Chicago Harper Lecture with Kenneth Pomeranz: Unique Patterns of Chinese Economic Development
October 3, 2013: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Chicago Harper Lecture features remarks by professor Kenneth Pomeranz shedding light on modern China's economic growth and analyzing its roots in agrarian imperial China.
201 North State Street
The Harper Lecture series is offered to the University community across the country and around the world by the University of Chicago Alumni Association. Named for the University's first President, William Rainey Harper, the series carries on his vision of broadly accessible and innovative education. The Chicago Harper Lecture features remarks by professor Kenneth Pomeranz shedding light on China's economic growth and analyzing its historical roots.
Among the most striking features of late imperial China (ca. 1400-1912) was the fact that, though it had a highly commercialized society, most peasants continued to have very strong claims to their land, and only a very small share of the population became dependent on earning wages. In this talk, Professor Pomeranz will analyze several reasons for this pattern of development and trace the long-term consequences of the system that resulted from it, showing that it created a distinct political economy that produced considerable agricultural and commercial dynamism--but not industrialization. Pomeranz will further argue that the impact of these economic patterns continues even in today's era of post-Mao reform.
Kenneth Pomeranz is University Professor in the Department of History and the College at the University of Chicago and the current president of the American Historical Association. His publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy, and The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937, as well as several coauthored, edited, and coedited volumes. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
$20 general admission; $10 recent graduate (College alumni of the past ten years and graduate alumni of the past five years).
Kenneth Pomeranz (Speaker)
University Professor of Modern Chinese History and in the College
Kenneth Pomeranz is a University Professor of History and the College; he previously taught at the University of California, Irvine. His work focuses mostly on China, though he is also very interested in comparative and world history. Most of his research is in social, economic, and environmental history, though he has also worked on state formation, imperialism, religion, gender, and other topics. His publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), which won the John K. Fairbank Prize from the AHA, and shared the World History Association book prize; The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937 (1993), which also won the Fairbank Prize; The World that Trade Created (with Steven Topik, first edition 1999, 3rd edition 2012), and a collection of his essays, recently published in France. He has also edited or co-edited 5 books, and was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Global History. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, American Council of Learned Societies, The Institute for Advanced Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other sources. His current projects include a history of Chinese political economy from the 17th century to the present, and a book called Why Is China So Big? which tries to explain, from various perspectives, how and why contemporary China 's huge land mass and population have wound up forming a single political unit.