Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

April 10, 2007

Yu Ying-Shih, Winner of 2006 Kluge Prize, To Discuss China on April 24 and April 26

Distinguished historian Yu Ying-shih, recipient of the 2006 John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity, will present talks on China at the Library of Congress on April 24 and April 26.

Yu’s discussion, at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, is titled "China Rediscovers Its Own History." Yu will speak on the current debate within the Chinese Communist Party on the roles that democracy, tradition, Confucianism and Maoism play in reinterpreting China’s history, in light of the development of modern society and a burgeoning economy. The lecture is sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center.

Yu’s lecture, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, is titled "China’s Return to Tradition: How to Interpret the New Forces Emerging in China." Yu will discuss popular attitudes and scholarly inquiry in China that go beyond the tight constraints of party-controlled historical study since the 1940s. The lecture is sponsored by the Kluge Center and the Library’s Asian Division.

A question-and-answer session will follow both lectures, which will take place in Room 119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Both presentations are free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Yu shared the $1 million 2006 Kluge Prize with American historian John Hope Franklin. The Kluge Prize rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities and linguistics.

Yu’s work examines major topics covering more than two millennia of Chinese civilization. According to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, "Dr. Yu’s scholarship has been remarkably deep and widespread. His impact on the study of Chinese history, thought and culture has reached across many disciplines, time periods and issues, examining in a profound way major questions and deeper truths about human nature." Another scholar stated, "The rare distinction of having been elected to full professorships at Harvard, Yale and Princeton undoubtedly confirms the high esteem in which he is held."

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit

From an 1869 presentation of 933 volumes to the United States by the Emperor of China, the collections of the Asian Division have grown to represent one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian language materials in the world. The Division’s collections include most subject fields, covering an area ranging from the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. For more information about the collections and programs of the Asian Division, visit the Web at

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PR 07-073
ISSN 0731-3527

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