Our exhibition, Journeys, tells the story of the students who participated in the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM). In this program, Henry Qu, who contributed his research and translation skills to the exhibition, will tell the story of three students, the remarkable Xu brothers. Qu will place the brothers’ story into the larger context of world history and reveal how the brothers’ lives became part of a complicated tangle of international exchange.
After the First Opium War (1840-1842), Britain and other countries forced the Qing court to open to foreign trade through international treaties. Collaborating with Chinese merchants, foreign traders ventured deeply into Inland China, created enormous wealth, and brought drastic changes to the life of millions. The Xu family is among these merchants. As the first group of Chinese who started to re-examine the world in the late 19th century, their family members left footprints in China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Three of the Xu boys came to the United States with CEM, spending some of their teenage years studying and living abroad. Some of their home letters are still preserved by CHS, shedding light on the family’s story and history. This is a story of self-made entrepreneurs, a story of international exchange, and a story of personal struggles under the tide of history.
This virtual event is free and open to the public. Click here to register! When you do, you’ll get an emailed receipt with an attached “ticket” — the Zoom link is in that ticket!
The Chinese Educational Mission is the subject of our current exhibition, Journeys 旅途: Boys of the Chinese Educational Mission. Visit us in person, or click the link to see a virtual 3D tour. And if podcasts are your thing, listen to our exhibition staff talk about how the exhibition came together, and the new discoveries that inspired it, on Grating the Nutmeg: The Podcast of Connecticut History.
Questions? Contact Adult Programs Manager Natalie Belanger via email at [email protected], or call (860) 236-5621 x289.
About the Speaker
Dr. Henry Qu is a Data Scientist at Indigo Agriculture and National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. While his main research focuses on data analysis and modeling in agricultural commodity prices, sustainability, and turfgrass cultivar evaluation, he is also interested in history, especially in the immigration history of Chinese Americans. Following the legacy of the Chinese Educational Mission, Dr. Qu came to the United States as an international student. Graduated from Rutgers University, Dr. Qu received his master’s degree in Statistics and doctorate in Plant Breeding. He has released 5 turfgrass cultivars, published 5 journal articles, 12 conference papers, and 1 book chapter.