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US-China Cultural Issues

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US-China Cultural Issues

To truly understand where the US-China relationship is moving will require a steady focus on STEEPP issues (security, technology, economics, environment, public health and politics), however, for most Chinese and Americans, the struggle that lies ahead is one most often framed as competing “cultures.”  In the absence of public platforms able or willing to provide a more sophisticated or nuanced understanding of the cultural interdependence and interaction of our nations, media cultures on both sides of the Pacific have become increasingly reliant on reductive cultural memes that guide public opinion and policy (albeit in different ways).

The Institute for US-China Issues cultural programming, publications and research facilities provide a deeper cultural estuary space where Americans and Chinese citizens alike can come to better understand the cultural forces that have shaped and will continue to shape bilateral relations long into the future.  

Chinese Literature Today journal and book series has provided English readers with access to cutting edge trends in Chinese literature, film, poetry, art and theater and provide a platform for celebrating the most inspiring, global impact of Chinese culture for over 10 years. Chinese Literature Today and Chinese Literature Today book series (University of Oklahoma Press) continue to lead the way. 

The Newman Prize for Chinese Literature provides a world-class platform to acknowledge the very best contemporary Chinese language fiction and poetry. With judges drawn from every continent, and a transparent and influence-free selection process, the Newman Prize serves as a beacon of unbiased literary discernment and advocacy. From its inaugural 2009 winner Mo Yan, who later went on to become the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, to the 2021 winner Yan Lianke, the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature is the most respected prize of its kind.

The Newman Prize for English Jueju celebrates new ways of teaching the moral, aesthetic and spiritual lessons of self cultivation through poetry in the form of a poetry competition. Participants learn how to compose Classical Chinese poetry forms by following the rules derived from traditional Chinese philosophy, poetics and religious and spiritual culture. The Newman Prize for English Jueju is a leader in hands-on Chinse cultural learning and advocacy.

The US-China Poetry Dialogue is a platform for advancing the US-China bilateral relationship through public dialogue. The Dialogue brings international, national and regional poets together for a week of travel, public conversations, readings and workshops across different regions in the United States and in China. On odd years the Dialogue brings poets and scholars from the US and China to the University of Oklahoma, and on even years to Beijing University in China. The focus of the dialogue is to discuss the state of poetry, literature and art in the US and China while also exploring the role of arts in cross-cultural communication and understanding. 

The Chinese Literature Translation Archive (CLTA) and Special Collections serve as an open international resource for better understanding of US-China and Chinese-English translation and cultural translation. Home of the Authur Waley, Howard Goldblatt, Wolfgang Kubin and Wai-lim Yip collections and papers (among others), the archive hosts exhibitions, workshops, classes and weekly research discussions with its many research fellows. 

The Institute for US-China (Cultural) Issues in partnership with the Chinese Literature Translation Archive has hosted nearly 30 international scholars and fellows and continues to invite applications.