Established in 1986 The John Hopkins Univ-Nanjing Univ Center for Chinese and American Studies was the creation of then John Hopkins Univ President Steven Muller and then Nanjing Univ President Kuang Yaming. Both men recognized the importance of mutual understanding to improve relations between China and the West and agreed the best way to achieve such understanding was to bring people together for an extended period of intense exposure to each others history, culture, contemporary thought and society.
China Regime balks at the novel experiment.
With a growing number of U.S. colleges building campuses in China Bloomberg looked at one long standing program and its limitations on academic freedom outside the classroom walls.
American student Brendon Stewart was forbidden from distributing a journal of academic writing outside of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center last year–later he discovered why.
Intended to showcase the best work by Chinese, American students and faculty to a far flung audience, ‘Stewart’s Journal’ broke the Hopkins Nanjing Center’s rules that confine academic freedom to the classroom. Administrators prevented ‘Stewart’s Journal’ from circulating outside campus and a student was pressured to withdraw an article about China’s protest movements–about 75 copies set in a box in Stewart’s dorm room for about a year.
The muzzling of ‘Stewart’s Journal’ exposes the compromises to academic freedom that some American universities make in China–While professors and students openly discuss sensitive issues–they can not do so in the surrounding community. Even on campus protections only cover classroom discussions, not activities typical of U.S. campuses, such as showing documentary films in a student lounge.
On the 06 January, 2009 regarding the cracking down on major websites including search engines by the China Regime, I wrote here that free speech is essential in the pursuit of learning, every idea or thought is not an avenue of incitement, censorship only results in the pursuit of finding cracks within the Great Firewall of China.
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