Yale celebrates successful collaboration with Chinese publishing powerhouse

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From left: John Donatch, director, Yale University Press; Zhou Mingwei, president of China International Publishing Group; Yale President Richard Levin; and Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed '61 with "Chinese Silks," the final installment in "The Culture & Civilization of China Series." (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Yale University held a ceremony on Sept. 19 to commemorate the ongoing collaboration between Yale University Press (YUP) and China International Publishing Group (CIPG). The occasion also marked a milestone for the publishing partners, which recently issued the final book in their award-winning series, “The Culture and Civilization of China.”

The series provides comprehensive access to the riches of Chinese culture to a global audience. The first volume in the series, “Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting,” published in 1997, won the Hawkins Award in the Arts Category from the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. The latest book, “Chinese Silks,” was published in August.

Each of the nine volumes in the series is the result of cooperation between Chinese and Western scholars and publishers. The series is aimed at both interested general readers and specialists. It presents the best of recent scholarship, and also makes original and previously inaccessible resources available for the first time. The books are published in both English and Chinese.

During the ceremony at Yale, President Richard C. Levin and Zhou Mingwei, president of CIPG, delivered remarks about the success of the collaboration. Levin also acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed ’61 to the co-publishing venture. In addition to serving as the driving force for the landmark “Culture and Civilization of China” series, Reed has significantly advanced Yale’s international interests, giving generously of his time, experience and counsel on countless occasions over the years, noted Levin.  

In August, Reed was honored in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with a Special Chinese Book Award, the nation’s highest literary prize, for his vital contributions to promoting Chinese culture and civilization through the publication of the series. An award was also presented to Levin, who was represented at the ceremony by Yale Professor Tian Xu.

In addition to the book series, YUP and CIPG have collaborated on “Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture,” a fully integrated multimedia program for beginner-level Chinese that immerses students in the sounds of Mandarin, while simultaneously exposing them to the sights and culture of China.  “Encounters” features a dramatic series that transports the viewers directly to the cities and villages of the vast Chinese nation. Filmed on location in six different regions across the country (Beijing, Qinghai Lake, Shanghai, Yangshuo, Suzhou, and Xi’an), these episodes show scenes from daily life across China, providing students with as close to an authentic experience of China without them having to travel there. A free episode from the program can be viewed online here.

Informed by the latest language learning research and enriched by the creativity of language and media experts who participated in its development, the program is designed to accelerate student proficiency and cultural understanding.  In addition to a dramatic series, “Encounters” integrates other multimedia content such as podcasts and rap songs that keep students engaged and support different learning styles.  Finally, the program helps teachers with an array of innovative media, activities, and teaching tips to create a high-performance classroom.

Yale University Press

Founded in 1908 and part of one of the world’s leading research universities, Yale University Press is one of the oldest and largest university presses in the United States. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, with offices as well in London, England, the Press publishes more than 400 books annually in a wide range of disciplines, including art, history, politics, religion, literature, science, philosophy, and many other fields. Its foreign language program features widely used textbooks on Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and French. 

China International Publishing Group

Founded in 1949, CIPG is the premier publisher of foreign language media in China, producing more than 3,000 books and 30 print and online magazines a year in more than 10 languages. The Group has 12 branches overseas, and its publications are available in more than 180 countries. Since its founding, CIPG’s business has expanded to include websites (including www.china.org.cn, a multi-language news website), printing, and book distribution services as well as book and magazine publishing.

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