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The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up

Colloquium | September 15 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library


Michael Meyer, English, University of Pittsburgh

Thomas Gold, Sociology, UC Berkeley

Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)


In 1995, at the age of twenty-three, Michael Meyer joined the Peace Corps and, after rejecting offers to go to seven other countries, was sent to a tiny town in Sichuan. Knowing nothing about China, or even how to use chopsticks, Meyer wrote Chinese words up and down his arms so he could hold conversations, and, per a Communist dean’s orders, jumped into teaching his students about the Enlightenment, the stock market, and Beatles lyrics. Soon he realized his Chinese counterparts were just as bewildered by the country’s changes as he was. Thus began a 20-year journey through China that Meyer will recount via photographs, as well as talking about the challenges of reporting from China and how a freelance writer can fund and produce books that reach a wide audience.


ccs@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6321