Students at Lenoir-Rhyne University have had the unique opportunity to engage in Asian culture this semester through a series of events hosted by Melody Yunzi Li, LRU's Lineberger Multicultural Studies Scholar in Residence.
Li has been living on campus since August while teaching a course on Global Chinese cinema. She has hosted events throughout the semester on the Hickory campus and at LRU's Asheville Center, providing attendees an opportunity to learn about the Asian culture through seminars, dances, and film-screenings.
"Our students benefit greatly from Professor Li's personal experiences growing up in China and her professional knowledge," said Dr. Rand Brandes, Director of the Lineberger Center and the Visiting Writers Series, and Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English. "She always includes an academic dimension to her artistic events by engaging attendees in dynamic question and answer sessions or providing her own commentary. She has certainly opened up the world to our students and given them a global passport that they will inevitably use in the future."
Originally from Guangzhou, China, Li pursued a Master of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong in 2009, where she gained a chance to participate in a summer program on a full tuition waiver at Cornell University.
"I am a great example of how an exchange program can change your life," Li said. "After visiting Cornell in 2010 I decided I really liked the academic atmosphere in America. I went back home and began applying for Doctorate programs in the states."
Li was admitted to seven university's including Harvard, but she chose to attend Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., after receiving a scholarship from the McDonnell International Scholars Academy. Currently, Li is working on her dissertation with plans to graduate in May 2018. Her research focuses on modern Chinese literature, film and media, Sinophone literatures and cultures, and Asian Diasporic Literature. She recently published, "'At Home in the World': Hong Kong as a Cosmopolitan City in Xu Xi's Unwalled City" in Telos.
LRU's Lineberger Multicultural Studies Scholar in Residence is supported by the Lineberger Center for Cultural and Educational Renewal, which also collaborates with the University's nationally recognized Visiting Writers Series. Each year a national search is held for the Scholar in Residence. The program is aimed at providing LRU students with opportunities to have conversations about multiculturalism, and to work with someone who has expertise not available on the LRU campus.
To learn more visit lr.edu.