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AFS Review: News

Public Culture and Heritage: A Beijing-Based Field School

Monday, November 1, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Doug Blandy
The focus of this field school is comparative cultural practices and boundaries associated with community identity. Through ethnographic fieldwork, participants in this field school will experience and investigate two cultural districts in Beijing: Gaobeidian Village and Song Zhuang. Gaobeidian is a government facilitated "folklore village," While Song Zhuang is a cluster of villages on the outskirts of Beijing that have become the home to several thousand contemporary artists. Through USING folkloristic methods, participants will investigate, document, analyze compare, and contrast the cultural development of these two districts. Emphasis will be placed on discovering how the creative process and individual and collective identity occurs in these local settings that are also simultaneously translocal—attracting regional, national, and international attention. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit major cultural heritage sites in the Beijing including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City among others.

Using multi-media, participants in this field school will have the opportunity to contribute the results of their field work to ChinaVine. ChinaVine's mission is to interpret China's cultural heritage for English speaking/reading audiences.

Students participating in this field school will:

  • Learn about China's cultural heritage and the ways in which this heritage is being preserved, sustained, and interpreted as facilitated by national and regional planning efforts overseen by government entities
  • Discover how people living in Gaobeidian and Song Zhuang are shaping and expressing their cultural heritage.
  • Learn and apply multiple multimedia oriented strategies for interpreting China's cultural heritage.
  • Learn methods for cultural research and interpretation.
  • Learn about the emerging public sector in China and how that compares with the public sector that supports the arts and culture in the United States.
Dates of Field School

Online orientation: June 20-July 1
On-site in Beijing: July 5-July 19
Free time in China: July 20-July 30
Online post-residency: July 31-August 13

The primary instructors will be Doug Blandy and John Fenn, faculty at the University of Oregon. Their instruction during the residency in China will be supplemented by Kristin G. Congdon from the University of Central Florida and Professor Lihui Yang of Beijing Normal University.

The priority application deadline is February 1, 2011. Spaces are limited.

For more information contact Doug Blandy or John Fenn.

Click here for additional details.

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