Beef noodles, Buddhist temples, busy streets, and boats on the Yellow River. Sixteen students experienced all of these things on the UWT summer study abroad in China last summer, led by UWT’s Dr. Mary Hanneman and Tacoma Community College’s Dr. Yi Li. For the past eight years, UWT students have had the opportunity to gain (or hone) Mandarin skills while studying Chinese history and culture in China. The 2014 program took students to the city of Lanzhou, in China’s northwestern region, for three weeks of language study at Lanzhou University and one week of travel to Dunhuang, a site on the ancient Silk Road, finishing up with three days in China’s vibrant capital of Beijing. Continue reading →
Planning is already underway for the 2015 China Study Abroad, which will include a special focus on the Chinese economy in a course taught by PPPA economics professor Will McGuire. The one-month program will be housed at Renmin University in Beijing, where students will study Mandarin for three weeks in addition to studying Chinese history and economics. The economics study will include field excursions to Chinese businesses and state-run industries. The study abroad will also include a week-long excursion to Tianjin and cultural field trips in the Beijing environs.
The 15 credit academic program for the study abroad includes: TCHIN (Mandarin Chinese) 101-203, depending on entrance and exit exams (the exact course number is determined by where a student tests in and out) TINTL 480, Chinese History and Culture; TECON 461, Current Issues in Chinese Economy.
TECON 461- This course will provide a brief introduction to the creation and reform of China’s socialist economic system, and then focus on the biggest economic challenges facing the country today. The topics covered will include, among others, economic inequality, macroeconomic stability, and environmental sustainability. We will combine academic study with firsthand knowledge by combining lectures with site visits and interactions with local business leaders and/or policymakers.
TIAS 480 – This course will examine the history, culture, language, and politics of China. Classes will be held at a cooperating university in People’s Republic of China.
Students often think of professors as people with no life outside of the classroom, living only to teach—or possibly to compose scores of journal articles. However, for Mary Hanneman, Associate Professor in PPPA and Acting Director of the Asia Pacific Center, there are other scores that hold her interest.
Hanneman’s interest in East Asia began during her childhood experiences as the daughter of a Lutheran missionary in Tokyo where she lived for 3 ½ years, attending grades K-2. Even after returning to the States, she continued to pursue her interest in Asia; during her high school, she studied Japanese — an unusual language to study in those days. She continued to study Japanese while earning her BA in East Asian Studies at WWU. After receiving her MA (also in East Asian Studies) from Yale, she returned home to Washington to pursue her PhD in Japanese History at UW Seattle, before finally settling here at UW Tacoma where she taught Asian History.
It was while living in Tokyo, though, that she discovered her second passion in life: music. Hanneman began playing the violin at age six before moving to the viola a few years later. While at WWU, she minored in music; while working on her Masters degree she joined the orchestra at Yale, and during Ph.D. work at the UW, she played in a string quartet. After that, she gave up music until about 10 years ago; when both of her parents died, she found that music gave her a way to deal with grief. “Playing got me into a different mental and emotional space,” she remembered. Hanneman currently is a member of the Olympia Symphony. The last concert of the 2013-14 season included a presentation of Brahms Symphony #2—a piece that she played years ago. Remarking on the idea of music and muscle memory, she commented, “It’s amazing how much of it was just under my fingers.”
This summer Hanneman will be taking a group of 16 students on a study abroad trip to China. Hanneman can’t wait – but she’ll miss her viola while she’s away.
This summer, UW Tacoma students will be joining Professor Mary Hanneman (PPPA) and Professor Yi Li (Tacoma Community College) on a four-week study abroad program to Lanzhou, China. Students will study Mandarin Chinese along with Chinese history and culture for three weeks at Lanzhou University. The study abroad program will conclude with a one-week trip to the ancient Silk Road city of Dunhuang, site of some of early Chinese Buddhism’s most important grotto murals, followed by a two-day stay in the vibrant Chinese capital of Beijing. If you are interested in signing up, contact Mary Hanneman (firstname.lastname@example.org).