Our third stop in three days (three of seven for the week) took us to George Mason University. We had the pleasure of being toured around the campus by Dr. Karl Zhang, Professor of Chinese Modern and Classical Languages at GMU. It turns out that Professor Zhang did his Ph.D. work at Stanford University the same time that I was an undergraduate. Alas, our paths never crossed, as he was a fuzzy in Lit and I was a techie in Symbolic Systems.
Professor Dan Liu arranged for her Chinese Literature class of about 60 people to watch Autumn Gem at the Student Union II on campus. So, add a third way for us to get students to watch our documentary: food, extra credit, or make it a requirement! Among the other guests at the screening was Ken Lee. His grandmother and grandaunt were heavily involved in the revolutionary movement around the time of Qiu Jin. There is a well-known story of the two where they hid weapons and other contraband in a wedding sedan chair while traveling through China.
Again, one of the more frequent questions we’ve received throughout these screenings is what happened to her family after her death. Strangely, in her entire work of several hundred poems, essays and writings, there’s no mention of her family.
It’s early morning right now on Thursday, October 15. We’re off to Oldfields School in Glencoe, MD, for a talk at the boarding school. Then, we travel back south to the University of Maryland, College Park. Tomorrow, we’ll be taking the train over to New Jersey, where we’ll be screening at Princeton. The memories of college applications and my own high school experience are coming back to me. But, that’s a story for tomorrow!