Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power
Speaker: Howard French, Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia University
When: Thursday, April 27th at 6:00 pm
Where: Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living, 505 Camino de Los Marquez
Cost: $15 CIR Members; $20 Non-members & Guests; students and faculty attend for free. Groups of 10 are eligible for a discount when purchasing advance tickets.
Join us on Thursday, April 27th to hear Howard French, of Columbia University reflect upon how the past helps to shape China’s push for global power. For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China’s present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to anticipate just what kind of global power China stands to become–and to interact wisely with a future peer.
This event is presented in collaboration with the Albuquerque International Association.
Howard W. French received his B.A. in political science from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He worked as a French-English translator in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in the early 1980s, and taught English literature for several years at the University of Abidjan. His career in journalism began as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and other publications in West Africa. He joined The New York Times in 1986, and worked as a metropolitan reporter with the newspaper for three years, and then from 1990 to 2008 reported overseas for The Times as bureau chief for Central America and the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan and the Koreas, and China, based in Shanghai. During this time, his coverage was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; he was twice the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award, and his work received numerous other awards.
He is the author of “A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), which was named non-fiction book of the year by several newspapers.
His book of documentary photography, “Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life,” was published in 2012 (Homa and Sekey). It was produced in collaboration with the Chinese poet and novelist, Qiu Xiaolong. The photography from this project has figured in solo and group exhibitions on three continents.
He has recently completed work on a new non-fiction book for Knopf about the history of Chinese power and the geopolitics of East Asia titled “Everything Under the Heavens: Empire, Tribute and the Future of Chinese Power”.
French is the President of the board of directors of the IRIN News Agency. He was a 2011-12 fellow of the Open Society Foundations. Other awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland, and the 2016 Columbia Journalism School Professor of the Year Award.
For tickets to the event, please click here.