NHNZ has teamed up with a young and highly accomplished Chinese archaeologist Dr. Agnes Hsu to make a series exploring some of China's earliest and most intriguing engineering achievements.
Shooting is underway in China on two hour long Ancient Man Made Marvels programs being made in co production with the Science Channel, China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC) and Discovery Networks Asia. The programs will feature Xian Ancient Armoured City and Giant Buddha.
Other documentaries which will also include Dr. Hsu in the credit list are currently in development and likely to be announced soon.
Dr. Hsu was recently appointed Director of Education and Dean of Confucius Institute at China Institute. Located in the Upper East Side in New York City in a former residence of Henry Luce, China Institute was founded in 1926 and has enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a premier American cultural and educational institution focused exclusively on China. Prior to joining China Institute, Dr. Hsu was a research scholar at Stanford University and served on the faculty at Brown University, where she taught Chinese art and archaeology. Dr. Hsu has received numerous awards for her innovative research, including a fellowship at Cambridge University's Needham Institute for the Study of Chinese Science.
NHNZ's executive vice president of development and marketing Neil Harraway says Dr. Hsu has all the qualities to become a household name.
"Agnes is vibrant, enthusiastic and widely respected as a leading expert in Chinese archaeology. This rare combination of talent is difficult to find and we're delighted that she has chosen to share her knowledge of the past with viewers."
He describes Dr. Hsu as "a renaissance woman".
"She's a respected academic and scholar with a remarkable array of interests and achievements. Agnes exudes the type of natural energy and passion for her specialities that is impossible to manufacture or replicate."
Dr. Hsu was born in Taiwan and moved to the US as a child. She is a native speaker of Mandarin and English, and reads Japanese, French, Latin, and Classical Chinese. She also learned basic Uyghur, the native language of Xinjiang, while conducting research there. She is trained in Classical Chinese music (the Chinese zither guzheng) and Western opera and has given professional concerts at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Dr. Hsu earned her BA in English Literature and East Asian Studies from Bryn Mawr College, where she also minored in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. She went on to earn an M.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a Ph.D. in Chinese Art and Archaeology in the department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, both from the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to her other accomplishments, Dr. Hsu has conducted archaeological fieldwork in one of the remotest parts of China, Xinjiang. Based on her training and experience in this region of China, she serves as an international expert and consultant to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and will be an expedition study leader for the American Museum of Natural History to Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) in April 2009.