The Center for East Asian Studies extends its warm congratulations to Wu Hung (Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Art History). Wu Hung’s new book, First Class: Teaching Chinese Art History at Harvard University and the University of Chicago (Hunan Art Press 2020, in Chinese) won two prizes in January 2021. It was first selected by a panel of independent jurors as one of the two “best books on art” for the Fifteenth Annual Awards of Chinese Book Publishers, the largest such competition in China. It was also chosen as one of “the most influential books on art education” by China Publishing & Media Journal.
This book consists of twenty-four “first lectures” which Professor Wu has given in different courses since 1988, including eighteen lectures written and taught at the University of Chicago. A team of college and graduate students from different departments worked with Professor Wu to translate the lectures into Chinese.
In addition, the 2020 National College Entrance Exams in China (高考 gao kao) included Professor Wu's essay "Historical Materiality in Art" (in Chinese) as a required component for reading comprehension and analysis. 20 million students took these entrance exams in 2020. Past exams are made public so high school students can study them to prepare for their own exams.