Bard News & Events

Press Release


Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— On Tuesday, April 11, Bard in China hosts a lecture on development in Lishui, a small city in Zhejiang province in China. Peter Hessler, an award-winning American writer based in China, will present “Boomtown: Life in a Chinese Factory City.” The lecture is presented by Bard in China and Bard’s Asian Studies Program, with support from the Freeman Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative. The lecture is free and open to the public and takes place at 7 p.m. in room 115 of the Olin Language Center on the Bard College campus. Zhejiang has always been one of the centers of entrepreneurial growth in China. In his lecture, Hessler will talk about an ongoing project he is doing for National Geographic, tracking development in Lishui. His work focuses in part on one factory, watching two entrepreneurs set up a plant, design the space, test the machinery, hire workers, and start production. He will also talk about other local issues, like the dam that is being built to power some of this growth and the people who are being resettled into new cities. He will examine cultural elements as well, such as like the traveling opera and acrobat troupes that set up their tents outside the plants, providing entertainment to factory workers who don’t have many leisure activities. Hessler is the author of River Town: Two Years on the Yangzi, an acclaimed account of teaching English in a college in the area of the Three Gorges Dam. His new novel, Oracle Bones, will be published at the end of April. A native of Columbia, Missouri, Hessler studied English literature at Princeton and Oxford before going to China as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1996. His two-year experience of teaching English in Fuling, a town on the Yangtze, inspired River Town. After finishing his Peace Corps tour in 1998, Hessler wrote freelance pieces for Atlantic Monthly and the New York Times before returning to China in 1999 as a Beijing-based freelance writer. There he wrote for the Asian Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, South China Morning Post, and Hong Kong Standard, among other newspapers, before moving on to magazine work for National Geographic and the New Yorker. He continues to follow the lives of people whose homes have been lost to the Three Gorges project as well as writing on many other topics. He has B.A. degrees from Princeton and Oxford universities. For more information about the lecture and screening, please call 845-758-7388 or e-mail # # # (03.22.06)


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This event was last updated on 04-13-2006