Skip to body

Performing Arts and Speaker Series

Joseph Esherick, Ph.D. - China: Sick Man of Asia to Emerging Economic Giant

Image of Joseph EsherickTime: Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:30PM

Location: Music Building Concert Hall

TICKETS:Free to the public

Modern China specialist and American Historical Association´s John K. Fairbank Prize winner

A century ago, China was labeled the "sick man of Asia," and Chinese and foreign observers alike debated whether the failing empire would be carved up like the Ottoman Empire of the Middle East or colonized like the Moghul Empire in India. Today China is an economic giant and an emerging superpower. What happened in the intervening years to alter the course of Chinese history? Was Mao Zedong's communist revolution an extended detour that delayed China's present economic vitality? Or did the revolution lay a foundation for China's present growth.

Specializing in modern Chinese history, particularly the intersection of economic, social, and political history in China, Joseph Esherick has written numerous books on social and political upheaval in twentieth century China and has edited volumes on Chinese cities and local elites. Esherick's work pushes past generalizations and assumptions by the West and brings different perspectives to American research on China. His own research interests span a broad range of subjects including local and provincial origins of revolution, family history, and the transition from empire to nation in China. His first book, The Origins of the Boxer Uprising (1987) won the prestigious John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association. Esherick earned his Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley and is currently on the faculty at University of California, San Diego and is the Hwei-chih and Julia Hsiu Endowed Chair in Chinese Studies. He serves on the editorial boards of the China Quarterly, Modern China, Asia Major, and China Review International.