Cambridge Conversations: The power and the passion – China, India and the echoes of the past on the world of tomorrow

Cambridge Conversations: The power and the passion – China, India and the echoes of the past on the world of tomorrow

Cambridge Conversations: The power and the passion – China, India and the echoes of the past on the world of tomorrow

event Tuesday, June 15, 2021 schedule 5.30pm - 6.20pm BST
Booking closed
Booking closed
event Tuesday, June 15, 2021 schedule 5.30pm - 6.20pm BST
an image of the global with India and China highlighted
Cambridge Conversations webinars allow you to listen, connect and engage with current Cambridge thinking, wherever you are.
Open to: 
Alumni and guests

We have entered the so-called 'Asian Century', with China and India boasting the largest populations on Earth. Both countries exert increasingly powerful economic, political and social influence across the globe. But neither nation developed in a vacuum. Each has a rich and complex history with significant parallels reverberating through the past 100 years, which will echo long into the next.

The University’s new Global Humanities programme aims to explore history through diverse lenses, providing fresh and profound insight as we define our own era. As the fragile promise of globalisation fragments, will Asia’s profound legacies of empire, violence and ideology collide to create harmony or dissonance? The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, was joined by our distinguished panellists Professor Hans van de Ven and Dr Shruti Kapila for an illuminating discussion ranging from World War II and decolonisation to the present day and beyond. The shaping of Asia will shape our future.

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Professor Stephen J Toope (Trinity 1983)

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope

Professor Stephen J Toope OC, LL.D. is 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the first non-UK national to hold the post. He was Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and President, the University of British Columbia. A former Dean of Law, McGill University, Toope was also Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Professor Toope publishes in global journals on human rights, international dispute resolution, international environmental law, the use of force, and international legal theory, and has lectured at universities around the world.

His current book project with Professor Jutta Brunnée explores mechanisms and processes fostering stability and change in international law.

Dr Shruti Kapila (Fellow of Corpus Christi)

Dr Shruti Kapila

Dr Shruti Kapila is a University Lecturer in History and Convenor of the History and Politics Tripos at the University of Cambridge. She graduated from Panjab University Chandigarh before completing her Master's in Modern History at JNU, Delhi, and her doctorate at SOAS, London University.

Dr Kapila's principal field of scholarship and publications are Modern and Contemporary India and Global Political Thought. She also researches and writes on the History of Modern Science and Race, Gender and Political Violence. Her latest work, Violent Fraternity in the Indian Age (Princeton, 2021), received advanced praise as a 'ground-breaking' book tipped to 'globalise' the field of political thought.

Dr Kapila regularly engages in political commentary and opinion on India and global politics for the international media. She co-convenes a closed-door seminar at the House of Lords that puts Indian leaders and key voices in dialogue with their British counterparts on pressing issues of the day. She also occasionally advises and consults with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Indian institutions, including the National Commission for Women, the highest policy body for women in India. She is a Fellow and Director of Studies at Corpus Christi College.

Professor Hans van de Ven FBA (Fellow of St Catharine's)

Professor Hans van de Ven FBA

Professor Hans van de Ven FBA is a Professor of Modern Chinese History at the University and an expert on the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century China. He was educated at Leiden University in the Netherlands and Harvard. He has written on China’s military history, the history of the Chinese Communist Party, and the history of China’s globalization.

From Friend to Comrade: The Founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Professor van de Vans book was awarded the Philip Lilienthal Prize of the University of California Press for best first book in Asian Studies. The Chinese translation of Breaking from the Past: The Global Origins of Modernity in China received many awards in the People’s Republic of China. China at War was a Humanities bestseller in Taiwan. His most recent book, The Chinese Communist Party: A History in Ten Lives, co-edited with Tim Cheek at UBC and Klaus Muehlhahn at Berlin, was released on 6 May. 

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