Morris Rossabi, one of the world’s foremost experts on Mongolia and the Mongols, will deliver a public lecture, “Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan: Conquest and Rule,” as the second guest of the fall’s Tanaka Asian Studies Lecture Series funded by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation. The lecture will be held on Monday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in Stern Hall, Room 203.
“Dr. Rossabi is a leading scholar of Mongolia and the Mongols, and we are excited about hosting him on campus this fall,” says Darrin Magee, associate professor of environmental studies and chair of the department. “The Tanaka Foundation has generously provided funds to bring knowledgeable, engaging speakers to campus to share their expertise on issues of broad interest to students and faculty in Asian studies, history, art and other fields.”
A historian of China and Central Asia, Rossabi is a senior research scholar and adjunct professor of Inner Asian history at Columbia University and distinguished professor of history at Queens College, The City University of New York.
During the 2008-2009 academic year, Rossabi received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Mongolia; wrote a preface to the 20th anniversary re-issue of his book “Khubilai Khan” (University of California Press); wrote a preface for the Russian and Korean translations of “Khubilai Khan;” published the article “MPRP: Transmogrification of a Political Party” in Pacific Affairs; wrote a preface to the re-issue of his book “Voyager from Xanadu;” and delivered keynote addresses for conferences at the University of British Columbia, Inner Mongolian University, Nanjing University and National University of Mongolia. He also published “Socialist Devotees and Dissenters” (National Museum of Ethnology, 2010) and was named distinguished visiting scholar at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka from May through July 2010.
In 2006, he was named chair of the Arts and Culture Board of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation). He is the author of “Herder to Statesman” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); “The Mongols and Global History” (W. W. Norton); “Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists” (University of California Press, 2005); “Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times” (University of California Press, 1988), which was chosen as a main selection by the History Book Club; and “China and Inner Asia” (Universe Books, 1975). He is the editor of “Governing China’s Multi-Ethnic Frontiers” (University of Washington Press, forthcoming) and a contributor to several volumes of the Cambridge History of China.
Rossabi has helped organize exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. He is on the advisory board of the Project on Central Eurasia of the Soros Foundation. The author of numerous articles and speeches, he travels repeatedly to Central Asia and Mongolia, where he teaches courses on Mongolian and East Asian history. Rossabi received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1970.
In addition to his talk, Rossabi will visit several HWS classes in art history, Asian studies, history, and engage informally with students.
Since 1992, the Tanaka Memorial Foundation has been a major contributor to the education and intellectual growth of both faculty and students on the HWS campus, enabling them to travel abroad as part of Technos International Week. The transformative experience provides a cross-cultural exchange to two students and a member of the faculty each June when Technos International College in Tokyo generously hosts the enriching program.
In addition, each year students are also awarded with Technos International Prizes on behalf of the Tanaka Ikeuikai Educational Trust. Upon completion of their undergraduate careers, two students – one Hobart and one William Smith – are acknowledged for their global awareness and commitment to international understanding.
The Colleges’ relationship with the Tanaka family dates back to the late 1980s when Dr. Kenji Tanaka visited the campus with his daughters, Makiko and Kimiko. A friendship was forged on that visit between the Tanaka family and the Colleges that has not only continued but has flourished over the years since. Makiko received an honorary degree from the Colleges in 2011.
Over the following years, gifts made to Hobart and William Smith by the Tanaka family have supported the Colleges and the Asian Studies program. In 1992, Hobart and William Smith formally received the first of what were to become yearly gifts of support from the Tanaka Memorial Foundation. With the first of these grants, the Colleges established the Tanaka Asian Studies Endowment; and since then, the Tanaka Memorial Foundation has grown that endowment generously, funding the speaker series among other opportunities.