China in My Eyes, 1964-2018
Speaker: Professor Colin Mackerras, Griffith University and Beijing Foreign Studies University
Abstract: As a frequent resident and visitor to China over the more than half a century from 1964 to 2018 I have seen multiple changes but also continuities. In essence I have seen China grow over those years from a struggling, poor, and highly restrictive but patriotic society to a much more confident, developed, prosperous and much freer but still struggling and patriotic one.
With some illustrations, this lecture will elaborate on “China in my eyes” under several headings, including:
My own China experience, e.g. what brought me to China, in what capacities I have been here and my long-term association with the Beijing Foreign Studies University;
The economic changes, material progress and incomparably greater prosperity;
The developing society and changing lifestyle, with more personal responsibility and freedom;
Cultural change and growth, especially in the performing arts.
China still faces enormous problems. However, I consider it an enormous privilege to have been witness, as an outsider, to China’s rise, which has been more or less unprecedented in world history in its speed and wide range. In my eyes, China’s rise has also been overwhelmingly beneficial both to the people of China and to the world more generally.
Bio: Professor Colin Mackerras is a Sinologist who has published widely about China, including its theatre, ethnic minorities and history, and about Australia-China relations and Western images of China. He has worked as a foreign expert 外国专家 many times in China, the first time from 1964 to 1966 at the Beijing Foreign Language Institute (now Beijing Foreign Studies University). He was also a professor at Griffith University from 1974 to 2004 and professor emeritus since then. In 2014 he won a Chinese friendship award 友谊奖 and in a speech to the Australian Parliament in November that year President Xi Jinping called him a “bridge” between the Australian and Chinese peoples. In June 2007 he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia.
Time: 19:00-20:30, 28 June 2018
Venue: 5th Floor Conference Hall, BFSU Library 北外图书馆5层报告厅