LAWRENCE — Evan Osnos, staff writer at The New Yorker, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union as the final installation of the Hall Center for the Humanities' 2016-2017 Humanities Lecture Series. “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China” is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will occur after the lecture.
In this talk, Osnos describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals — fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture — consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.
Osnos is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as the China correspondent from 2008 to 2013. He is the winner of two Overseas Press Club awards and the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism in Asia. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2008.
Osnos will also participate in an informal conversation session the next day. “A Conversation with Evan Osnos” will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 12, in the Hall Center Conference Hall. Audience members are invited to pose questions to Osnos and advance topics that may not have been touched upon in the previous night’s session.
Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Salman Rushdie, poet Gwendolyn Brooks, and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Recent speakers have included Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Toobin ,and Sarah Vowell. Shortly after the program’s inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member was added to the schedule. For information on the series, visit the Hall Center website.