Dr. Kirby’s new book, Empires of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China, looks to the past 200 years and chronicles two revolutions in higher education: the birth of the research university and its integration with the liberal education model. Dr. Kirby examines the successes of leading universities, in Germany and the U.S. — The University of Berlin and the Free University of Berlin; Harvard, Duke, and the University of California, Berkeley ― to determine how they rose to prominence and what threats they currently face. Kirby draws illuminating comparisons to the trajectories of three Chinese contenders, Tsinghua University, Nanjing University, and the University of Hong Kong, which aim to be world-class institutions that can compete with the best the United States and Europe have to offer.
Join Dr. Kirby and David J. Firestein as they discuss the origins and status of the modern university, and explore the challenges and opportunities that both U.S. and Chinese universities face in the coming century.
This in-person discussion takes place at Rice University in the Anderson-Clarke Center; Room 107 (6100 Main St. Houston, Texas 77005; parking lot adjacent to the building is available for visitors.