Art his­tory pro­fes­sor finds his com­fort zone

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING in Wen­zhou, Zhe­jiang

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.

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