Online Book Discussion Group(s)

About Online Book Discussion Groups

 

Online book groups are another opportunity for NCTA alumni as well as those who are new to NCTA to strengthen their interest in and commitment to teaching about East Asia in their classrooms. A book is selected by the discussion group leader and is discussed over the course of a few months. In addition to readings, the group may be expected to complete assignments such as discussion posts, reactions to the readings, and pose questions for further analysis. Registration is required for the discussion group and it is open to all NCTA alumni in our 11 state region. There are also book groups that are taught nationwide and are availabe to interested educators in all states. Previous online discussion group books have been Mao Zedong by Jonathan Spence and China's Second Continent by Howard W. French.

Please check back here frequently and on the main page for online book groups.

 

 

Event/Opportunity Type: 

NCTA Alumni Book Group - Last Boat Out of Shanghai

​Last Boat out of Shanghai

NCTA Alumni Book Group for University of Pittsburgh Region

(PA, WV, MD, DE, MI, KY, MN, OH, AL, LA, IL)

Registration due by January 14th, 2020

 

During the winter/spring of 2020 we will read and discuss LAST BOAT OUT OF SHANGHAI by Helen Zia. We are announcing this selection earlier than usual since the book is VERY NEW (copyright 2019) and we are hoping to be able to obtain enough books if we submit orders quickly enough. The reading schedule will be available in early January and we will start the discussion later that month and continue until the end of April.
 
LAST BOAT…is a work of non-fiction focusing on four Chinese children within the Shanghai region. The author, Zia, deals with the lives of each child within four time periods: THE DRUMBEAT OF WAR (1937), CHILDHOOD UNDER SEIGE (1939-1947), EXODUS (1948-9), and WAR’S LONG SHADOW (1949-1950s). We will all read the stories of Benny, 9 yrs in 1937 and Bing, 8 yrs in 1937 and each of you will choose one of the remaining two children to follow.
 
Value of this book: As war arrives in the Shanghai region we can appreciate the challenging choices for families to “stick together” and survive the spreading war.
 
For Pennsylvania teachers, completion of this book discussion will be worth fourteen Act 48 hours. For teachers in other states we can provide you with a certificate of completion and a personal letter from the instructor.
 
 
1. Teachers wishing to participate should send the registration form (below) by January 14, 2019
to Patrick Hughes at hughespw@pitt.edu or by fax at 412-624-4665
 
2. We will use the Proboards Discussion Board and will send you copies of the book along with a
detailed schedule. When you successfully complete the discussion, the book will be yours to
keep.
 
 
NCTA Alumni Online Book Discussion Group:
 
Last Boat Out of Shanghai, Registration Due January 14, 2019
Return form to hughespw@pitt.edu or by fax to 412-624-4665
 
 
Event/Opportunity Type: 

Columbia University NCTA: Understanding Japan through Graphic Novels

 

In Spring of 2020, the Columbia University NCTA is pleased to present a new online book discussion group focusing on understanding Japan and Korea through graphic novels.

Please check back periodically for more information about these upcoming opportunities.

The 47 Ronin: A Graphic Novel

 by Sean Michael Wilson (Author), Akiko Shimojima (Illustrator)

 April 22 - May 12, 2020

 3 Sessions; 6 PD Hours
 Moderator: Elyssa Faison

 

 Register Here

Event/Opportunity Type: 

NCTA-TEA: Bullets and Opium, Part 2 Reflections on China 30 Years After Tiananmen

Bullets and Opium, Part 2 Reflections on China 30 Years After Tiananmen 

January 16-February 26, 2020

Image by Luo Shaoyang

 

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) at the Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado Boulder, invites applications for this winter 2020 online book group. 

Overview: Read award-winning author Liao Yiwu as he reflects on China through his interviews with survivors of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, a self-interview, and his letters in defense of dissident writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. This book group will do close readings of specific chapters of the 2019 book Bullets and Opium to offer participants a deeper understanding of the events surrounding the Tiananmen protests, their repercussions, and their place in Chinese history. This semester’s book group will focus on Part II of the book and the Afterword on Liu Xiaobo. Chinese literature specialist Lynn Kalinauskas will moderate this course.

Online Format: The five-week book group will be conducted through an Intro Period module featuring background readings, followed by four modules on the book content. All modules are conducted in an online, asynchronous format. Participants are responsible for buying Bullets and Opium: Real-Life Stories of China After the Tiananmen Square Massacre (available in hardback, Kindle, and audiobook editions on Amazon) in advance of the book group start date. Any additional readings will be provided on the course site. Participants may take part in discussion only or choose to complete the book group with full participation for full benefits, as outlined below. Teachers who wish to receive full benefits must participate substantively throughout the course and submit an evaluation and a four-page Classroom Implementation Plan (CIP) describing ways to use the book in their teaching.

Eligibility and Selection: Open to high school literature, social studies, and Chinese language teachers. Admission is selective, with priority given to grade 9-12 contract teachers whose required curriculum in one of the above subject areas includes contemporary China and who are not enrolling in another winter NCTA course through TEA.

Book Group Dates: Intro Week, January 16-24; Module 1: January 25-31; Module 2: February 1-7; Module 3: February 8-15. Module 4: February 15-26, extended for Presidents Week. Curriculum Implementation Plans due March 20, for participants wishing to receive a certificate of contact hours and a completion award.

Participation is free, with the following benefits for full participation, as outlined above:

• Certificate of completion for 16 contact hours;

• $50 Amazon gift card as completion stipend. 

 

Apply at https://www.colorado.edu/ptea/content/bulletsopium. 

