From June 27 to July 8 I was a guest of Xidian University in Xi’an, China. This was my first trip to China and it was a great experience.
The circumstances of the invitation are worth mentioning, because it really was a surprise.
I was invited by Dr. Zhu Danqiong. She teaches in the Philosophy Department at Xidian, and she is Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.
Dr. Zhu has a research program on environmental philosophy, and this spring semester she was teaching undergraduate courses in philosophy of science and philosophy of ecology. As Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies she had an opportunity to invite someone who could provide a cross-cultural experience for students, and she was familiar with some of my earlier academic work in the philosophy of science and ecology, so that’s how I came to her attention.
I was invited to do some public talks, some workshops with students, and some meetings with faculty.
Here was the itinerary for the two weeks of my visit:
These are the famous Terracotta Warriors. Thousands of the sculptures were created during the life of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. They were buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC, whose to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
This army of life-sized terracotta soldiers was unearthed in the 1970s just outside of Xi’an, China. Estimates from 2007 were that the three unearthed pits contain more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses.
I’m happy to report that this summer (2017) I’ll be visiting Xidian University in Xi’an for two weeks as a guest of the School of Humanities and the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.
I’ll be delivering a pair of public lectures and visiting with students and faculty over the course of the visit.
During the trip I’ll be taken on a two-day tour of historical sites in the region, including this incredible site.
I’m sure I’ll devote a podcast episode to the trip after I’ve returned!
I’m giving a presentation at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Boston this coming August. Here’s my bio blurb from the speaker’s page.
It’s a great opportunity to get the word out, but quite odd seeing my face on the same speaker’s page as political spin doctor Frank Luntz (famously responsible for getting Republicans to adopt the term “death tax” instead of “estate tax”, and “climate change” instead of “global warming”) and former US Ambassador to the UN and neoconservative bulldog John Bolton. Strange bedfellows 🙂
Scroll down to see my mug: