Boston, Mass. – Two North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors will travel to Bei­jing, China to par­tic­i­pate in the Ful­bright Association’s 31st annual con­fer­ence. Titled “2008—The Inter­con­nected World,” the con­fer­ence theme will explore the ways in which the arts link us as an inter­na­tional community.

Anthony De Ritis, chair of the depart­ment of music and director of the mul­ti­media studies pro­gram at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, will present on the Arts Task Force Ple­nary Panel on Music and Inter­na­tional Exchange. De Ritis was chosen because of his back­ground and well-​​renowned rep­u­ta­tion in the music and arts world.

It is an extra­or­di­nary honor to have been asked by the Ful­bright Asso­ci­a­tion to par­tic­i­pate in their annual con­fer­ence,” said De Ritis. “I look for­ward to dis­cussing the impor­tance of music as a global and cul­tural exchange with my inter­na­tional peers. I believe that the 31st annual con­fer­ence will be one of the most suc­cessful to date.”

The ple­nary panel is sched­uled for Monday, October 20. The sched­uling of this ses­sion speaks of the high impor­tance it has for the meeting, where approx­i­mately 200 Ful­bright alumni from about 20 dif­ferent coun­tries, as well as U.S. and Chi­nese gov­ern­ment offi­cials will par­tic­i­pate. De Ritis will dis­cuss how cul­tural exchange has opened his eyes to inno­v­a­tive ways to think about music com­po­si­tion and inter­na­tional dia­logue. In par­tic­ular, De Ritis’ work with Chi­nese musi­cians has led to a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of his cre­ative output as a com­poser. Fur­ther­more, it has given him the oppor­tu­nity to work with the music and musi­cians from other cul­tures. De Ritis has led numerous dis­cus­sions on music and cul­tural diplo­macy at United Nations Edu­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Orga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) and has received grants from the U.S. gov­ern­ment to lead inter­na­tional exchange pro­grams in the arts.

Addi­tion­ally, De Ritis will give a lec­ture on his own music at the Bei­jing Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Music. He will present his musical works for Chi­nese instru­ments, specif­i­cally for the pipa, a Chi­nese flute that is a very pop­ular Chi­nese tra­di­tional instru­ment. De Ritis also meet with Pro­fessor Xu Changjun, a com­poser and the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Bei­jing Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Music.

When Pro­fessor Xu learned that I had written con­certos for the Chi­nese pipa, he told me that he was com­posing one at this very moment,” said De Ritis. “He noted that he was very eager to talk to me about my ‘Western’ per­spec­tive on com­posing for this Chi­nese instru­ment. Music has an incred­ible way of pro­viding an entry point for inter­cul­tural dia­logue. I can’t wait to share my music with him!”

Mary Sherman, a lec­turer in the Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences, will also par­tic­i­pate in the Ful­bright Association’s annual con­fer­ence. Sherman trav­eled to Taiwan from May-​​July 2008, and will speak at the con­fer­ence as a recent Ful­bright Senior Spe­cialist grantee. During her time in Taiwan she con­ducted a work­shop at the Taipei National Uni­ver­sity of the Arts on Col­lab­o­ra­tive Arts, which cul­mi­nated in an exhi­bi­tion at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts. In addi­tion, while in Taiwan Sherman lec­tured on the his­tory of col­lab­o­ra­tion in Amer­ican art at the NKNU Grad­uate Insti­tute of Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Art, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Hualien Cre­ative and Cul­ture Park and the Ful­bright Office in Taipei.

At the Ful­bright con­fer­ence Sherman will present as the founder and director of Tran­sCul­tural Exchange. She will dis­cuss the projects that the orga­ni­za­tion has done around the world, in par­tic­ular The Tile Project, Des­ti­na­tion: The World.

At the end of 2008 Tran­sCul­tural Exchange will have com­pleted The Tile Project, Des­ti­na­tion: The World for which over 100 artists, from over 40 coun­tries, donated tiles to 22 world sites to create 22 site spe­cific, per­ma­nent art works,” said Sherman. “Their resulting mul­ti­cul­tural struc­tures now dot the world land­scape from Berlin to Boston, Manila to Mumbai, Toronto to Taipei and 16 other sites in between. The Tile Project has achieved some­thing that few others have: it has brought together people from vastly dif­ferent back­grounds and cul­tures to create lasting tes­ti­monies of inter­na­tional respect and coop­er­a­tion. As a tes­ta­ment that global coop­er­a­tion is pos­sible in this increas­ingly frac­tured world, this project is indeed it.”

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.