Brown University Screening and Recap


Autumn Gem at Brown University

During our East Coast scholar interview trip last June, we also interviewed Professor Lingzhen Wang at Brown University. Following our stop at Connecticut College, Rae and I drove up to Providence, Rhode Island on Wednesday afternoon. This is now the fifth time I’ve been in Providence, having come here as a high school student to visit the University, twice for Autumn Gem, once for a wedding, and finally while traveling with singer-songwriter Vienna Teng on her East Coast Tour in 2003. Unfortunately, in all these instances, I’ve only been in Rhode Island for a day or two at most, so I really can’t say that I’ve spent quality time in our nation’s smallest state.

The Fall colors are really making the East Coast look lovely this time of year; it certainly doesn’t hurt that the weather is similar to a brisk California winter day. It’s good that we planned our Midwest and East Coast tour before the snow arrives; I don’t think we would have been able to make every stop on this tour in such weather.

I’ve learned that my grandfather once attended Brown University as an undergraduate. It’s been told to me that he transferred to MIT because he couldn’t pass the swimming test at Brown! Walking by the buildings, I wondered what it would have been like for him to be in the United States back in the roaring twenties.

Wilson Hall was a great venue for our screening; the projector and screen were top notch in quality and made Autumn Gem look great. The four sponsors of the film — Department of East Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, and Cogut Center for the Humanities — did a great job of advertising the screening with posters throughout the campus. We saw students from nearby RISD, people from the outside community, and various faculty members at our screening of 45 people.

Questions came fast and furious in the Q&A session. Some notable ones included:

  • How can you differentiate between the myth and reality of Qiu Jin?
  • Was she familiar with American and Japanese feminists during her time.
  • Was she aware of the women’s suffrage movement in the US?
  • What is the status of women today in China?
  • How did your research (primarily English-based) influence the process of developing the film? Were we losing something in the translation?

Following the screening, we drove over to Boston, MA for a showing and seminars today at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. We’ll have an open date on Friday and another screening at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center on Saturday. Until then, here’s photos from the Brown University screening!


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