Scholar of Chinese literature and art to speak on European, US, Chinese modernization at Columbia Teachers College Thursday, Oct. 21
Both events, co sponsored with China Institute, signal increasing activity by Pace University’s recently-established Confucius Institute
NEW YORK, NY, October 12, 2010 — If Oprah Winfrey gave self-help lectures adapted from the U.S. Constitution and made them a book, could she sell 11 million copies around the world in four years?
That’s just what the Chinese TV personality and professor Yu Dan recently did with the wisdom of Confucius, whose ideas underpinned Chinese government and culture for thousands of years but were rejected by the country’s modern revolution.
On Wednesday, October 20, Yu, the woman whose “Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World” has become a worldwide phenomenon, will speak on Confucius in downtown Manhattan at 6:30 PM, at the student union of Pace University’s campus just east of City Hall (corner of Spruce St. and Park Row). Her talk is free and open to the public.
A day later, a second celebrated Chinese scholar, the expert on Chinese literature and art Liu Mengxi, will speak at Columbia Teachers College, exploring the distinct patterns of modernization in Europe, the US, and China. His talk, also free and open to the public, is at the Zankel Building, Room 125, 525 West 120th Street, on Thursday, October 21 at 6:30 pm.
The two events are co-sponsored by Pace’s Confucius Institute, which this fall has begun teaching Chinese language and culture to Pace students, Wall Streeters, and others, and by the city’s China Institute.
Advance reservations for both can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-346-1880. Media are welcome at both; admission by press pass.
Inspiration and self-help
In 2006, Yu, a mediagenic professor of communications who is vice dean of Beijing Normal University, got time on nationwide TV in China during a national holiday period for a series of lectures about Confucius, based on his famous “Analects.”
In an inspirational self-help mode, Yu adapted Confucius for stressed-out moderns, weaving his 2,500-year-old sayings together with her own experiences.
The lectures made her a household name and soon became a book that turned into one of China’s all-time best sellers. It beat out the country’s other top seller, the Harry Potter series, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Sales hit five million legally and according to the New York Times reached six million more in pirated editions.”Confucius from the Heart” now has been translated into more than 25 languages. (It was published in the US in 2009 by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.)
Yu and Liu will be in New York after participating in the Second U.S. – China Cultural Forum at the University of California-Berkeley October 15 and 16. The forum is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and Berkeley’s Center for Chinese Studies.
A third way to modernize?
Liu directs the Institute of Chinese Culture of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, where he also is a research fellow. He has compiled 35 volumes of classic works in Chinese culture and is founder and chief editor of the magazine Chinese Culture.
His October 21 talk will outline national modernization patterns, first of Europe and then of the U.S., and explore whether China is pursuing a third way. His lecture is titled “Agree to Disagree: On Chinese and American Cultural Modes.”
Liu’s presentation will be preceded by seven musicians from Nanjing Normal University performing such classic Chinese music as “Moon’s Reflection on the Second Spring,” “Purple Bamboo Tune,” and “The Scent of Jasmine Flower.”
50 Chinese phrases for business travel
The Pace Confucius Institute this fall inaugurated Chinese language classes for students and professional groups, starting with an early-morning (7:30 AM), month-long set of hour-long classes on 50 of the most useful phrases for business travel in China, and a one-month series of one-hour lunchtime classes in basic conversation.
The Institute also is offering custom courses conducted off campus at businesses and institutions, which one witty consumer of New York City’s ubiquitous Chinese “take out” food has called “Chinese take-in.”
Founded in 2009, the Pace Institute is the only Confucius institute in the New York metropolitan area associated with a University. Its seal is below, a traditional-style stamp saying “Confucius Institute Pace University” in “small-seal” script. It was created for the Institute by Beijing calligrapher Quiming Sun.
About Pace University
For 103 years, Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu
Christopher Cory, media relations, Pace University, 212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164, email@example.com
Weihua Niu, PhD, Director, Pace University Confucius Institute, 212-346-1815, firstname.lastname@example.org