January 23, 2004

Press meets academia

Professor Dali Yang addressed 60 members of the University community Tuesday night at the International House, giving a lecture entitled "China's Governance Under New Leaders."

During his speech, Yang spoke about the issues of migrants in cities, government work on transparency, and changes in social norms. A discussion moderated by Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ's radio show, Worldview, followed the speech.

The lecture is the first in a series called The World Beyond the Headlines, intended to bring together academics and journalists to discuss issues in international affairs. The series will host a speaker and hold moderated discussion on Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. in the I-House during fourth, sixth and tenth weeks of winter quarter. Plans for speakers in the spring are still being discussed.

According to Evalyn Tennant, assistant director of the Center for International Studies, the World Beyond the Headlines series is a collaboration between the Center, the International House Global Voices program, and The Chicago Society, a student group that brings speakers to campus to discuss political issues.

For Suzan Gzesh, who graduated from the College in 1972, the series represents a move in the right direction for the University. When interviewed for her current position, Gzesh said she was told that President Randel would attempt to return the University to the initial Harper model that encouraged engagement with the community as opposed to the Hutchins model, which was much more of an ivory tower.

"I like to help facilitate bridging the campus and the rest of the city," she said.

Both the Center and Society express hopes that the series will help the University community increase its awareness of international issues and gain a greater appreciation of the differing approaches to the study of politics.

Gzesh said that the Center is optimistic that holding series such as The World Beyond the Headlines will confer multiple other benefits upon the University community. "We've asked the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations to co-sponsor the spring series because they want to expand their reach beyond their traditional downtown and North Shore base," she said. "Because we don't have a journalism school or the Benton Fellows anymore, there isn't a vehicle for students to have contact with leading journalists. It's great to bring smart, thoughtful reporters to campus."