To be fair, since people have been hesitant to contribute to the blog, I’ll take my turn at a post. Two days ago, I gave a talk at Fudan University on the renewal of visual anthropology as a field, talking about why it has become more important due to globalization and the new media. It was also our first chance to publicly show the ethnographic films produced by the class. Because it is finals period here (for both undergraduate and graduate students), my friend Prof. Pan Tianshu was worried about the turnout – but there was a good enough crowd that had good questions, and we had a good dialogue. One of my hosts at the School of Journalism was kind enough to take pictures, and since my Davidson students have been complaining about being the focus of my camera lens, here’s a picture of me.
There seems to be so much change happening in Shanghai that as soon as we teach it in the Davidson classroom, it’s out of date in Shanghai! I feel happy when I run into some things that don’t change, though, and one of my habits when I take student groups to China is to take a group photo with Mao. The statue of Mao just inside Fudan University’s main gate is one of the few remaining statues – it’s getting harder and harder to find The Great Helmsman!
The students who had not been to China before (well, everyone except for Brian Aoyama) are beginning to feel more comfortable about getting around on their own. As a teacher, this is an important goal for my bringing students to China – feeling comfortable in a very different culture than their own is the first step to understanding and hopefully further exploring their interests in China. As Ciara described in her post yesterday, we went to nearby Lu Xun Park to film some B roll (miscellaneous background shots). Below is a picture of Rachel Berry at work in the park – her red hair made her stand out even more.