The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN faculty given China Institute grants

Two CSUN professors finished their projects for which they received faculty development grants of $1,000 each from the China Institute for the 2006-07 academic year.

Cinema and Television Arts professor Alexis Krasilovsky and Accounting and Information Systems professor Jeff Zhang were each awarded grants for developing their individual projects from the institute. The work of these professors was regarded as bringing a better understanding of Chinese culture to CSU Northridge.

Dr. Justine Su, director of the China Institute, said, “Though the work of each professor differs, both help to promote the understanding and collaboration between CSUN and Chinese scholars.”

Krasilovsky’s grant went toward the completion of her latest film, “Women Behind the Camera.” The film is the expansion of her ongoing study of women involved in cinematic production, which was brought into the public eye with Krasilovsky’s first published book by the same name.

The book focuses on camerawomen in Hollywood and New York. The film, however, expands its focus far beyond the borders of the United States.

” ‘Women Behind the Camera’ celebrates not only camerawomen’s survival in a male-dominated field, but their own diverse visions of the world,” said Krasilovsky in an e-mail interview. Starting where the book left off, the movie includes stories of camerawomen from 15 different countries and every continent short of Antarctica.

With a variety of stories included in the documentary, one that especially stands out is the segment on camerawomen from China. The two sequences in China document the stories of Shu Shi Jun, who traveled through the region filming Mao ZeDong and other political figures, and Chen Jin Ti, who’s career started at the age of 16 when China first opened the gateway for women to work behind the camera.

“The interview in Beijing? is proving to be the most interesting. The stories told by pioneer camerawomen Shu Shi Jun and Chen Jin Ti are so important to the project,” Krasilovsky said. “Without the support of CSUN’s China Institute, editing and subtitling this interview would have been impossible.”

An advanced screening of “Women Behind the Camera” will be held in March at the Armer Auditorium in the Manzanita hall building.

The other grant went to professor Jeff Zhang for his research on the development and effects of e-government, government services provided online, in China. According to Zhang, the growth China has experienced during the past two decades is a direct benefit of their economic reform policies. But while commerce has evolved, the political process has not been met with the same attitude of change, remaining a stagnant process in comparison.

E-government can become the key to bringing the country’s governing up to speed. Implementing a system of e-government would build stronger relationships between levels of society and progress China’s continued growth. “Ideally, it should improve governing efficiency and transparency,” said Zhang. “This would motivate citizens to become more involved in the political process and structuring of their society.”

Zhang has consolidated his research in an article titled “The readiness and current status of e-governing in China,” which outlines the highlights of his data. He hopes that his current and future research helps lay the groundwork to build an archetype of government reform for countries that share a similar political past with China.

The data collected during his trips to China will soon be included into his lesson plans for his students in the oncoming years. Zhang expressed plans for his future work. “I want to teach Information Systems in a more multicultural environment by using (the research) from China and future projects in my class.”

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