Center for American Culture

Center for American Culture Opening

Overview

The Center for American Culture is a collaborative project between Wuhan University and The Ohio State University. Funded through a $100,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of State, the center officially opened on September 14, 2012. The center is designed to promote mutual understanding between China and the U.S. by providing training for English language and American culture, educating Chinese visitors about life in the U.S., encouraging study abroad, and responding to requests from Chinese and American businesses that want to learn about U.S. culture.

The Center for American Culture is an interactive and welcoming space designed to create an authentic American environment in the heart of China on the campus of Wuhan University. WHU students, Chinese-English teachers and members of the community experience U.S. culture by attending lectures on a variety of U.S. topics including the legal system, social structure and higher education.

Bob Eckhart, American Director
eckhart.5@osu.edu

Junping Liu, Chinese Director
junping87@yahoo.com.cn

Ashley Behrendt, Program Manager
behrendt.16@osu.edu

Center for American Culture Slideshow

Faculty Collaborations

High-level research collaborations between faculty at Wuhan University and Ohio State will benefit students at both universities and teach them more about American academic culture. One of Wuhan University's main goals is to raise its international image through more widespread publication and the proliferation of scholarship by its faculty and graduate students. The Wuhan faculty and administration are interested in hosting visiting scholars and welcome Ohio State professors to the university and Hubei Province. The center director at Wuhan is available to assist faculty members in making connections with researchers at Wuhan and can help arrange presentations and workshops. Faculty interested in visiting the Center for American Culture, please contact Bob Eckhart at eckhart.5@osu.edu.

Cultural Programming

The Center for American Culture has received three separate $50,000 grants in 2013, 2014 and 2015. These grants are enabling Ohio State students and staff to go to China and participate in cultural exchange through performance. The first grant funded 20 students from the OSU Jazz Ensemble, theatre department, dance department and OSU Freestyle and Beat Box Club who went to China to perform in Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang, Changchun and Xinxiang. The second grant will fund student and staff musicians and dancers who will travel to Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai to teach square dancing and clogging. The third grant, co-sponsored by the Bell National Resource Center in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion), will provide funding for 10-12 undergraduates to go to China to teach stepping, a percussive dance form made popular by African American fraternities.

Library Resources

A main feature of the resource library at the center is a circulating collection of novels, autobiographies and important literary works that will acquaint readers with U.S. culture and history. OSU Libraries and the Wuhan Library have partnered to assemble a collection and develop a filing system to facilitate borrowing books, magazines and periodicals. Additionally, there are materials available to study English and to help prepare students for the TOEFL and SAT examinations. There are three to five computers at the center so visitors can search information in databases available to the Ohio State community. The library also hosts a monthly book club meeting to read and discuss important books in U.S. history. Books and periodicals at the center’s library have been generously donated by the OSU Friends of the Library and the Hubei Changiiang Press Group.

Center for American Culture in the News

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