ICS Lecture: William C. Kirby, "Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China"

William Kirby
March 3, 2023
4:00PM - 5:30PM
Pomerene Hall 150

Date Range
Add to Calendar 2023-03-03 16:00:00 2023-03-03 17:30:00 ICS Lecture: William C. Kirby, "Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China" The Institute for Chinese Studies and Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures present: "Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China" William C. Kirby Harvard University with commentator Caroline S. Wagner Professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University  Abstract: America’s preeminence in higher education is relatively new, and there is no reason to assume that U.S. schools will continue to lead the world a century from now. Will China challenge its position in the twenty-first? The modern university was born in Germany. In the twentieth century, the United States leapfrogged Germany to become the global leader in higher education. Today, American institutions dominate nearly every major ranking of global universities. However, America’s supremacy in higher education is under great stress, particularly at its public universities. At the same time, Chinese universities are on the ascent. Thirty years ago, Chinese institutions were reopening after the catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution; today they are some of the most innovative educational centers in the world. Will China threaten American primacy? Download the PDF flyer here.  William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is a University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai. At Harvard he has served as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Chairman of the History Department, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His current projects include case studies of trend-setting Chinese businesses and a comparative study of higher education in China, Europe, and the United States. His recent books include Can China Lead? (Harvard Business Review Press) and China and Europe on the New Silk Road (Oxford University Press). His latest book, Empires of Ideas: Creating Modern Universities from Germany to America to China (Harvard University Press), is now available. Pomerene Hall 150 East Asian Studies Center easc@osu.edu America/New_York public

The Institute for Chinese Studies and Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures present:

"Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China"

William C. Kirby
Harvard University

with commentator

Caroline S. Wagner
Professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University 


Abstract: America’s preeminence in higher education is relatively new, and there is no reason to assume that U.S. schools will continue to lead the world a century from now. Will China challenge its position in the twenty-first? The modern university was born in Germany. In the twentieth century, the United States leapfrogged Germany to become the global leader in higher education. Today, American institutions dominate nearly every major ranking of global universities. However, America’s supremacy in higher education is under great stress, particularly at its public universities. At the same time, Chinese universities are on the ascent. Thirty years ago, Chinese institutions were reopening after the catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution; today they are some of the most innovative educational centers in the world. Will China threaten American primacy? Download the PDF flyer here

William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is a University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai. At Harvard he has served as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Chairman of the History Department, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His current projects include case studies of trend-setting Chinese businesses and a comparative study of higher education in China, Europe, and the United States. His recent books include Can China Lead? (Harvard Business Review Press) and China and Europe on the New Silk Road (Oxford University Press). His latest book, Empires of Ideas: Creating Modern Universities from Germany to America to China (Harvard University Press), is now available.

Free and Open to the Public

If you require an accommodation, such as live captioning, to participate in this event, please contact EASC at easc@osu.edu. Requests made at least two weeks in advance of the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date. 

This event is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.