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Confucius exhibition emphasizes collaboration


October 22, 2007

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher whose teachings deeply influenced Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese thought and life. Now, his teachings will extend to Arizona and ASU with the opening of the Confucius Institute, a joint effort between ASU and China’s Sichuan University.

The Confucius Institute is ASU’s direct response to the need for creating a sustainable in-depth source of knowledge about China for Arizona citizens.

In conjunction with the Oct. 22 opening of the Confucius Institute, ASU’s Noble Science and Engineering Library is playing host to a Confucius Institute exhibition at the Tempe campus.

The exhibition contains artifacts from China – such as the puppet featured in the photo at right, as well as display photos and information about Confucius and his influence on Chinese history and culture – and it showcases the Sichuan province and its capital city, Chengdu. It also conveys the importance of the Confucius Institute collaboration between the two universities, while also featuring Sichuan University and its libraries.

ASU’s Center for Asian Research also is highlighted in the exhibit.

“This is an important moment for ASU and the Phoenix metropolitan area,” says Stephen H. West, director of the Center for Asian Research and Foundation Professor of Chinese in ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures. “In the 21st century, all places in the world are linked in a tight net of global processes: media, economics, politics, and military intervention. In a world in which images are flashed around the globe in a second’s time, it’s important to have a citizenry that can understand and interpret those images and their meaning with clarity and precision.

“The Confucius Institute – and the exhibit at Noble Library – will be at the forefront of bringing cultural and linguistic knowledge about China to Arizona’s citizens. It is a unique opportunity for Arizona to become more deeply engaged in a world of rapid globalization.”

The team putting together the Confucius Institute Exhibition includes members from the ASU Libraries, the President’s Office for Strategic Initiatives, the Center for Asian Research and the School of Life Sciences Visualization Lab.

The ASU Libraries also will be posting podcasts about the Confucius Institute, the role of the Asian Research Center at ASU and the ASU Libraries initiatives in China. Podcasts can be accessed via the Library Channel at www.asu.edu/lib/librarychannel.

“The Confucius Institute exhibition will create an understanding of and an appreciation for the variety of contributions people from other societies can make to the globally dynamic knowledge community,” says Anthony “Bud” Rock, ASU’s vice president for global engagement.

The exhibition will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to midnight, and weekends from 10 a.m. to midnight, through Dec. 15.