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Sept. 14, 2012
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU offers 'Rising China' conference

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Some of the nation's foremost experts on China will be at Slippery Rock University Oct. 4-6 to participate in a faculty development conference on the emergence of China as a superpower. The conference will include workshops, presentations, discussions and the screening of contemporary Chinese films.

"Rising China: Economic, Geopolitical, Environmental and Cultural Dimensions of China's Emergence as a Global Superpower" is open to SRU students, faculty and staff and professors from across the northeast. It will be offered in SRU's Robert M. Smith Student Center.

"Quite frankly, although Asia and China are very prominent on the world stage and very, very important, there is not much understanding about China and Asia. We're trying to encourage a greater understanding of Asia and China," said Andrew Colvin, SRU professor of philosophy who teaches Asian philosophy.

Colvin said the conference would offer substantive resources for understanding China's recent rise, making it especially beneficial for researchers and teachers.

"Reaching for 2025 and Beyond," the University's long-range strategic plan, identifies understanding other cultures as a core educational value at Slippery Rock. The world is shrinking, and countries are becoming more interdependent, making an understanding of China a priority for globally minded SRU graduates.

"We're competing with Asia economically," Colvin said. "A better understanding will help us better compete. There's also a real sense in which China and Asia have a long and rich culture. "There is value in and of itself in studying these things."

Two Chinese films - "Unknown Pleasures," and "Hollywood Hong Kong" will be screened in the Smith Student Center Theater. Nick Kaldis director of Chinese studies at SUNY-Binghamton, will lead a discussion after the films.

The workshop sessions are:

  • "First Among Unequals: China in a Multimodal World Order," presented by Brantly Womack, Cumming Memorial professor of foreign affairs at the University of Virginia;
  • "Chokepoint China: The Water/Energy Confluence in China," presented by Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum, Woodrow Wilson Institute;
  • "China Rising: Aesthetic Contributions to Global Culture," presented by Stanley Mirashige, associate professor of art history at the Art Institute of Chicago;
  • "East Asian Relations in Historical Perspective: National and Regional Contrasts," presented by Evelyn Rawski, professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh;
  • "Why Didn't China's Economic Boom Begin 100 Years Ago?" presented by Thomas Rawski, a professor of economics and history at the University of Pittsburgh.
There is a $50 registration fee that includes the cost of meals. Students, faculty and staff who want to attend some of the workshop but not all of them do not have to pay the registration fee.

The sponsors include the Asian Studies Development Program, the Modern China Center at SRU, the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, College of Health, Environment and Science and the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences.

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