Culture Exploratorium brings China to life
Caption: Jennifer E. Sheu, Leah M. Nugent, and Kwanmui Tina Ng work on an assignment for Wan-Li Ho’s Intermediate Chinese II class in the Chinese Culture Exploratorium at Emory’s Woodruff Library.
To support Emory University’s international reputation as a diverse and inquiry-driven community, the Robert W. Woodruff Library has opened the Chinese Culture Exploratorium (CCE) on its first floor. Funded by a grant from the Confucius Institute in Atlanta, the Exploratorium uses multimedia to enhance learning and promote understanding of Chinese culture.
The CCE provides students with an engaging experience intended to foster a more widespread understanding of Chinese culture. The exhibit consists of four stations with 10 interactive modules covering a range of topics. These include information on traditional Chinese delicacies, language, and art forms. Students can view timelines detailing important events in Chinese history or take a virtual tour of various provinces in China.
“This is a great addition to the Chinese collections in our library, and in a different format,” said Guo-Hua Wang, East Asian studies librarian and coordinator of the CCE.
The exhibit is continually evolving and is expected to feature new modules in the near future, such as one on Chinese medicine. One upcoming feature will allow students to use the exhibit’s webcam to see how they would look in traditional opera costumes. In order to fully utilize all of the features of the modules, students can check out headphones at the service desk in the Music and Media Library.
“The CCE will provide both physical and virtual space for Emory students to explore Chinese culture, history, literature, and other aspects in a new media format,” said Xuemao Wang, associate vice provost of the Emory Libraries. “I also hope the CCE will function as an experimental lab and incubator to bring faculty together to enhance their China-related teaching and research.”
Several Chinese professors at Emory have used the CCE as part of their course curricula. Wan-Li Ho, an East Asian language professor who brought her Intermediate Chinese II class to the CCE believes that it is an extremely valuable addition to the library. “The trip to the Exploratorium offers ‘a whole package deal’ of language learning activities—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—which is truly wonderful,” said Ho.
The CCE also will be useful to those who do not currently study Chinese. “The average student will also benefit from checking out the different modules, because the Exploratorium is located on the first floor where students have little breaks from their studies. I think it also adds interest to the library and attracts potential students and their parents,” said Rong Cai, associate professor of Chinese studies at Emory and director of the Confucius Institute in Atlanta.
A smaller work station that supports the same software as the CCE can be located in the Modern Languages Building.
Professors wanting to bring a class to the CCE should contact Guo-Hua Wang, coordinator of the CCE, at email@example.com or 404-727-0411 to arrange a date and time.
Confucius Institute in Atlanta
Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC)
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