February 2, 1998

"China: Changes and Challenges" Middlebury College's Fifth Annual Clifford Symposium

"China: Changes and Challenges" is the topic of the 1998 Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium which will be held at Middlebury College on February 12-14. The symposium will feature lectures, films, and roundtable discussions. Participants include scholars, students, leaders of research and human rights organizations, journalists, and filmmakers.

The symposium begins with two sessions on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The first session is a student roundtable discussion on China sponsored by the International Student Organization (ISO) in the Annex Lounge of Gifford Hall on Hepburn Road, off College Street (Route 125). The 7:30 p.m. session is a showing of a film, "Comrades: Almost a Love Story," in the Sunderland Language Center's Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125).

The keynote lecture will be delivered on Friday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. by Martin King Whyte, professor of sociology at George Washington University. His lecture titled "The Human Rights Situation in China: Progress or Deterioration," will be held in the library of the Geonomics House on Hillcrest Road, off College Street (Route 125). Other events scheduled for Friday include a presentation at 8 p.m. by filmmaker Carma Hinton, who will discuss the film "History in Images: Potential and Limitations," to be held in the Hemicycle in Warner Science Hall at the corner of Old Chapel Road and College Street (Route 125); and a 9 p.m. coffee house in the Gamut Room in Gifford Hall on Hepburn Road, off College Street (Route 125), sponsored by the International Student Organization.

On Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10:15 a.m., a panel about policy issues will be held in the Geonomics House Library. The panel will be moderated by Ellen Oxfeld, Middlebury College department of sociology/anthropology, with the following panelists and topics:

  • Will Dobson '95, associate editor, Foreign Affairs magazine, and Taylor Fravel '93, Bain & Company, San Francisco, Cal., "China Looks at the World: Security from a Chinese Perspective"
  • Christopher Flavin, senior vice president and director of research, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., "Facing China's Limits: What Can China Teach the World About Environmental Sustainability in the 21st Century?"
  • Alice Hogan, program officer for China, National Science Foundation, "Changes and Challenges in U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation"
  • Elizabeth Knup '82 , National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, "The Effects of the Asian Financial Crisis on U.S.-China Relations"

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, a panel titled "State and Society" to be moderated by Eric Davis, Middlebury College professor of political science, will be held at the College's Geonomics House Library. Panelists include:

  • Nicholas Clifford, history (emeritus), Middlebury College, "Civil Society and Its Discontents: The Situation in China Before 1949"
  • John Berninghausen, Chinese, Middlebury College, "China Since Tienanmen in the Post-Socialist Era: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead"
  • Shipeng Zheng, political science, University of Vermont, "Chinese Politics in the Post-Deng Era: Changes from Within"
  • Elizabeth Endicott-West, history, Middlebury College, "China as a Multi-Ethnic Empire: The Problems of Center and Periphery"

At 3:30 p.m., another panel will be held in the Geonomics House Library titled "Culture and Society," moderated by Tom Moran of the Middlebury College department of Chinese. Other panelists are:

  • Howard Goldblatt, Chinese literature, University of Colorado, "When Good Writing Isn't Enough: Chinese Fiction in the World"
  • Susan Brownell, anthropology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, "Body Culture in China: From Communism to Consumerism"
  • Ellen Oxfeld, sociology/anthropology, Middlebury College, "The Daughter Who Didn't Cry at Her Father's Funeral: Remembering the Dead in Post-Mao Rural China"
  • Zhu Xiao Di, research analyst, Kennedy School of Government, "Understanding China Through Chinese Eyes"

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the symposium will end with a Chinese New Year party in Ross Lounge, on campus on the northern side of College Street (Route 125) in the dorm complex set back from the blinking light. The event is sponsored by the International Student Organization.

The Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium was established by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees in 1993 to honor the distinguished career of Nicholas R. Clifford, college professor emeritus of history. Clifford was a member of the Middlebury College history department from 1966 through 1993, and served as vice president for academic affairs on three occasions, from 1979-1985, in 1989, and from 1991-1993.

The purpose of the symposium is to provide an opportunity for Middlebury faculty and outside scholars to assemble to discuss an academic topic that can be approached from the perspective of a number of disciplines. Since Professor Clifford's field was Chinese history, this year's topic is particularly appropriate for the Clifford Symposium, and Professor Clifford will participate in the symposium.

Symposium events are open to the public and free of charge with the exception of the Chinese New Year party, which requires a $3.00 admission.