There are no upcoming events.

Mary Kay Magistad ""Whose Century Is It?: Variables Shaping China's Future in the World."

Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 4:30 pm

If the 20th century was America's, is the 21st China's? China's current leaders, Xi Jinping in particular, appear to be making that bet, projecting power and offering economic opportunity throughout the region and beyond. And that's certainly one plausible future. But there are also other plausible futures, which could play out if variables ranging from demography to climate change to domestic political and social pressures to the changing capacity of potential competitors, develop differently than China's leaders currently seem to expect. 

Mary Kay Magistad, former China correspondent for NPR and PRI/BBC's The World, and current host of the podcast "Whose Century Is It?," will draw on her 15 years living and reporting in China, and recent China-related reporting for her podcast, to offer a few ways to think about whether this is, or might yet become, China's century, and how we'd know if it was.  

Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 4:30 pm


Mary Kay Magistad is formerly The World’s East Asia correspondent. She lived and reported in the region for two decades. Mary Kay is now based in San Francisco.

During her time in Asia, she traveled regularly and widely throughout China and beyond, exploring how China’s rapid transformation has affected individual lives and exploring the bigger geopolitical, economic and environmental implications of China’s rise. She stepped back every so often to do an in-depth series on such topics as the China’s urbanization — the biggest and most rapid move from the countryside to the cities in human history, on the potential for innovation in China, and on the ripple effects on Chinese society of the One Child Generation coming of age. Mary Kay’s seven-part series on that subject, called “Young China,” won a 2007 Overseas Press Club Award, one of several awards she has received.

Mary Kay started out in Southeast Asia, based in Bangkok, as a regular contributor to NPR, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and other news media. She covered the Cambodian civil war and the UN peace process, the Burmese army’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators and the United States’ wary rapprochement in the early ‘90s with Vietnam. Mary Kay also reported farther afield, covering the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, tensions with Iraq in Kuwait, and other stories.

Mary Kay became NPR’s full-time Southeast Asia correspondent in 1993, and in 1996 she opened NPR’s first Beijing bureau. She took time out for two fellowships at Harvard — a Nieman and a Radcliffe fellowship — enough time to realize China was too interesting a story to leave — before going back to China for The World.

Mary Kay graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in journalism and history, and has an MA in international relations from the University of Sussex in England, completed on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.

mary Kay magistad

A17 Simpson International Building
Open to the Public