Touching Home in China

A Transmedia Project

Two American adoptees return to rural towns in eastern China where each was abandoned as a newborn girl under the country’s one-child policy. It has been featured in Adoptive Families magazine, Ochre, as a PRI Podcast, "Whose Century Is it?" and as a cover story in Wellesley magazine. For more information about news coverage, click here.

In Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods, these U.S. teens hang out with “hometown” Chinese girls who teach them about what it’s like growing up as a girl in 21st century China. Presented as multimedia stories on this website, as iBooks for optimum interactivity on an iPad, and with classroom curriculum accompanying each of its six stories, our unique transmedia project features cross-cultural, girl-to-girl exchanges as the lens through which to explore the past two decades of dynamic changes in China.

As Chinese-born daughters in Caucasian American families, these adoptees personify the transracial search for identity in multicultural America. As only-child daughters, the Chinese girls’ lives illuminate the rapid pace of change in contemporary China.

Expand your exploration with Touching Home in China on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Melissa Ludtke: In her award-winning career as a journalist, producer and author Melissa Ludtke reported at Sports Illustrated, was a correspondent with Time, and the editor of Nieman Reports at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Her lifelong engagement with girls and women’s issues led her to write On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America (Random House, 1997). She intends to write a narrative social history of the 1970s women’s movement, drawing from her experience as plaintiff in the federal case Ludtke v. Kuhn. That case secured equal access for women to report, as male reporters did, in Major League Baseball locker rooms.

Julie Mallozzi: A veteran documentary filmmaker, co-creator and designer Julie Mallozzi has broadcast her work on public television, screened it at museums and universities, and won awards at numerous festivals. Several of her films explore Asian and Asian American identity, including her debut film Once Removed about her trip to China to meet her mother’s family and learn about the roles they played in the history of modern China. She works as a freelance producer and editor and has taught filmmaking at Harvard University, Boston University, and Rhode Island School of Design.

Jocelyn Ford: For more than a decade, director of photography Jocelyn Ford was Beijing bureau chief for U. S. public radio's business show, Marketplace, winning awards for her reporting. Her first documentary film, Nowhere to Call Home: A Tibetan in Beijing, had its U. S. premier at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin, Jocelyn was the first foreigner to co-produce and co-host China Radio International’s first live drive-time news show. She chaired the media freedom committee of the Foreign Correspondent Club of China. Jocelyn has lived in East Asia for over three decades.

Additional production credits are here.


This project is funded by Massachusetts Humanities, state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Henry Luce Foundation, along with contributors to our Indiegogo campaign.

mass-humanities luce