UO Confucius Institute opens Oct. 1

EUGENE, Ore. -- ( Sept. 23, 2010) - The University of Oregon is set to inaugurate its Confucius Institute and become part of an international non-profit network whose aim is to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture, and expand educational ties with China.

"The Confucius Institute will work to connect China interests and specialists across campus," says Bryna Goodman, executive director of the institute. She is director of the UO's Asian Studies program and a professor of Chinese history.

The new institute - a three-way partnership between the UO, the Chinese Language Council and the East China Normal University in Shanghai - will help bring China-related events to campus and the community, she said. Areas of focus will include Chinese culture across borders and on a global stage, the future of China and the world, and sustainability in China and worldwide.

The UO's Confucius Institute joins a network of almost 320 such organizations worldwide, including more than 50 at U.S. universities. The UO version has one paid employee - managing director Zhang Yifang - who will run the institute along with Goodman and co-director Dai Lan. Its office is located at Room 103, Gerlinger Hall.

Goodman says the institute will enhance opportunities for the UO to serve increasing numbers of Chinese students. The UO currently has more than 400 international students from China - double the number from any other country.

The UO's Confucius Institute was established in November 2009, but doesn't officially open until Oct. 1. In anticipation of the institute's inauguration, an exhibit of Chinese art installations opened this month at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and will be on display through Dec. 6.

A one-day transmedia installation of art scenes from Beijing will be at the museum's Ford Lecture Hall on Sept. 29. A free panel presentation on Kun Opera music, costumes and text by Chinese opera specialists will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Knight Library Browsing Room.

The institute's opening ceremony will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Alumni Lounge in Gerlinger Hall. Local and statewide public officials, UO faculty and students, and the Chinese consul are expected to be on hand. The directors of Confucius Institutes at the University of Michigan, UCLA and Portland State University are also scheduled to attend.

A program of Kun Opera arias and instrumental music will follow at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the Robinson Theater. The Chinese film "24 City" by director Jia Zhangke will be shown Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at 110 Willamette Hall, with a lecture about the film at 4 p.m. the following day in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

CONTACT: Joe Mosley, UO media relations, 541-346-3606, jmosley@uoregon.edu

SOURCE: Bryna Goodman, 541-346-4825, bgoodman@uoregon.edu

LINK: http://confucius.uoregon.edu/home/