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Kenneth Pomeranz

Kenneth Pomeranz

Pomeranz to Give Founders’ Day Lecture

January 27, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Kenneth Pomeranz, a professor of East Asian languages and literature at the University of California, Irvine, will speak on "The East Asian Miracle" at the Illinois Wesleyan University Founders' Day Convocation on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The convocation, which is open to the public, will be held at 11 a.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 N. Park St.

During his stay on campus, Pomeranz will also speak on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. with a topic of “East and West and the Origins of a Modern World Economy.” That public lecture will be in room C-101 of the Center for Natural Sciences, 201 E. Beecher St.

Pomeranz is Chancellor’s Professor of History, a former chair of the history department and director of the University of California Multi-Campus Research Group in world history. He gave the Hume Lecture in East Asian studies at Yale in 2005 and, later this year, will deliver the Macarthur Lectures in economic history at Cambridge.

While the primary emphasis of Pomeranz’s work has revolved around Chinese and comparative economic development, rural social change, environmental change and state formation, he has also written on the history of popular religion and on family organization and gender roles.

His publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton University Press, January 2002), which won the American Historical Association’s Fairbank Prize and was the co-winner of a World History Association book prize. He is also the author of the Fairbank-prize winning The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society, and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937 (University of California Press, August 1993) and the co-author (with Steven Topik) of The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present (Sharp M.E., Inc., July 1999)

Pomeranz earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from Cornell University and master’s degrees at Yale, where he received his doctorate in 1988.

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program

Each year, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available 12 or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with Phi Beta Kappa chapters, spending two days at each one, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture.

The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society with chapters currently at 270 colleges and universities and over 600,000 members. The Illinois Wesleyan chapter, the Lambda Chapter of Illinois, was chartered in 2001.

Now entering its 50th year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 518 scholars on nearly 4,500 two-day visits since the 1956-57 academic year.

Founders’ Day

Founders' Day marks the establishment of Illinois Wesleyan University in 1850 by 30 community leaders in Bloomington, who agreed to found "an institution of learning of the collegiate grade." Illinois Wesleyan is a private, coeducational university with an enrollment of approximately 2,100 and a student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. The University consists of the College of Liberal Arts, with 17 academic departments; the College of Fine Arts, comprising professional Schools of Art, Music and Theatre Arts; and the School of Nursing.

CONTACT: Stew Salowitz, 309-556-3206