One of the environments in which political science faculty most directly face issues of community, communities, and politics is when they find themselves teaching in programs abroad. The rigors of international teaching force faculty to confront issues of community identity, assumptions about political orientation, and presumptions about how communities interact that often remain unstated or unexplored at home institutions in the United States. In this paper, we will explore these matters based on our experiences teaching in the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies during the late 1990s. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center brings together Chinese and international (mainly American) graduate students in a unique living-learning environment. Chinese students take graduate-level course work in political science, American history, economics, and ESL in English from visiting American faculty members, while international students take analogous classes in Chinese from faculty at Nanjing University. Faculty and students are housed in the Center’s residential wing, where Chinese and international students are paired together as roommates. We discuss the unusual pedagogy involved in teaching Chinese students in the program (who are extremely bright and motivated, but usually lack substantive and methodological backgrounds in political science); the opportunities for extracurricular education afforded by the Center’s living-learning facility; and describe our experiences interacting with our Chinese faculty counterparts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science