Past ASN Conference Papers

USCET is now featuring a collection of past papers from our 2006 and 2010 ASN conferences. Hosted by the University of Hong Kong, the 2006 ASN Conference covered topics related to the Sino-American Divide. The 2010 ASN Conference, hosted by Jiangnan University, dealt with the “The US in Crisis: Financial or Cultural?” 


Below are brief summaries of the essays with the name of the author(s), ASN Conference year, and university affiliation. For the full paper, see available links below.   



"Briding the Sino-American Divide: China's Peaceful Rise and Sino-American Relationship"

By Zhuang Jianzhong, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 2006

“Bridging the Sino-American Divide” asserts that China’s rise has been a peaceful one, arguing that China will not affect U.S. interests, but instead expand opportunities for both nations. Zhuang also touches on topics surrounding potential opportunities and challenges to the Sino-American dynamic, such as human rights standards, non-proliferation, international trade and Taiwan.


“McDonald’s Democracy -- A Cultural Perspective”

By Wang, Qing-jiang & Zhang Yi-jun, 2006

This paper explores the “McDonald’s phenomenon,” drawing links between democracy and the spread of McDonald’s and evaluating the effects the restaurant chain has had on the U.S. and its international reputation. Wang and Zhang conclude that it is corporate consumer forces like McDonald’s, not the American government, which has resulted in the spread of globalization and democracy on a worldwide level.


“U.S.-China Trade Relations in the 1970s and Hong Kong’s Role”

By Mei Renyi & Chen Juebin, Beijing Foreign Studies University, 2006

This report analyses U.S.-China trade in the 1970’s, a decade defined by the normalization of U.S.-Sino relations. Mei and Chen uniquely tie in the role of Hong Kong and its increasing importance, outlining Hong Kong’s role in the U.S.-Chain trade chain and the difficulties in separating trade between Hong Kong and mainland China. The paper concludes that these countries can solve current trade disputes peacefully, drawing on examples from the 1970s.


“Localizing the Global: Shifting Centers”

By Wang Jianping, Institute of American Studies, Northeastern University, 2006

Wang Jianping’s “Localizing the Global: Shifting Centers” explores the evolution and expansion of American Studies programs, noting that its growth has far surpassed any previous period. Wang goes on to analyze the role of globalization and argues that foreign literature has become more marginalized due to the mass consumer culture. Furthermore, American Studies is both post-national and de-territorialized: it has become increasingly difficult to study American literature without situating it, and the cultures from which it emerged, in transnational histories linked to globalization.


“American Studies in China: A Case Study of the Center for American Studies, Fudan University”

By Sun Zhe, Professor and Deputy Director, Fudan University, 2006

Sun Zhe’s essay summarizes the development of American Studies in China since 1979 and introduces the evolution of the Chinese perception of the United States. Sun uses a case study of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, the country’s first institute for American Studies, to illustrate the discipline’s achievements and challenges in China. Based on his findings, Sun asserts the importance of American Studies around the world and also emphasizes the need for a deeper analysis of American domestic politics and diplomacy.


“The Financial Crisis and its Impact on Latino Americans”

By Hu Wenhan, PLA Luoyang University of Foreign Languages, 2010

Hu Wenhan’s report evaluates the effects the 2008 financial crisis has had on American society, specifically on Latino Americans. Through the application of historical events and statistical analysis, Hu denotes the challenges faced by Latinos while also emphasizing newfound opportunities for minorities in America. She argues that the impact of the real-estate crisis provides an opportunity for minorities to leverage the current ethno-racial and generational inequality and better finance a housing infrastructure for the future in a more sustainable and equitable way.


“Michelle Obama has Not and is Not Going to Flout the White Standard of Beauty"

By Zen Liwen, Beijing Foreign Studies University, 2010

Zen Liwen’s report explores the white standard of beauty and defines it as a product of a patriarchal society in which African American women, and most white women, are consequently marginalized. By evaluating the First Lady’s physical appearance, political priorities and past beauty patterns, Zen concludes that Michelle Obama refuses to challenge the white standard of beauty or represent the needs of African American women in order to solicit male Caucasian votes.


“American Mulan: Powerful and Powerless”

By Zhao Gengcheng, Beijing Foreign Studies University, 2010

Zhao compares and contrasts The Woman Warrior, a serious novel, and Mulan, a popular cartoon movie, to deduce how Americans depict the role of women in Chinese society. The paper deals with two schools of thought: one arguing that the novel and film exploits Orientalism, stigmatizes China and distorts traditional Chinese folk lore. While the other school values the cultural integration of both Chinese and American elements while seeking to promote gender equality. Zhao also analyses the role of women in these Mulan stories, asserting that despite the power Mulan possesses, the female is still less powerful than men in society.