School of Education Events

A German-Jewish “University” in China during World War II: A Unique Case of Transnational Refugee Education

Join WISCAPE for a ​presentation by Weijia Li, assistant professor of German and director of the Global Higher Education Master's Program, focused on adult education in a German-Jewish refugee community in Shanghai, China, during World War II.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
159 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison WI

weijia_headshot_2017Join the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) for a ​presentation by Weijia Li, assistant professor of German and the director of the Global Higher Education Master's Program within the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

From 1938 to 1941, more than 17,000 German and Austrian Jewish refugees, along with about 2,000 Polish Jews, fled from the Nazi terror to Shanghai, China. The Chinese harbor city thus became a safe haven for a Jewish diaspora in East Asia. The refugees’ hope to use Shanghai as a temporary waiting room for their transfer to North America or elsewhere was soon wrecked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the breakout of the Pacific War. As a result, they ended up spending a decade in China.

During his talk, Dr. Li will illustrate how the European Jewish refugees sustained their educational aspirations and efforts by creating various educational institutions in the war-torn Chinese city, including establishing a continuing education center grounded in the German concept of “Volkshochschule” (people’s university). Furthermore, ​Li will discuss how Jewish refugees’ educational tradition intersected with China’s political and societal frameworks. Drawing upon Shanghai’s Jewish adult education as a unique case, ​the talk will address how transnational refugee education could overcome deficit models and cultural homogenization.

This event is ​cosponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for German and European Studies (CGES), the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic Cultures, and the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies.

A light lunch will be provided by ​CGES! ​

Watch this ​​discussion on the WISCAPE YouTube channel.

Kari Dickinson

School of Education Facebook Page School of Education Twitter Feed School of Education YouTube Channel School of Education LinkedIn