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UK Confucius Institute Presents Symposium on Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

By Mariah Rhodes

(Feb. 26, 2015) — A symposium this week at the University of Kentucky will explore the experience of Jewish Refugees in China, who fled east to escape Nazi persecution before and during World War II. "Taking in Strangers: Comparing Asian and Jewish Moral Traditions" will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27, in the UK Athletics Auditorium in William T. Young Library. The symposium is free and open to the public.

In conjunction with the traveling exhibition, "Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941)," which is on display through March 4, in Young Library, the UK Confucius Institute and UK Libraries have teamed up with UK's Jewish Studies Program and Department of History to present a symposium on this movement. "Taking in Strangers" looks at the sheltering of thousands of European Jewish refugees in Shanghai during the period of the Holocaust and provides an opportunity to consider traditions of obligation toward "strangers" in East Asia and compare them with Jewish thought and practice.

"Taking in Strangers" will feature a keynote address by Haiyan Lee, associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature at Stanford University and author of "The Stranger and the Chinese Moral Imagination." Other speakers scheduled at the symposium are: 

· Daniel Frank, professor of philosophy and director of Jewish Studies Program at Purdue University; 

· Jianjun He, assistant professor of Chinese studies at UK; and

· Steve Hochstadt, professor of history at Illinois College and author of "Sources of the Holocaust" and "Exodus to Shanghai: Stories of Escape from the Third Reich."

The symposium will end with a tour of the exhibition "Jewish Refugees in Shanghai" at 3:30 p.m. and a reception at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Gallery. The tour and reception are also free and open to the public.