China through TIME, Summer 2013

Students from Journalism and Mass Communications, International Affairs and Asian Studies spent two weeks in Beijing this summer, participating in one of CU's Global Seminars. The courses are part of a campus effort to give undergrads more opportunities to study abroad. JMC Professor and UNESCO Chair Meg Moritz designed the seminar, first offered two years ago, in collaboration with her doctoral student, Zheng Liang (PhD, 2011) who is now on the faculty of Xinjiang University and who joined the group as a visiting scholar.

Entitled "China Through TIME," this year's course started with classes in Boulder where students studied the role of Time magazine and its founder Henry Luce in shaping contemporary views of the world's most populous nation. The class then moved to China itself where the students met with US and Chinese journalists for discussions on contemporary media issues in China today. Over a two-week period in Beijing, students met with investigative reporters and editors, environmental experts, economics and business analysts, and cultural critics, including one who tracks the underground rock music scene in the capital. Visits to major operations at Reuters, China Radio International, the New York Times and CBS were all highlights but the most memorable morning may have been at Time where more than 100 magazine covers on China are framed and hung on the walls. Hosting the group was bureau chief Hannah Beech, author of the recent and highly controversial Time cover on radical Buddhism.

The course required students to produce their own original reporting while they were on the ground in Beijing. Among the topics: street fashion, bargaining in the markets, indigenous foods, and persons with disabilities. Final projects by Joseph Wirth and Lex Mobley are available online.

In addition, numerous cultural activities were on the agenda, including climbing the Great Wall, attending a Chinese opera and a Chinese rock concert, having tea at a traditional teahouse, visiting the National Art Museum, and running the track at the Olympic Stadium, popularly known at The Bird's Nest. "Every day was jammed with activities because there was so much to do and see," Professor Moritz said. "Despite the heat, the traffic and the pollution, the students were thrilled with the whole experience. Travel is an education unlike any other and this year's class certainly proved that point," she said.

Professor Moritz received a $48,000 grant through CU's Center for Asian Studies to support student scholarships and help defray travel costs. Applications are now being accepted for faculty-led courses in China for summer 2015 and beyond. Click here for more information.

Post authored by Professor Meg Moritz.