Organized Panel Session
The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) works to engage American academics on Mongolia while also deepening scholarly relations between Mongolia and the United States. ACMS programs include development of one of the best English-language libraries in Mongolia, a year-round public lecture series in Ulaanbaatar, and a summer fellowship program that has brought dozens of American scholars and students to Mongolia to conduct research in a broad range of fields. More recently, however, ACMS has pioneered several innovative programs aimed at introducing this understudied corner of Asia to a wider, less traditional audience. The first, funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings K–12 teachers from across the United States to the University of Pennsylvania every summer for a series of lectures and field trips focused on the Mongol Empire and its global impact. A second initiative, the Cultural Awareness Program, takes dozens of U.S. undergraduate students from various Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs to Mongolia to experience the country and its culture first-hand through lectures, site visits, and field trips. Finally, through a new program funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, ACMS hosts a summer field school in Mongolia that allows American and Mongolian students to work together to learn about key issues confronting the country. This paper details the history, implementation, and assessment of these different programs and provides useful and innovative examples of how best to engage non-specialist audiences to increase interest in Asian cultures, past and present.