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David Deal Lecture Series

David DealThe David Deal lecture series was created to honor former Whitman professor David Deal (1939-2001). Deal was a scholar of modern Chinese history and was instrumental in establishing the Asian Studies (now Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) program at Whitman.

The lecture series focuses on inviting scholars who bring an interdisciplinary approach to their work, and was conceived "as a means of continuing Whitman's long history of engaging with scholarly discussions within the field of Asian studies, broadly defined," according to professor Brian Dott.

2020 David Deal Lecture

The Buddha’s Tooth Relic and Queen Elizabeth’s Shoes: The Story of a Cultural Encounter between Sri Lanka and the West

Presented on October 27, 2020, by John S. Strong, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religion at Bates College, emeritus.

Past Lectures


Arang Keshavarzian, Associate Professor Middle Eastern Studies, New York University
“Forty Years of Social Change” - March 5, 2019


Lara Deeb, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Scripps College
“Making Inappropriate Kin: Preliminary Reflections on Intersectarian Marriage in Lebanon” - April 3, 2017


David R. Knechtges, Professor Emeritus of Chinese Literature, University of Washington
“How to View a Mountain in Early Medieval China” - November 11, 2015


Tetsu Sato, Professor of Environmental Biology and Deputy Director General of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
“Satoyama / Satoumi: Mountains-Oceans and Villages in Japan” - April 9, 2015


Prasenjit Duara, Raffles Professor of Humanities, Director of Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore
“Sustainability and the Crisis of Transcendence” - March 31, 2014


Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society
“The Impact of Global Environmental Challenges on U.S.-China Relations” - September 29, 2012


Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University
“Deng Xiaoping: The Man Who Changed China” - October 2011

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