: China: Expansion and Dreams :

an excerpt by Robert S. Fogarty

 

In 1986-87 I was a “founding faculty” member at the Johns Hopkins / Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. The students were a small and elite group of forty Chinese and Americans who were taught by a Chinese and American faculty in their respective target languages. Students lived in a brand new center that was both heated and air-conditioned and they shared rooms that had built-in showers. Both were in short supply in China then, and particularly on a university campus known then for its smoky and urine-saturated smells. For example, there was only one other building in Nanjing that was fully air-conditioned—the four-star Jinling Hotel. The Chinese administrators told us that we (five of us) were “pioneers” in what was a unique experiment in cross-cultural education.  We were “pioneering” in relative luxury, but the Chinese faculty returned to dreary apartments where families shared Bunsen burners in a communal cooking area.