China in the Classroom


Sisters Baulu Kuan and Nancy Hynes teaching

Members of the CSB and SJU community have had an interest in China since their earliest days. An 1894 issue of The Record, for example, contains an article about China, "its people, manners and customs, civilization, literature and religion". A 1916 catalog from the College of Saint Benedict notes that a course on the history of education includes content on Chinese practices. Later courses in  "Asiatic Civilizations", as well as  "Chinese Painting and Calligraphy" began appearing in the institutional catalogs. By 1968, Saint Ben's and Saint John's joined Saint Cloud State University to offer an East Asian Studies major through the Tri College Consortium, with Sister Telan Hu offering courses in Chinese language. Sister Baulu Kuan and Sister Johanna Becker also introduced Chinese art into courses such as "Oriental and Non-Western Art".  Historian Sister Carol Berg introduced Asian History into the curriculum in the 1970s and 80s, with courses focused on China and Japan.  

In 1994, Professor Richard Bohr joined the faculty, bringing new energy to Asian Studies at CSB and SJU. Dr. Bohr not only taught courses, but helped advance faculty development to bring Asian content into many disciplines. In 1997 he co-directed a tour for six CSB/SJU faculty members traveling to Japan, China and Taiwan to facilitate the incorporation of Asia-related content into 13 different courses in management, English, chemistry, theater, nutrition and music. Under Bohr's leadership, a new Asian Studies Program began offering a minor in 1995. In 2009, Bohr received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand the Asian Studies Program as a major, which was approved in 2010.   

The Asian Studies Program has always been an interdisciplinary effort with faculty from many departments offering courses with Asian content.  More recently, Dr. Elisheva Perelman has offered Asian history courses with content on China.  Professors Sophia Geng (Languages) , Carol Brash (Art), and Qiang Yan (Global Business) are among those who have focused scholarship on China.  In addition, the Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Wang and Sister Telan Hu, O.S.B., Endowed Scholarship supports Johnnies and Bennies inteerested in the study of China.  

China in the Classroom