Chinese Professor Receives a Fellowship to Study Calligraphy in China

CATEGORIES: March 2014

Tonglu Li, Assistant Professor of Chinese, is WLC’s most recent recipient of the Jeoraldean S. McClain Art History Faculty Fellowship.

The Fellowship – established by Jeoraldean McClain, professor emerita of art history – covers a portion of travel abroad expenses for faculty who wish to engage in a structured summer study program in art history.

With the help of the Fellowship, Professor Li will attend the 9th Biennial International Conference on Hanzi Calligraphy Education from May 29-31, 2014 in China (Nanning, Guangxi). At this conference, Dr. Li will deliver a paper focusing on the methodology of teaching calligraphy as an art form accessible to learners with limited knowledge of Chinese. Li also plans to attend a special calligraphy training program in Beijing, which will focus on the aesthetic and theoretical aspects of writing Chinese characters.

Li’s long term goal is to offer a Chinese calligraphy course for ISU students.

Other recent recipients of the Jeoraldean S. McClain Art History Faculty Fellowship include Assistant Professor Melissa Deininger (2011) and Professor Kathy Leonard (2012).

Dr. Deininger used her Fellowship to attend summer art history courses at the Louvre.  She employed the theories and information from these sessions to inform her new research of art and architecture as forms of political propaganda. Professor Deininger has since developed and offered a new French course on literary and artistic propaganda.

With the help of the McClain Fellowship, Professor Leonard traveled to Panajachel, Guatemala to study back strap weaving under the auspices of the non-profit organization Tradiciones Mayas. This group works with women weavers around the Lake Atitlán region to help them become self-sufficient through the sale of their woven products.

During her two weeks in Panajachel, Dr. Leonard took daily weaving classes with a local weaver and visited several near-by villages to meet with members of women’s weaving cooperatives. Leonard says that, while working with the female weavers, she was allowed to photograph and video-tape freely. She has been able to use the materials from her trip in several of her courses, thereby helping WLC students better understand Guatemalan culture.