Publication Date

November 1, 2007

Perspectives Section


The Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China (HSTCC), an affiliate of the AHA, has organized, in conjunction with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the following session for the 2008 Annual Meeting. The session could not be listed in the Annual Meeting Program as the session details became available only after the Program went to press.

Making Sense of a Changing China: A Dialogue between Academics and Journalists,Thursday, January 3, 2008, 5:30–7:00 p.m.,Marriott, Maryland Suite A. Chair: Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom (Univ. of California at Irvine) Panel: Susan Lawrence, former Beijing Bureau Chief, Far Eastern Economic Review; John Pomfret, The Washington Post; Kellee Tsai (Johns Hopkins Univ.); Timothy Weston (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder)

What kinds of stories about China have been making headlines in the United States lately and why have they garnered so much attention? How accurate or distorted are the images of China that are currently in play within this country, and how are they similar to or different from those that circulated in earlier eras when Americans were—as they are today—alternately fascinated by and fearful of or deeply concerned about the world's most populous nation? How could a more sophisticated sense of history—that of China, that of U.S.-Chinese relations, that of American thinking and writing about China—improve our understanding of what is going on in the PRC today? These are the kinds of questions that this panel will address. It will do so via a wide-ranging conversation that brings together two journalists (both of whom have long-term interests in Chinese history and culture and have worked in Beijing) and two academic China specialists (who have taught and written about Chinese history and Chinese politics, respectively). The session's moderator, a third academic China specialist, is a cultural historian who has contributed to newspapers and magazines as well as purely scholarly venues.

Annual meeting attendees are also encouraged to attend HSTCC's second joint session on Sunday, January 6, 8:30–10:30 a.m. in the Marriott's Wilson Suite A, Refugees, Violence, and Urban Culture in Wartime China, 1937–45 (AHA Session 182). See the full details in the online version of the 2008 Annual Meeting Program.

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