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Articles

Interview with Pan Guang:

Q. What has brought you to the U.S.?

A. I was fortunate to be one of five Chinese scholars to receive this year's grant for a Special Award for Canadian Studies. This provided air fare, travel and living expenses and health insurance from the International Council for Canadian Studies. I requested the grant in order to visit universities and institutes, meet Canadian colleagues, and to gather materials related to my work. My aims in visiting Canada and the U.S. included interviewing former Shanghai Jews now living in both countries in order to compile oral history records, and lecturing on various topics related to my research.

Q. Where have you lectured during this trip - and on what topics?

A. Here is a list:

  • The University of Toronto - "Jews in China."
  • B'nai Tikvah Congregation, Illinois - "The Jewish Presence in China," "China and Israel, 1949-1995," and "The Chinese View on Anti-Semitism and Zionism"
  • Rutgers University, New Jersey - "Jews in Shanghai."
  • Anti Defamation League, New York - "Chinese View on Anti-Semitism and Zionism"
  • Stanford University, CA - "China and the Middle East"
  • Reunion of Former Shanghai Jews, Los Angeles - "Report of Recent Work of Shanghai Jewish Studies Association."
  • Holocaust Center, Vancouver - "Chinese View on the Holocaust".

Q. What have you done on previous trips to U.S.?

A. I have been in this country twice before. In 1988, I was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York and the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. More recently, in 1992, when I visited the U.S. from May to July, I was a visiting scholar in international studies and Holocaust studies at Claremont Mckenna College and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. From August to October, I worked on Jewish and Israeli studies at Boston University.

Q. Where else have you studied outside of China?

A. I have been quite fortunate to have opportunities to study abroad. These have included being a visiting scholar in Jewish studies and Middle East studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in 1991; in Eurasian and Russian Studies at the Ecole des hautes Edutes en Sciences Sociales, Paris in 1994; and in European and Russian studies at the University of Munich, and the Munich and Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest in 1995.

Q. How did you get interested in Jewish Studies?

A. It all stemmed from my own personal experiences. As a small boy, growing up in Shanghai, I lived next door to a Jewish family. The son in that family of Holocaust survivors and I became friends, and often played together. Later, I became fascinated by the history of this group of people who came to Shanghai, created their own world in our city, and then left. This was the inspiration for my later studies in European History and sociology, and Middle East and Jewish studies.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. I have just completed a book on The Jews in Shanghai. Published by Shanghai Pictorial Publishing House. This book is filled with original photographs from the Jewish community.

My future projects in include working with Beverly Friend on an album on the Jews in China, a book on Jewish Politics in Shanghai, 1900 to 1949, papers about "Zionism, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust," and participation in the "International Conference on Jewish Refugees in Shanghai" scheduled for either Berlin or Hong Kong around the middle of 1997.

Q. What are your professional associations in China?

A. I am Secretary General of the Center for International Studies, Shanghai Municipality , and Director and Professor of the Institute of Eurasian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. I also hold the position of Dean and Professor at the Center of Jewish Studies, Shanghai. In addition, in 1994 I was quite pleased to receive the James Friend Annual Memorial Award for Sino-Judaic Studies.