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International Seminar Series: “Reflections from an American Classroom: Demystifying Chinese History”

Wednesday, September 25th 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Description

When students begin the History of East Asia survey, their knowledge of China often does not go beyond narratives advanced by the media, popular culture, and political figures.  These narratives tend to oversimplify and misunderstand the historical context that shapes the reality of China in the 21st century.  Reflecting on experiences in the classroom, our presenter will explore some of the foundational, and often misunderstood, ideas that are crucial to being informed about China today.

Larissa Castriotta Kennedy has been an Instructional Assistant Professor at Illinois State University since 2005.  She teaches History of East Asia, World Religions, and History of Chinese Civilization.  In 2014 she was recognized as the Outstanding University Teacher, category 2.  Kennedy also organized the Spring 2019 International Seminar Series: Fostering World Religious Literacy.  In addition to teaching, Kennedy is an editorial assistant to the Warring States Project based at the University of Massachusetts.  She has edited The Emergence of China (2015), Jesus and After (2018), Warring States Papers v. 1 (2010), and Alpha v. 1 (2017).  Alpha v. 2 and Warring States v. 2 are forthcoming.   Kennedy also contributed several pieces to Japan at War: An Encyclopedia (2013).

The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.

Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The Fall 2019 series will focus on understanding contemporary China.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


Office of International Studies and Programs
(309) 438-5276


Bowling and Billiards Center
209 N. School Street
Normal, IL
Bowling and Billiards Center Activity Room
(309) 438-2555