Clayton Dube is executive director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, an institute he has headed since it was established in 2006.  He lived and worked in China for five years and has visited over fifty times for research, to lead delegations, and to lecture.  

Trained as a socio-economic historian, his work now focuses on the impact of economic and political change on Chinese society and on the multifaceted and evolving U.S.-China relationship.  He writes the institute’s Talking Points newsletter and is the author of several guides to teaching about China’s past and present.  He was associate editor of the academic quarterly Modern China, and has been editorial director for the magazines AsiaMedia, Asia Pacific Arts, and US-China Today.  He has produced more than a dozen documentary films including the institute’s Assignment: China series about American media coverage of China and is frequently cited by American and Chinese media.  He is also co-moderator of Chinapol, a fellow of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and a director of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.  Educated at San Diego State University and the University of California Los Angeles, he has won teaching awards at three universities.

 Title of Keynote Address: China: Doors Opening or Closing? What China’s New Normal Means for the Chinese and Americans

AbstractThe U.S. and Chinese economies are joined at the hip. Worries about China’s economy are driving gyrations in our own markets, in commodity prices, and in geopolitical calculations. Is this nervousness warranted? Will China continue to be open to trade and investment from abroad? Will Chinese investment in the U.S. continue to grow? What do China’s leaders mean when they talk about forging a “new normal” for their economy? Why are young people at the center of Chinese hopes and fears? How are these economic shifts affecting lives on both sides of the Pacific? These are some of the questions we’ll explore. 


Annie Abbott is Associate Professor/Academic Professional at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her teaching, researchAnnie Abbott and publications focus on community service learning (CSL), social entrepreneurship, and business Spanish, with a growing attention to advocacy and civic engagement. By combining LSP and CSL, her students apply and refine their learning while meeting community-identified needs.

For instance, her Business Spanish students learn about bilingual social media marketing and work in teams to manage the Facebook pages for local clients. In another example, the final exam in her “Spanish in the Community” course required students to create--in Spanish and English--tags and SEO-rich descriptions for YouTube videos about local immigration issues that were produced by the town’s local public access television station.

By having students engage in these activities, Prof. Abbott creates opportunities for learners to develop their digital literacy, deepen their knowledge of Latino communities and provide needed services to local organizations. This approach is evident in her textbook writing as well:Comunidades: Más allá del aula and Día a día: De lo personal a lo profesional, both published by Pearson.

Title of Keynote Address: “Less Specific Purposes for LSP: The Skills Students Need in College” 

Abstract: Throughout the twists and turns of our professional lives, most people begin with general knowledge of their field then acquire more specific skills as they gain experience and attain new positions. Many will change jobs and some will even pivot into new careers. Looking back on our college lives, many people find themselves far afield from the major they chose as freshmen. If this is the winding path we take in our first language, the same unpredictability is true for second language needs. Thus, in this talk I will explore what we can offer students if we look at what common intercultural communication skills are necessary across the professions rather than only concentrating on the specifics of certain professions. Rather than being an indictment of Business Arabic, Medical Spanish or Chinese for Law Enforcement, this is an invitation to begin LSP instruction earlier in our language programs and present it throughout the curriculum.

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