The American Experience Initiative (AEI), sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation, is a multi-platform collaborative model for cross-cultural education and engagement between American and Chinese universities. This ambitious initiative is led by Arizona State University, but combines the resources and intellect of scholars from across the globe. It is inherently interdisciplinary, bringing together the perspectives of different forms of academic inquiry. It blends the advantages of face-to-face collaboration with the broad reach provided by internet technology. It is global in its fundamental nature, encouraging Chinese students and faculty to appreciate the culture of the United States in its many nuances, but also to help Americans understand China better.
Components of the AEI
Module Development Workshops
Brings U.S. and Chinese faculties together to work on curriculum development. It invites curricular proposals that cover a range of historical and contemporary themes. The selected Chinese teams will participate in a collaborative week long series of workshops that will build out the module jointly with ASU teams and Luce consultants.
Annual Leadership Academy
Designed to foster in-depth understanding in American culture to support the development of modules. In addition to academic discussions and panel sessions, the academy integrates high-level interdisciplinary experience by partnering with Global Leadership organizations in Washington, D.C.
Learn more about the module development process on our Workshops page.
Virtual Learning Experiences
A separate, but conceptually integrated component. The VLE establishes a virtual platform for all AEI participants to share module updates, interact with other scholars and stay connected with the AEI network. It includes repositories of content as collections of complex learning objects, associated learning activities and a metadata wrapper of relational information.
Find out more about Virtual Learning Experiences.
Eric Wertheimer's diverse professional output includes writing cultural history and poetry, as well as exploring the curricular and research possibilities of the digital humanities. After earning a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Dr. Wertheimer joined the faculty at ASU in 1996. He is currently Associate Dean for Graduate Initiatives and faculty director of ASU’s Digital Humanities Initiative.
Dr. Wertheimer is the author of Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in America, published by Stanford University Press and Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, 1771-1876, (Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback 2009). He has published articles on topics in early and nineteenth century American literature in American Literature, Early American Literature, Nineteenth Century Literature, The Canadian Review of American Studies, and Arizona Quarterly.
He is the founder and past Director of ASU's Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies and serves on the editorial board of Early American Literature; he is currently a member of the MLA Publications Committee. He recently co-edited a volume of essays, Critical Trauma Studies: Understanding Violence, Conflict and Memory in Everyday Life (NYU Press, 2016). He is a co-PI on a Mellon Foundation sponsored grant, partnered with the MLA, called Connected Academics, and he is the PI on a Luce Foundation sponsored grant supporting American Studies in China.