W&M professor leading prestigious Fulbright-Hays Program in China

Craig Canning, an associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary, is leading 16 educators from across the nation in the 2009 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad: History and Culture in China Program.

The program, which runs from the end of June through July, focuses on China's history, culture, changing society and rapid economic growth, according to a release from the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, which administers the program.

Canning in 2004 when he served as a scholar-escort for the Fulbright-Hays summer seminar in China. (Courtesy photo)"I consider it a privilege to help introduce American educators, most of whom are experiencing China for the first time, to a remarkable period of transition in China's long, rich history," said Canning.

During the program, Canning and his group will visit Beijing, Xi'an, Chongqing and Shanghai "to gain first-hand experience of China's dynamic society while learning about the history and culture of the country and focusing on their own areas of expertise," according to the release.

"The seriousness with which the Chinese approach the annual Fulbright-Hays seminar -- the product of a bilateral exchange agreement between China's Ministry of Education and the U.S. Department of Education -- is obvious in the quality of lectures, briefings and site visits they arrange," said Canning.

Each participant is required to develop a curriculum project based on his/her experience. Those projects will be made available to educators nationwide.

Canning's principal teaching and research interests are in modern Chinese and Japanese history, East Asian civilization, and Sino-American relations. In 1981, he was awarded William & Mary's highest teaching honor for junior faculty members, the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. He has served as the scholar-escort for the Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar on Chinese History and Culture seven times. Additionally, he has led several Smithsonian Institution study tours of China and served as resident director of the Council on International Educational Exchange program for American students at Nanjing University. Canning is a member of the Association for Asian Studies and the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad: History and Culture in China Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and has been administered by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations since 1981.