Cornell to Open Shanghai Office in 2016

Cornell’s first international office is expected to open in Shanghai in 2016, as part of a University-wide initiative to increase Cornell’s global presence and students’ accessibility of international programs to Cornell students, according to Laura Spitz JSD ’06, vice provost of international affairs. “Opening a University office in Shanghai, China will create important momentum and signal that Cornell is committed to expanding its international footprint in important and strategic ways,” Spitz said. The office will serve many roles, including convening conferences in Shanghai, recruiting students and maintaining connections with alumni, according to President Elizabeth Garrett. With almost 1,200 alumni living in China, Cornell has strong ties to China, according to Spitz. Additionally, approximately 1,600 Chinese students have studied at Cornell, including approximately 500 undergraduate students, according to Spitz.

Style Over Substance: The Assassin

By MARK DISTEFANO

If it weren’t for the immaculate visuals in The Assassin, the whole experience would be a snore. I’ve been often frustrated by the commonality of filmmakers’ grammar choices. For all the options available in cinema, many directors choose to frame in the same combination of shots — wide, over-the-shoulder, low angle — again and again and again. Hou Hsiao-hsien is not one of these directors. He creates painstakingly mounted studies in mood in which the form is related to the content inextricably.

SCHULMAN | China’s Internet Dilemma

The other week, I found a Facebook picture that was fascinating. I know what you’re thinking — and no, the photo didn’t involve anyone’s crazy weekend. I’m sure there were some crazy photos of some crazy weekends, but this photo was definitely crazier. It was a picture of Facebook — specifically a graph of all the cities connected by Facebook. Tiny dots with lines drawn between them represented the connections between each city.

Lecture Highlights Press-Government Relationship in China

Maria Repnikova, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, gave a lecture yesterday in Kaufmann Auditorium called “Critical Journalists and the State in China: The Case of Guarded Improvisation,” which examined the complex relationship between the press and the government in modern China. Co-sponsored by the Cornell Contemporary China Initiative and the Department of Communication, the lecture covered Repnikova’s doctoral and postdoctoral research. Repnikova  made the argument that contrary to the popular image, Chinese journalists critique the state within certain boundaries set by the central party. According to Repnikova, the popular imagery of Chinese media tends to casts journalists as “loyal agents of the party state” and claim that the state “gives very little leeway for criticism.”
However, Repnikova said while the press does have severe restrictions under the Chinese state, a particular form of “critical journalism” has emerged where the state allows the press to critique it, but with fluid limitations. “Beneath this imagery of collision between isolated critics and an omni-powerful state, there are some exchanges that take place between various journalists and Chinese officials that often go unnoticed in popular media depictions,” Repnikova said.

Cornell Partners With Chinese Dairy Producer

Cornell signed a research partnership agreement on Sept. 23 with Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group — the largest dairy producer in China —  to find ways to improve dairy production, according to a University press release. The agreement emerged after the University and the Yili group signed a memorandum of understanding in April for research collaboration on increasing dairy product innovation. These public-private partnerships are necessary in order to find ways to feed the growing world population, according to Prof. Martin Wiedmann, food science. “[This partnership is] needed to increase research to create a thriving global agricultural economy and provide high-quality food products for a world that is predicted to soon reach nine billion people,” he said in the release.

Rock and Rollin' Mozart

The Shanghai Quartet visited Bailey Hall on Saturday for a riveting performance that had some of the rough-and-tumble feel of a rock concert. To open the performance, the quartet took on Mozart’s String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, setting an elegant yet chipper tone for the concert. They dallied with the first movement’s lightsome runs with a tempered gusto. In the Andante that followed, however, the quartet attacked a dark counterpoint, allowing it to well up with an unexpectedly inward melancholy. When the counterpoint motif came back, they erupted in a startling, hall-reverberating crescendo that brilliantly shattered the remaining façade of delicate composure the piece had initially created.

The Death-Defying Golden Dragons

Drum roll. The audience at the State Theater was absolutely silent — anxious with anticipation — waiting for what would be the grand finale of the Golden Dragon Acrobats’ dynamo performance last Saturday.
“Ladies and gentlemen, what you are about to see is incredibly dangerous. Please, do not try this at home.”
Huh … they’re saying that now? The first two hours of the performance had already seen a multitude of acrobatic feats that, performed by lesser-trained individuals, would have resulted in any number of injuries, as mild as hernias or as severe as broken bones.

Counting Down the Days to “New Beijing, New Olympics”

The Olympics open in twelve days. You could say that Beijing is putting the final touches on what it hopes will be a masterpiece, a sign of China’s rising power and ascension to an important global position. Yet these preparations have cut widely and deeply into the daily lives of those who live in and around Beijing.

Letter from Beijing

Walking down the streets of Beijing is a surreal experience. There are times when it doesn’t even seem like you’re in the same country, let alone same city. On the one hand there are towers of steel and glass and deluxe shopping malls with high-powered brand names pasted on the walls, but there are also areas of poverty, where resident are just waiting for an eviction order to make way for the next shiny development.