The Fairbank Center is a world-leading center on China at Harvard University. Listen to interviews on our "Harvard on China" podcast, recordings from our public events, and audio from our archives.
Infectious Diseases and Public Health Management in China
Nicole Elizabeth Barnes, Duke University
Mary Augusta Brazelton, The University of Cambridge
Miriam Gross, The University of Oklahoma
Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University
Moderator: Ling Zhang, Boston College
Nicole Elizabeth Barnes is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University.
Mary Augusta Brazelton is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge.
Miriam Gross is an Associate Professor in the Departments of History and of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Elanah Uretsky is an Associate Professor of International and Global Studies at Brandeis University.
Rural Development in China and East Asia, with Kristen Looney
Speaker: Kristen Looney, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Government, Georgetown University
Moderator/Discussant: Meg Rithmire, F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business of Administration, Harvard Business School
This talk tackles the question of how countries achieve rural development and offers a new way of thinking about East Asia’s political economy that challenges the developmental state paradigm. Through a comparison of Taiwan (1950s–1970s), South Korea (1950s–1970s), and China (1980s–2000s), Kristen E. Looney shows that different types of development outcomes—improvements in agricultural production, rural living standards, and the village environment—were realized to different degrees, at different times, and in different ways. She argues that rural modernization campaigns, defined as policies demanding high levels of mobilization to effect dramatic change, played a central role in the region and that divergent development outcomes can be attributed to the interplay between campaigns and institutions. The analysis departs from common portrayals of the developmental state as wholly technocratic and demonstrates that rural development was not just a byproduct of industrialization. Looney’s research is based on several years of fieldwork in Asia and makes a unique contribution by systematically comparing China’s development experience with other countries. Relevant to political science, economic history, rural sociology, and Asian Studies, the research enriches our understanding of state-led development and agrarian change.
Kristen Looney is an assistant professor of Asian Studies and Government at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on Chinese and Comparative Politics. Her research is on rural development and governance and has previously appeared in The China Quarterly, The China Journal, and Current History. She is the author of Mobilizing for Development: The Modernization of Rural East Asia (Cornell U. Press 2020). She holds a B.A. in Chinese Studies from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University.
The Fifth Plenum: Implications for the Future, with Joseph Fewsmith
Speaker: Joseph Fewsmith, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Boston University Pardee School of International Relations and Political Science.
Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health in China, India, and the US, Fairbank Center Director’s Seminar
Arthur Kleinman, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Xiao Shuiyuan, Professor, Central South University, Xianya School of Public Health.
Yifeng Xu, President, Shanghai Mental Health Center; Head & Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; Director, WHO/Shanghai Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Mental Health.
Vikram Patel, The Pershing Square Professor of Global Health and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Professor, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Founder and Member of Managing Committee, Sangath.
Cindy Liu, Director, Developmental Risk and Cultural Resilience Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.
Host and Commentator:
Winnie Yip, Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Director, Harvard China Health Partnership; Acting Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
Sponsored by the Harvard China Health Partnership and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Cosponsored by the Mittal South Asia Insitute.
Myths and Realities in Sino-American Relations, Fairbank Center Director’s Seminar
Speaker: William Overholt, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School.
Moderator: Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton; Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama.
Introduction by: Winnie Chi-Man Yip, Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics, Department of Global Health and Population; Faculty Director, Harvard China Health Partnership, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; Interim Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, Harvard Kennedy School.
Mao's Massive Military Industrial Campaign to Defend Cold War China, with Covell Meyskens
Speaker: Covell Meyskens, Assistant Professor of Chinese History, Naval Postgraduate School
In 1964, the Chinese Communist Party made a momentous policy decision. In response to rising tensions with the United States and Soviet Union, a top-secret massive military industrial complex in the mountains of inland China was built, which the CCP hoped to keep hidden from enemy bombers. Mao named this the Third Front. The Third Front received more government investment than any other developmental initiative of the Mao era, and yet this huge industrial war machine, which saw the mobilization of15 million people, was not officially acknowledged for over a decade and a half. Drawing on a rich collection of archival documents, memoirs, and oral interviews, Covell Meyskens provides the first history of the Third Front campaign. He shows how the militarization of Chinese industrialization linked millions of everyday lives to the global Cold War, merging global geopolitics with local change.
Covell Meyskens is Assistant Professor of Chinese history in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. He works on capitalist and anti-capitalist development in modern China, especially as it relates to building big infrastructure projects. His first book, Mao’s Third Front: Militarization of Cold War China, published by Cambridge University Press, examines how the Chinese Communist Party industrialized inland regions in order to protect socialist China from American and Soviet threats. His second book project, The Three Gorges Dam: Building a Hydraulic Engine for China, analyzes state-led efforts to transform China’s Three Gorges region into a hydraulic engine to power national development in the twentieth century. Currently, he is in the process of developing a third project on changing conceptions of national security in modern China. Dr. Meyskens also curates a website of images of everyday life in Maoist China. Meyskens is the author of articles and book chapters on Chinese railroads, the Three Gorges Dam, Sino-North Korean relations, Maoist visual culture, globalization, radio in Mao’s China, and racial violence in the Pacific War.