Thursday, Oct 6, 2016
by dsuchens

10/5 Update: 
*The location of the Conference has moved from 202 Jones Hall to 10 Guyot Hall.*

How and Why Language Learning is Useful in China Careers

A Conference Sponsored by Princeton in Beijing, the East Asian Studies Program at Princeton University

October 22 – October 23, 2016

10 Guyot Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544-1008

There is wide agreement that language is the gateway to culture; that the better one is at a second language, the more natural, and effective, communication in it will be; and that the more two languages differ, the more important it is to cross the divide.  But exactly why is this so?  Exactly what are the benefits, in various kinds of cross-cultural work, of getting good at a language?  These questions have not, at least for the case of Chinese, been carefully studied, and may also not have been adequately appreciated.  The professional journals in the Chinese language teaching field contain much about how to analyze language, how to teach it, and how to test results, but almost nothing on why language learning matters later on in life.  The purpose of this conference is to address this question, for academics, as well as for people in business, journalism, government work, and elsewhere.

There is no registration fee for this conference. Those interested in attending, please RSVP by visiting the following link: (1 RSVP per attendee)

Please RSVP before Sunday, October 9.

To download and view the Conference Program, please click HERE.

Panel Members

To download and read the paper associated with the panel presenter, please follow the respective links below.

Academic Humanities

Julia Andrews, Art History, The Ohio State University
James Hargett, Literature, SUNY Albany
Perry Link, Literature, University of California, Riverside
Anna Shields, Literature, Princeton University


Gregory Gilligan, Managing Director PGA Tour (Professional Golf Association) for Greater China
Thomas Gorman, Chair and Editor-in-Chief, FORTUNE China
Geoff Ziebart, former President, China for Crane Company


Peter Hessler, The New Yorker*
Ian Johnson, The New York Times*
Melinda Liu, Newsweek
Mary Kay Magistad, NPR

Law and Political Science

Ira Belkin, New York University
Donald Clarke, George Washington University
Rory Truex, Princeton University*

Government Work

Bill Bikales, United Nations (retired)
Owen Fletcher, US State Department
James Gadsden, US State Department (retired)
Julian Smisek, US State Department 


Liu Lening, Columbia University
Sun Chao-fen, Stanford University
Zhu Yongping, Notre Dame University 


Chou Chih-ping, Princeton University
Perry Link, University of California Riverside
Henry Zhao, Princeton in Beijing


Princeton in Beijing Logo