February 14, 2008
Wang offers Chinese students fresh look at history
History professor Edward Wang used Rowan's recent winter break to teach the study of history to students at Beijing University in China.
In what was his first teaching stint in Beijing since being named to the Changjiang Chair Visiting Professorship last spring, Wang spent four weeks teaching undergraduate and graduate students at China's oldest and most prestigious university.
Wang's research interest is historiography-the study of the writing of history. In his courses, he helped Chinese students understand the complexities, and biases, that go into the writing and telling of history.
"I was impressed by the questions raised by students, which showed that they were eager to learn about new and different ways of studying history," says Wang, who grew up in China and was blacklisted from the country in 1989 for his support of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Wang was recruited by the Minister of Education in China for the professorship, but the political climate in the country still isn't completely welcoming, even as Beijing prepares to host the Summer Olympic Games, he notes.
"In some ways, we can compare the political air in China to the air in Beijing-both are not so fresh and free," says Wang, who, over the next two years, will return to China to teach during his semester breaks at Rowan.