On Friday, April 14th, a handful of EALAC graduate students joined members of the journalism school for a conversation on scholarly journalism with ChinaFile’s Managing Editor, Jonathan Landreth. As new media on China proliferates, contributing voices to the public conversation on China have grown as well. Workshop participants considered how the academic community could best participate in this evolving public conversation, and the burgeoning interest in China that this discourse reflects. Landreth encouraged attendees to produce work for the readers who comprise this curious, informed public. What, he probed, does your research reveal about the way China understands itself? Scholars and experts are also welcome to contribute to ChinaFile (http://www.chinafile.com). Each week, the online magazine, which is published by the Asia Society, hosts a conversation on a topic of broad interest by soliciting short opinion pieces from its diverse community of readers. Recent topics have included the fate of democracy in Hong Kong, the relationship between China’s imperial past and its present-day foreign policy, and Ivanka Trump’s role as a U.S.-China emissary. These exciting, productive conversations are a timely reminder to members of the academy that we can be valuable partners in this ongoing public discourse on China, and that public-facing efforts are worth our time.
This event, organized by Ph.D. candidate Chris Chang, was the second installation in a pair of spring workshops focused on the theme of public humanities. The first workshop, organized by Ph.D. candidate Allison Bernard, was a forum for sharing resources on public scholarship. Both workshops received support from the Center for Teaching and Learning as part of the Lead Teaching Fellows program.