A Comprehensive Mirror: James Carter’s “This Week in China’s History” column marks two years


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This week on Sinica, Kaiser chats with James (Jay) Carter, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Jay, who joined us on the show in December 2020 to talk about his book Champion’s Day, is the author of one of the most widely-read columns that SupChina runs: This Week in China’s History. In honor of two full years of contributions, with over 100 columns, Kaiser asked Jay to talk about his process, his purpose, and the challenges and the rewards of writing this excellent column.

6:34 – The origin story of the column, and its original intention

11:34 – How the hell does Jay do it week in and week out?

23:84 – Jay talks about Jonathan Spence and what it was like to study under him at Yale

31:32 – On the diversity of perspectives in the column

40:53 – How the column keeps Jay connected to academic work and intellectual life

43:35 – Threading the needle in deploying historical analogy, and right-sizing historical “rhymes” and patterns

A complete transcript of this podcast is available at SupChina.com


Jay: The Broadway musical Hadestown; and the New York City Ballet

Kaiser: The inaugural Sinologia Conference on June 10