Trans-Pacific Cultural Connections

The University of Illinois and China

in Journal of American-East Asian Relations
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The University of Illinois has one of the largest international student populations from China in the United States. An u.s.-based journalist recently headlined it as the “University of China at Illinois” and the sobriquet has caught fire in China. Actually, the university has a long history of connection and engagement with China that stretches back to 1908–1909, at a time when the United States was not yet a significant global power in the Pacific. This essay looks at the dreams, hopes, and problems in this long history in the changing context of u.s.-China relations, which involved using American education to shape the hearts and minds of young Chinese before the idea of “soft power” became popular.

References

1

Elizabeth Redden, “The University of China at Illinois,” Inside Higher Ed (7 January 2005), https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/07/u-illinois-growth-number-chinese-students-has-been-dramatic (accessed 13 March 2017).

5

 See Qian Ning, Chinese Students Encounter America, pp. ix–xv; Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller, Fortunate Sons (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011); Edward J.M. Rhoads, Stepping Forth into the World: The Chinese Educational Mission to the United States, 1872–81 (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011).

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