Romano Debates America the Philosophical as the Only American Author at Beijing International Book Fair

Annenberg’s Carlin Romano debated the chief claim of his recent book, America the Philosophical—that America is the foremost philosophical culture in the history of the world, in part because of its enormous freedom of expression—with two leading Chinese intellectuals at the Beijing International Book Fair on Sept. 1. The conversation was conducted in both English and Chinese, with translations into Chinese.

Prof. Romano, the only American author speaking at the Fair in a year featuring the Republic of Korea as Guest of Honor, discussed his book with two scholars from Tsinghua University, one of China’s top academic institutions. Wang Ning, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Tsinghua, as well as Zhiyuan Chair Professor of Humanities at Shanghai Jiaotong University, is the author of, among numerous books and articles, Globalization and Cultural Translation (2004), and Translated Modernities: Literary and Cultural Perspectives on Globalization and China (2010). Shiyi Yu, also a professor at Tsinghua, is the author of Reading the Chuang-tzu in the T’ang Dynasty, a study of the interaction between Taoism and Buddhism.