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>  News Releases >   2006 >   May

An unusual interest: visiting Chinese scholar focuses on Native American Studies

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 05/08/06 • Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

Huilin Qiu
Huilin Qiu (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Huilin Qiu, an associate professor of English at Sichuan University in China, says that in China, it's rare to find a scholar interested in Native Americans. She explains that Chinese scholars who study America usually focus on politics, diplomacy, African Americans, or education.

Her interest in our country's first inhabitants led her to Dartmouth. In fact, Dartmouth was at the top of her list. She contacted Colin Calloway, a history professor and the Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies and the chair of the NAS program. Not only does Dartmouth have a strong program, says Qiu, Calloway's books are quite well known. After consulting with his colleagues, Calloway invited Qiu to Dartmouth as a visiting scholar.

"It's been my good fortune to meet these supportive people," says Qiu of the faculty and staff at Dartmouth. "It's a great honor to be here."

During her one-year stay at Dartmouth, funded by the China Scholarship Council, she is learning about Dartmouth's approach to teaching by auditing courses and meeting with faculty and students.

"The teaching style is very warm, and the students have initiative and ask questions," she says.

Qiu's goal is to get up to speed on the current research and writings in the field of Native American studies. She will develop curricula to take back to China based on her experiences at Dartmouth. She explains that, in China, researchers don't delve into sub specialties of study. So she's very eager to help her colleagues in China recognize and teach the nuances of different Native American tribes and clans, which she says can be a good point of reference for studying the different minority populations throughout China. Qiu is also collecting books and writings about Native Americans to take back to China with her, as such items are in short supply there.

"We're very happy to have Chuchu [Qiu's nickname] here," says Calloway. "Dartmouth's library resources, Native faculty, and Native students offer an unparalleled opportunity for the kind of immersion in Native American studies that Chuchu is looking for. In just a few short weeks, she's soaked up a great deal of information to take back to her colleagues and students in China."

Qiu will be on campus through March 2007.

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