Changing Lives in Modern China

July 27 & 28, 2018, 8am – 2pm PDT

Join us as we explore modern China with presentations from thought leaders around the world, including Rob Schmitz, NPR correspondent in Shanghai, Mei Zhang, noted author and travel expert, and Clayton Dube, Director of the University of Southern California’s US-China Institute. Explore how the lives of Chinese citizens have changed from the Cultural Revolution to today. Our simulcast is available at no charge to teachers and the general public. Sign up below to receive more information. Note: for teachers interested in attending our workshop in person, more information on our workshop is available here:

Workshop Speakers

Rob Schmitz

Rob Schmitz is the Shanghai Correspondent for NPR and author of Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road. From 2010 to 2016, Mr. Schmitz was the China Correspondent for the public radio business program Marketplace. Mr. Schmitz has won numerous awards for his reporting on China and other East Asia countries, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards, Education Writers Association award, and Investigative Reporters and Editors Award.

Mei Zhang

Mei Zhang is a native of Yunnan province in southwest China and the Founder of WildChina, a trendsetting travel company based in Beijing and recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s Best Travel Adventure Companies. Ms. Zhang’s expertise has led her to win a number of awards and accolades, including Travel and Leisure “A-List of Top Travel Advisors” and Condé Nast Traveler “Top Travel Specialist”. She is also the author of Travels through Dali: with a leg of ham, a beautifully illustrated chronicle of her return to her roots and serves as a form of cultural cultivation for the­­­­­­­ region’s ancient traditions.

Clayton Dube

Moderator of our 2017 and 2018 Workshop, Mr. Dube is the Executive Director of University of Southern California’s U.S.-China Institute, focusing on the multidimensional U.S.-China relationship. Trained as a historian, he first lived in China in 1982 and has since returned to China many times to carry out fieldwork on economic development, lead study tours, and lecture at conferences. Mr. Dube is recognized for his many outstanding contributions to research and education about China and has won teaching awards at three universities.

Scott Rozelle

Dr. Rozelle is the co-director of Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP), whose goal is to help students from vulnerable communities in China enhance their human capital and overcome obstacles to education so that they can escape poverty and better contribute to China’s developing economy. His research focuses almost exclusively on China and includes agricultural policy; the emergence and evolution of markets and economic institutions and the implications for equity and efficiency; and poverty and inequality with an emphasis on rural economics, education, health and nutrition.

Richard Madsen

A sociology professor at U.C. San Diego’s School of Global Policy & Strategy, Dr. Madsen is the author, or co-author, of twelve books on Chinese culture, American culture, and international relations. His 1995 book “Habits of the Heart” won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Considered “one of the modern-day founders of the study of Chinese religion,” Madsen is currently working on a book about happiness in China, which he describes as an exploration on searching for a good life in China in an age of anxiety, tapping into people’s sense of meaning.

Tobias Smith

Tobias Smith is a researcher specializing in the development of criminal law in China and how everyday people experience China’s justice system. His writing focuses on capital punishment and its alternatives and effects on society. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley and is a PhD candidate in UC Berkeley’s Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program.

Yunxiang Yan

Dr. Yan is a professor of anthropology at UCLA whose research has centered on China’s social change and development, family and kinship, cultural globalization, morality, the individual and individualization. He was forced to drop out of primary school to work as a shepherd, farmer, and seasonal manual laborer in rural China until 1978. This long-term experience in village life engendered a strong commitment to equitably represent the lives of ordinary people, especially Chinese peasants, in his academic work.