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Emeriti Faculty Lecture Series: Featuring Jane Hunter

Date: 5:00pm - 6:30pm PST November 19

Our Emeriti Faculty Lecture series continues! We are excited to bring you this special presentation by Jane Hunter. Keep an eye on our virtual events webpage for details on future presentations.

Missionary Daughter to Daughter of the Revolution: Isabel Crook’s Journey to China’s
Great Hall of the People

Presented by Professor Emeritus of History,
Jane Hunter

Daughter of missionaries, born on a university campus in West China, Isabel Brown Crook converted from her parents’ Protestantism to Communism after marrying a politically like-minded British Jew. During the Chinese Civil War they lived with revolutionary soldiers in liberated areas, entering Beijing with the victorious People’s Liberation Army in 1949. She is now 104 years old, still living on the campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University where she and her husband David taught English for decades, with the exception of several years during the Cultural Revolution when they were both detained as “spies.” She has co-authored several books about China in English, but her own extraordinary life story has not been told.

Isabel Brown Crook’s journey from Christianity to Communism emerged from her early experience navigating two worlds. An earlier era’s “Third Culture Kid,” Isabel grew up with inspiring parents in a family wedded to Western Christian customs and governed by high expectations for moral conduct and accomplishment. But she also observed and wondered about the world beyond the gates of the mission compound, the tumultuous, vibrant life of the Chinese city. She especially took to heart one strand of her parents’ missionary message—the “social gospel” that made Christians attend to the conditions of the poor. For an idealistic, duty-bound daughter growing up in China, it was not hard to see the resemblance between this message and the revolutionary promises of Chinese Communism. While most missionary children did not follow her radical path, Isabel Brown Crook has never forsworn it.

Thursday, November 19, 2020
5:00 p.m. (PST), Virtual lecture followed by Q&A

Register Here!

Registration is required to receive the details on how to access the Zoom event. Zoom information will be emailed the day prior to the event.

Questions may be directed to Emily Decker ’85 at