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Department of

Ethnic Studies


Foreign Exchange

Event Start DateThursday, February 28, 2013
Maher Hall, Room 205
Event Start Time12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Foreign Exchange weaves three tales into one: the story of two women and their experiences at an American Episcopalian missionary school in Wuhan, St. Hilda’s School for Girls, from 1929-1937. The first tale is about Yeh Yuanshuang who was a student from a privileged Chinese family; the second tale is about Dorothea Kingsley Wakeman who was a short-term teacher from a privileged American family. Both would be transformed by their experiences at St. Hilda’s whose historical tale reveals how the walls that served to protect the school from outside danger also created a space where new gender expectations could be nurtured, hidden away from the gaze of prying eyes. Examining St. Hilda’s through the experiences of these two women illuminates the liberating qualities of female education, the power of personal narrative as an ethnographic/historical research tool, and how the stories of Yuanshuang and Dorothea are embedded in the historical circumstances of their times.


Judith Liu has been a member of the sociology faculty since 1982. She is a professor of Sociology, affiliated faculty in the Ethnic Studies Program, and the faculty liaison for the Center for Community Service-Learning. Professor Liu has taught classical and contemporary theory, culture courses, contemporary social issues, and community organizing. Her research focus is multicultural education, education in the People’s Republic of China, women and HIV/AIDS, political and civic responsibility, and community service-learning.

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ContactEsther Aguilar | | 619 260 4132