Get Ready for Xiuning!

In the coming weeks, we hope this blog will serve as a forum for Yale-China/YASC cultural exchange participants to interact with Yale-China’s Teaching Fellows on the ground in China.  Prepare for your trip by learning about life in China from these “foreigners” who are experiencing it first-hand!

About Brendan

Since completing his teaching fellowship, Brendan has been working as a member of the Yale-China staff from Yale-China's Hong Kong office.  He is glad that his role in planning this summer's service tour has brought him back to Xiuning several times this year to see students and friends, and is looking forward to introducing them to you!
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8 Responses to Get Ready for Xiuning!

  1. Brendan says:

    You can respond to posts by leaving comments!

  2. Aaron says:

    I see… and step two?

  3. Hi,
    I’ll be coming with my family in July and wonder about the school’s museum and even the town’s museum. What is in those places? Is there anything contemporary about the content of the museums concerning the (more current) history of the town and the people in it and the school itself?

    • Brendan says:

      Hi Lynn,

      The town’s museum is focused most heavily on the most successful scholars from the imperial period rather than town history in general, so there are a lot of documents on display, and I don’t remember seeing any exhibits about modern Xiuning.

      The school history museum currently has no exhibits, since the restoration of the building was just completed; one of our projects most likely will be re-installing the exhibits in this space, so the content has yet to take shape!

  4. Brian Cullina says:


    I enjoyed meeting you in NH last month. We have 3 kids, ages 14, 13 and 10. Could you recommend any books on Chinese history to help prep them for the trip.


  5. Brendan says:

    Hi Brian,

    I believe The Search for Modern China, by Yale’s own Jonathan Spence, is widely regarded as an excellent (if not definitive) overview of Chinese history. Not sure your average 10-year-old would enjoy reading it, though. Perhaps some others will chime in with their own suggestions. In the meantime, you can start exploring Chinese history through Wikipedia (the articles on this topic are generally extensive and well-written)

  6. Victoria (Tory) says:

    Asiapac Books (a Singaporean publisher) has comic book histories of China and comics of Chinese culture that are pretty good. At least, my kids enjoy them.

    Some of the history books are listed here:

    and here:

    You might also want too look at these DK books

    For the 14 &v 13 year old and you, I would also recommend Yang Se’s works.

    Older – “Chinese Lives: an Oral History of Contemporary China”

    more recent (but some strong stuff, you read it first before passing it on to your kids) “China Candid”