Explaining the East-West Culture Gap
Why does the East, and especially China, approach many things – from innovation to intellectual property to human rights to elder care – so differently than the West? And is life in the East warmer, and why is the West so crazy about the memoir, and what exactly is going on with Asian and Asian American math scores? In this provocative, essential and wide-ranging talk, Jen shows how a profound difference in self drives many of the differences we perceive, as well as how understanding that difference –and embracing the bicultural among us – can foster creativity and tolerance.
Two Selves Go to College
Do all students want to find their passion and make a difference? Do they all come to college ready to speak up in class, and talk about themselves, and defend their career choices, if they must, to their parents? Not necessarily if they come from working class or non-Western backgrounds. Drawing on studies, stories from life, and her own journey toward becoming a novelist, Jen presents a personal and helpful framework in which to place the cultural struggles of some students.
Art, Culture & Self
Is our mantra “To thine own self be true”? Or do we believe that, as Humphrey Bogarts says in Casablanca, that “the problems of the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world”? Drawing on a host of examples from art, architecture, and narrative, Jen fascinatingly demonstrates how deeply our relative individualism or collectivism affects our self expression –as well as how our artworks in turn shape ourselves.
An Evening with Gish Jen
Jen will read from her fiction and talk about her process and journey as well as about her themes and the world.