Ian Johnson is a Beijing-based writer who contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books and The New York Times, and also advises the Journal of Asian Studies. In 2001, when he was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of China. His reporting from China has also been honored by the Asia Society, Overseas Press Club, and the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the author Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China; A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West; and a forthcoming book on China’s religious revival.
This seminar is for the Ricci scholars to conduct the Beijing portion of their Italy/China research. This seminar is the second part of a year-long project to learn cross-cultural skills and conduct research in a foreign country. In Beijing, the focus will be on learning to interact in China, developing sources, and writing up the results. Each student will be assigned a mentor for help in the specific fields being researched. In addition, each student will receive a class schedule with readings, presentations, and other details. Each student will present research proposals at the start of the term, which will be refined through assignments during the term, such as an annotated bibliography, an action plan, and an oral presentation. A final paper of at least 15 double-spaced pages culminates the semester.
Knowledge: Students will learn to adapt to research in China and how to overcome the numerous unexpected obstacles that they will face. They will reinforce their writing ability by following their projects through the stages of prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. Ultimately they will learn to produce original research and situate it in a scholarly context.
Skills: Students will be introduced to basic and advanced perspectives and techniques in Chinese studies. By the end of the course they will have obtained in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of Chinese culture and be prepared to think comparatively about their subject.