This annual award, which carries a cash prize of $10,000, honors a journalist not only for a distinguished body of work, but also for the particular way that work has helped American readers to understand the complexities of Asia. It is awarded jointly by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, and the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. This year’s recipient is Ian Buruma.
Ian Buruma was born in the Netherlands, and educated at Leyden University and Nihon University, Tokyo. He is a journalist, author, and Luce Professor at Bard College, New York. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and many publications in Europe and the US. His latest books are Occidentalism (with Avishai Margalit) and Murder in Amsterdam.
Buruma’s talk will explore how for many centuries Westerners have looked East for answers to the problems in their own societies. How valid were these answers? What are people looking for today, when China and Japan look like attractive models? Is there anything we can learn?