Hotchkiss in China (June 2017)
Please note that this page is about a past program. If you are interested in other educational travel opportunities in China -- independently or through Hotchkiss -- please contact Mr. Hall.
This twelve-day program in June 2017 provided a first-hand look at the rise of modern China. We experienced China’s recent past through engaging walks through Beijing and Shanghai, unpacking important historical sites, wandering down ancient alleyways, and exploring an East German electronics factory repurposed as an artist colony. These sites challenged us to unpack what we mean by “modern China” and think about how China balances the quest to be a fully modern nation with the desire to remain fully Chinese. We charted an evolutionary trajectory through Chinese urban spaces, considering what the pasts of Beijing and Shanghai might suggest about the future development of these – and other – rising global cities. Our urban experience was contrasted with an overnight stay at the Great Wall, where we caught a glimpse of a rural life while gaining another perspective on how urbanization has dramatically transformed the country. Along the way, we were guided on our journey by Jeremiah Jenne, a Beijing-based scholar of modern Chinese history and interacted with journalists, academics, and cultural figures who helped connect the past to the present social, political, and environmental challenges.
Questions for investigation
- What we mean by “modern China” and how does China balances the quest to be a fully modern nation with the desire to remain fully Chinese?
- What do the pasts of Beijing and Shanghai suggest about the future development of these – and other – rising global cities?
- How does China’s culture and society compare to your own?
Who is this program for?
This program is an especially strong fit for Hotchkiss students with background or interest in Chinese or East Asian history, economic development, and Chinese language and culture.