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Whitworth professor of East Asian history to present final Great Decisions lecture April 22

April 14, 2010

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Anthony Clark, an assistant professor of East Asian history at Whitworth University, will present "China's 'Great Unity': U.S.-China Relations on the New Global Horizon," on Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. It will be the fifth and final lecture in the 53rd annual Great Decisions Lecture Series at Whitworth. The series features five speakers who focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge.

Clark's research centers on the history of Western conflict and accommodation in China, especially regarding Catholic missionary activities during the Ming through Qing (1368-1911) eras. He is the author of several academic and popular works, including books and articles on Chinese historiography, cultural interaction between China and the West, and his primary interest, the history of Sino-Western religious and cultural representation during China's late imperial to early modern era.

"Tony Clark is the perfect person for understanding China's relationship with the U.S., as he has a considerable depth of knowledge in Chinese and Western interactions throughout history," says Patrick Van Inwegen, assistant professor of political science at Whitworth.

Clark has worked at length with archival data from early European missions in China. He has also studied extensively in China, allowing him to make connections between historical interactions and modern-day China. In his first year at Whitworth, Clark has been the catalyst for a major academic conference on the role of Jesuit missions in China setting the pattern for future Chinese-Western religious dialogue.

Clark says his lecture will address how China's historical interactions with the West have shaped the country's current interactions with the U.S. Clark says that when the West first encountered China, Westerners saw the country as a poor and culturally backward place. Today, China has the fastest growing economy in the world and owns about half of America's debt. Three times more babies are born in China than in America, and China has three times more college students, he says.

"My lecture will center on how we can best understand China's present rise as a world superpower by understanding its historic relationship with the West," Clark says. "Nearly every major university scholar of China agrees that the future is China's. During my lecture I will seek to explain how we can better understand this imminent global shift, and how we can prepare for it."

For information on the upcoming lecture, please call (509) 777-3270. Great Decisions 2010 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Barbara Brodrick, academic program assistant, political science department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3270 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or