Expert to explore how Americans should view China

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Talk is part of URI’s Honors Colloquium, China Rising

KINGSTON, R.I. –October 12, 2007—Orville Schell, journalist, author, and one of the country’s most well informed and thoughtful observers of China, will explore how America should view China during a talk at the University of Rhode Island. The talk, free and open to the public, will be held Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road., Kingston.

His visit is part of the URI Honors Colloquium, China Rising. The semester-long series explores China’s dramatic transformation during the past three decades, a transformation that has returned that country to the leading role it has played throughout most of world history.

According to Schell, China is a nation of infinite promise, but also great uncertainty. In a state of non-stop transition, this most dynamic of nations has evolved from its old revolutionary Maoism, but still has no clear destination. This means that China confronts decisions at every turn. Schell’s talk, “How Should We Look at China?” will focus on China’s sources of dynamism, strength, and weakness. Schell will explore how Americans have viewed China historically, and how they are likely to view it in the future. He will also discuss the long-term prospects for China’s “peaceful rise” and a constructive relationship with the U.S.

Until recently, Schell served as dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. While he still remains on the University faculty, he has been appointed as director of the Asia Society’s newly established Center on U.S.-China Relations in New York City. In this new capacity, he will lead new programs on the environment, the media, and foreign policy in an effort to promote more constructive dialogue between key Chinese and American leaders.

Schell has been a contributor on China for PBS, NBC, and CBS, where a 60 Minutes program of his won an Emmy. He also served as a correspondent for several PBS/Frontline documentaries on China and Tibet. Schell has written a number of books about China, including Virtual Tibet, Mandate of Heaven and Discos of Democracy, as well as the five-volume China Reader. He is writing a book on Chinese history.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are the Mark Ross ‘64 and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, the Tom Silvia ’83 and Shannon Chandley ’83 Honors Colloquium Endowment, URI’s Confucius Institute, Honors Program, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Confucius Institute at URI, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Engineering, and the Division of University Advancement.

For further details on the colloquium, including an updated schedule, information on parking, and on how to support the series, go to or call Deborah Gardiner at 401-874-2381.