Application open from November 22, 2019- January 10, 2020 or when the course is full. 

For more information, e-mail lynn.parisi@colorado.edu or lynn.kalinauskas@nctasia.org.

For even more information, please check out this flyer here.

 

Event/Opportunity Type: 

NCTA-TEA Online Book Group: Factory Girls: Then and Now

Factory Girls: Then and Now

An Online Course Linking Book Discussion and Current Issues in China

 

JANUARY 25-MARCH 13, 2020 

 

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) at the Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado Boulder, invites applications for this new online offering tying a contemporary classic to contemporary issues.

 

Overview: Factory Girls explores the lives of young factory workers in China as part of what has been called the “largest migration in human history.” A groundbreaking work and New York Times Notable Book when it was published in 2008, Factory Girls has new relevance in 2020 in the context of China's slowing economy and U.S.-China trade frictions. In this NCTA course, we will delve into stories of China’s migrant factory workers and consider how domestic and global factors impact the lives of China’s industrial workforce. The book discussion will be organized around three themes—rural to urban migration, labor rights and manufacturing economies, and women’s rights. For each theme, selections from the book will be paired with relevant current news stories from China.

 

Online Format and Expectations: The course will be conducted through three asynchronous online modules. Participants may buy the book Factory Girls, by Leslie Chang (available in paperback and Kindle). Additional readings linking Chang’s accounts to current events will be provided on the course site. Teachers who wish to receive full benefits must contribute substantively to all three module discussions and submit an evaluation and a four-page Classroom Implementation Plan (CIP) describing ways to use the course content in their teaching.

 

Eligibility and Selection: Open to secondary school literature, social studies, history, and Chinese language teachers. Admission is selective, with priority given to grade 9-12 contract teachers whose required curriculum in one of these subject areas includes 21st-century China and who are not enrolling in another winter NCTA course through the NCTA national site at TEA, University of Colorado.

 

Book Group Dates: This seven-week course begins with online introductions January 25 and continues with three two-week modules: February 1-14; February 15-29; and February 29-March 13. Curriculum Implementation Plans are due April 10, 2020.

 

Participation is free, with the following benefits for full participation, as outlined above:

• Certificate of Completion for 16 professional development contact hours.

• $50 Amazon gift card as completion stipend.

 

Apply online at http://www.colorado.edu/ptea/factorygirls beginning November 22.

Registration is limited to 20 eligible teachers and closes January 10, 2020, or when the course fills.

For more information, e-mail parisi@colorado.edu.

For even more information, please view the flyer here.

 

Event/Opportunity Type: 

Columbia University NCTA: Understanding China through Comics, Graphic Novels and Drama

You can still join our Fall Book Groups looking at Chinese history through the lens of texts that bring the past to life! We will cover the much-adapted Mulan starting Oct 23, followed by the Graphic Novel Forget Sorrow Nov 20 (read an interview with author/artist Belle Yang here).

Our the series Understanding China through Comics continues in the new year along with the graphic novel, A Chinese Life.

Read and work on your own time; earn professional development hours that also count towards study tour requirements.

Register Here

 


 

Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend

Understanding China through Drama

by Shiamin Kwa and Wilt L. Idema (Translators)
October 23 - November 19, 2019

4 Sessions; 8 PD Hour

Moderator: Lynn Kalinauskas

 


Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale

Understanding China through Graphic Novels

by Belle Yang
November 20 - December 17, 2019
4 Sessions; 8 PD Hours
Moderator: Karen Kane

 

 


 

 

Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty (907 - 1368)

Understanding China through Comics, Book 3

by Jing Liu

January 8 - January 28, 2020
3 Sessions; 6 PD Hours
Moderator: Karen Kane

 

 


 

The Making of Modern China: The Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty (1368-1912)

Understanding China through Comics, Book 4

by Jing Liu

January 29 - February 18, 2020
3 Sessions; 6 PD Hours
Moderator: Karen Kane

 

 

 

 


 

A Chinese Life

Understanding China through Graphic Novels

Written by Philippe Ôtié and Li Kunwu, Illustrated by Li Kunwu, Translated by Edward Gauvin
February 19 - April 14, 2020
8 Sessions; 16 PD Hours
Moderator: Karen Kane

Event/Opportunity Type: 

China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know

ANNOUNCING AN ONLINE BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP FOR NCTA ALUMNI WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH REGION
 
In the process of selecting a book for our Fall 2019 discussion, I seriously considered three options: a novel set in 20th century Japan, a non-fiction work dealing with the fate of four Chinese families in the Shanghai area during and after WWII, and the CHINA IN THE 21ST CENTURY: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW. I selected the latter book because there are significant China-focused domestic and international issues in our daily news and our book represents the third edition, published in 2018.
 
In this updated 2018 edition, Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, provide the reader with a framework for understanding the world's newest superpower.  Seeking to understand China's meteoric rise from developing country to superpower, the authors explore three historical legacies - Confucian thought, Western and Japanese imperialism, the Mao era, and the Tiananmen Square massacre - that largely define China's present-day trajectory. 
The authors introduce readers to the recent political, social and international issues, such as Sino-American relations, that are shaping contemporary China. 
 
For Pennsylvania teachers, completion of this book discussion will be worth fourteen Act 48 hours. For teachers in other states we can provide you with a certificate of completion and a personal letter from the instructor.
 
Teachers wishing to participate should send the registration form (below) by September 9, 2019 to Patrick Hughes at hughespw@pitt.edu or by fax at 412-624-4665
 
Event/Opportunity Type: