Art history professor finds his comfort zone
Stacey Duff had no idea what to expect when he came to teach at Wenzhou-Kean University in 2014.
However, after teaching at the cooperative Sino-US university for two years, the former art critic and journalist at a Beijing magazine said he felt more than satisfied about his current life and work at the joint venture.
“I’m happy when I wake up in the morning and then come to work here every day,” said Duff, who hails from the United States. “I think I have a great job.”
Before transferring to prosperous Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, Duff, who earned his degree in creative writing and poetry from Brown University in the US, had worked in Beijing for 10 years, interviewing artists and painters.
When he was informed of the opportunity to work at the university, Duff, who had taught at universities in Beijing and Tianjin, believed that it was a chance to reconnect with the US education system. “I enjoyed teaching,” hesaid. Although it was difficult to leave Beijing, where there’s a lot of resource in terms of art, Duff said he was willing to go and see other parts of China.
During the past two years, Duff taught courses of English writing and art history. He took students to local galleries and shows, and helped them organize events surrounding topics like autism and ended up learning a lot from the students.
“Something that impresses me about our students is that they have their own ideas, work really hard, work well together and make things happen,” he said, adding that the students are very inspirational.
He has finished his first book of poetry and is working on his next book.
“I feel very creative here, for the landscape, the professors I work with and the students.”
Stacey Duff discusses art at Wenzhou-Kean University in Zhejiang province in June.