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ASU brings 'What is America' to China


December 14, 2010

The question “What is America?” will be explored in all its textures and nuances in the new SCU-ASU Center for American Culture at Sichuan University, says Neal Lester, dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.



Lester is one of several ASU faculty members featured in a “What is America?” video that debuted at Sichuan University during “2010 ASU Week: Place and Identity” this past October. An official launch ceremony at the center was held Dec. 13.



The SCU-ASU Center for American Culture will provide opportunities for faculty and students to hear lectures by ASU specialists in American studies, view films about America, and meet one-on-one with American faculty, says Joe Cutter, a professor of Chinese and director of ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures.



Other voices in the video include:



* Brooks Simpson, a professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, who says “America is a land of contrast and contradiction.”



* Joe Lockard, an associate professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who notes “America is for whoever discovers what America is.”



* Maureen Goggin, chair of ASU’s Department of English, who says “One of the aspects in trying to understand America is to understand its diversity … there isn’t one voice.”