU as its core organizational institution.
Participating Departments or Schools
- American Studies Center
- School of English and International Studies
School Address - Chinese
- Mei Renyi 梅仁毅
Mei Renyi 梅仁毅, Jin Li 金莉, Sun Youzhong 孙有中, Fu Meirong 付美榕, Li Qikeng 李期铿, Li Liwen 李莉文, Xie Tao 谢韬, Wang Zhenping 王镇平, Teng Jimeng 滕继萌, Liu Kuilan 刘葵兰, Song Yi 宋毅, Guo Yaling 郭亚玲, Shen Changying 申昌英，Li Jinzhao 李今朝, Yan Xunhua 阎循华, Zhang Chunbo 张春波, Song Ying 宋颖, Yi Rui 伊蕊, Zhai Zheng 翟峥, Jia Ning 贾宁, Ma Liyuan 马丽媛, Chen Juebin 陈崛斌
American Society and Culture, American History, Postwar American Diplomatic History, Sino-U.S. Relations, World History, Understanding America, Historical Account of the American Economy, American Government
- Western Philosophy, Western Thinking and Academic Writing, American Philosophy, Western Civilization with Chinese Comparisons
- Survey of American History, Important Issues in American History, Postwar American History, Social History of the United States, American Diplomatic History, Post-war American Diplomatic History, U.S.-East Asia Relations, Approaches of American History, Asian American Experience
- American Political Institutions, American Government, Current Issues in International Politics, U.S.-East Asia Relations, International Relations, Cross-border Issues, Social Legislation, American Foreign Policy, Constitutional Law
- American Culture and Society, Postwar American Society, American Social Institutions, Social Theory, American Social Problems, Myth of America, American Social Movements, American Ethnicity, Comparative Social Institutions, Chinese-American Experience, Technology and American Society, American Religion, Sociological Inquiry
- Afro-American Writers, Asian-American Writers, Post-colonial Culture, Popular Culture
- Issues in American Economic Development, American Economic History Interdisciplinary Courses: Sociology of American Literature, Language and Culture of America
- Introduction to American Studies, Mass Media, International Relations and Media, American Education, Research Methodology, Women’s Studies
*Last Updated October 2014