|International Studies Speaker Series Will Focus on East Asia
August 28, 2008
Contact: Bill Giduz
Vanessa Fong, assistant professor of education at Harvard University, will speak about "Dilemmas of Transnational Migration Among Chinese Only-Children" at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1, in Chambers Building Room 2164 at Davidson College. Fong's talk is the first in a series of four lectures during the fall semester concerning East Asian affairs. The series is co-sponsored by the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, the East Asian Studies Program and several other college departments and offices.
There is no charge to attend any of the lectures, and more information on the speakers and topics can be obtained by calling 704-894-2240.
According to Chris Alexander, McGee Director of the Dean Rusk Program, the series reflects Davidson's strength in East Asian Studies and growing American appreciation of China's significance. "In recent years, many more Americans have become aware of China's growing global influence," he said. "The summer Olympic games intensified this perception. Davidson has an exceptionally strong faculty in East Asian studies and a healthy number of students who are interested in China and its relations with its neighbors. This series allows us to examine issues that are important to the intellectual life of this community and to the life of the country as we prepare to elect a new president."
Fong is an anthropologist who specializes in the social impact of China's "One Child" policy. She is especially interested in how the experiences of a now partly transnational cohort of Chinese only-children and their families shed light on theories of gender, citizenship, transnationalism, migration, education, and demographic, medical and psychological anthropology.
The series will continue on Monday evening, Sept. 8, with a lecture by John Pomfret, an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. His lecture, entitled "Chinese Lessons," will begin at 7 p.m. in the Lilly Family Gallery of Chambers Building.
Pomfret will recount his experiences with the social, political and cultural change China has endured over the last 30 years. He lived in China on and off beginning in his 20s, and covered the 1980s Tiananmen Square protests as an Associated Press reporter. He was The Washington Post's Beijing bureau chief from 1998 to 2003, and is currently the editor of the newspaper's "Outlook" section. He is also the author of Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China, and will be signing copies after his lecture.
The third lecture will feature Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent human rights advocate and leader of the Uyghur minority group in western China. That talk will be held Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Smith 900 Room of the Alvarez College Union.
Kadeer is a former businesswoman who was ranked as one of the wealthiest individuals in the People's Republic of China in the mid-1990s. She established a multimillion-dollar trading company and a department store, and worked to provide assistance and opportunities to disadvantaged Uyghurs. She initiated the "Thousand Mothers Movement" in 1997 to empower Uyghur women to start their own businesses. Originally held up as a model of Uyghur success and philanthropy, she fell from the favor of Chinese government leaders after she began calling upon the government to change its repressive policies against the Uyghurs.
Kadeer was eventually sentenced to eight years' imprisonment beginning in March 2000, following a secret trial. Forced to spend two years in solitary confinement, she witnessed abuse carried out on her fellow prisoners. Her case received wide international attention and publicity from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and she received two human rights awards during her imprisonment. Then, on March 17, 2005, three days before an official visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Kadeer was released from prison, sent to the United States, and given refugee status here. Kadeer has continued to campaign for the human rights of the Uyghur people since her arrival in the United States, and she was nominated in 2006 and 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize. Members of her family in China have been detained, placed under house arrest and otherwise harassed.
The final talk in the series will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, by Melvyn Goldstein, a Tibetan specialist and Harkness Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. His talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Chambers Building Room 2164.
Goldstein co-directs the Center for Research on Tibet. He specializes in Tibetan society, history and contemporary politics. He has conducted research in Tibet on topics including nomadic pastoralism, the impact of reforms on rural Tibet, family planning and fertility, modern Tibetan history and socio-economic change. He is currently compiling an oral history of Tibet, a multi-volume history of modern Tibet, and a study of the impact of China's reform policies on rural Tibetan nomads and farmers.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.
Posted By: Bill Giduz