Lectures on China featured at Whitman


WALLA WALLA — The Whitman in China program will host two free, public lectures on the college campus.

David Atwill will present “In Plain Sight — Muslim Tibetans and Conceptualizations of Tibet” at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in Olin Hall 130.

Orville Schell will present “The Impact of Global Environmental Challenges on U.S.-China Relations” at 4 p.m. Sept. 29 in Maxey Auditorium.

Atwill is an associate professor of history and Asian studies at Pennsylvania State University and the author of several books on Chinese history

He received his bachelor’s from Whitman and his Ph.D from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

He taught at Juniata College and University of Colorado before joining the Penn State Department of History and Religious Studies in 2002, specializing in late imperial and modern Chinese history.

Much of his research centers on the ethno-religious identity of Muslim Chinese (or Hui) in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

He was a researcher or visiting scholar at the Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology, Yunnan University and the Humboldt University in Berlin, and has received several fellowships including a Fulbright to the People’s Republic of China and a multi-year Mellon New Direction Fellowship.

He recently delivered talks at Oxford and Cambridge and returned to Nepal, India and Tibet to interview Tibetan Muslim populations.

Schell is the Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York.

The most populous nation in the world, China is producing an ever larger share of the world’s industrial goods, and has recently surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

It has also entered a period of environmental crisis.

But what is notable about this crisis for the rest of the world is that what happens in China — whether through pollution in its rivers, over-fishing marine habitats, deforesting the woodlands, contaminating food-stocks, overgrazing pasture land or degrading its air resources — is now everyone’s problem.

Thus, understanding what is happening in that crucial country is more important than ever for Americans to understand.

Schell is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

He is the author of 14 books, nine of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. He has written widely for many magazine and newspapers.


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