CFP: From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes: Sino-American Educational Exchange, History and Prospect (Edited volume)


Editors: Jeff Kyong-McClain (University of Idaho) and Joseph Tse-Hei Lee (Pace University)


In the early 1980s, after three decades of almost complete absence, American educational institutions, governmental agencies, philanthropic and professional associations were practically unanimous in their enthusiasm for the return of widespread educational exchange between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. The following three decades saw numerous Sino-American educational links built and several millions of students and scholars travel in one direction or the other. However, recent years have witnessed a retreat from that great enterprise. For example, The Chronicle asks if there has been an “End of the Romance between Chinese Students and American Colleges”, and the ongoing, sometimes bi-partisan attacks on Confucius Institutes in the United States, along with what one assumes is the more partisan suspension of Fulbright and Peace Corps activity with China, shows in a stark manner the creeping hostilities that threaten to damage such exchange. 


In light of the new era of suspicion, and the near certainty that the Sino-American relationship will be the preeminent one to watch for the 21st century, in terms of potential impact on global education, it behooves scholars to take a closer look at Sino-American educational exchange both historically and in its current forms. It is the intent of the editors that this volume, by providing a venue for theoretically informed and data-rich scholarship from a variety of disciplines, will bring together studies that will both push future scholarship forward and provide important source material for those engaged in Sino-American education policy discussions at any level. This project sets out to draw on the diverse experiences and practices in and between the U.S. and China to transcend both Sinocentric and Eurocentric attitudes toward the study of Chinese-American cross-cultural engagement in the educational sphere. 


An academic publisher has expressed strong interest in this project and the editors welcome contributions from scholars (both faculty and PhD candidates) working in the humanities and social science disciplines. We seek chapter proposals on a wide range of topics related to the past, present and future of Sino-U.S. educational exchange. We prefer detailed case studies which nonetheless point to larger issues, over sweeping assessments with little or hackneyed data. Some areas of particular interest:

  • Missionary education in 19th and early 20th Centuries China
  • Historical or current private foundation or professional association activities
  • The impact of law on exchanges (in the U.S. or China)
  • Government involvement, either in support or opposition
  • The experience of Confucius Institutes

We are looking for chapters of 6,000-8,000 words (including notes). Please send an abstract of 300-500 words and a CV with contact info (all in English) to Jeff Kyong-McClain ( and Joseph Tse-Hei Lee ( by May 30, 2021. Notification of preliminary acceptance will be made by June 30, 2021. Full chapters will be due by October 30, 2021.