Pulitzer winner Ian Johnson to talk about ‘The Battle for China’s Soul’

Photo of Ian Johnson
Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, will speak at Yale about “The Battle for China’s Soul” on Oct. 23 as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Johnson’s talkwill take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Luce Hall auditorium at 34 Hillhouse Ave. It is free and open to the public.

Johnson has spent over half of the past 30 years in the Greater China region, and he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his work focusing on society, religion, and history in China. His reporting has also won awards from the Overseas Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Johnson’s most recent book, “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao,” tells the story of China’s spiritual revival and its political implications. It was published in April. At Yale, Johnson will discuss his six-year project to chronicle the return of religion to China.

In 1984, Johnson went to China as a student, spending two years in Beijing followed by three years in Taipei. He worked as a correspondent in China from 1994 to 2001, first with Baltimore’s The Sun and then with the Wall Street Journal.

The bulk of Johnson’s work focuses on China, but he also worked in Germany twice: as a graduate student and freelancer in West Berlin from 1988 to 1992 and again between 2001 to 2009 as the Wall Street Journal’s bureau chief.

Johnson lives in Beijing, where he also teaches undergraduate classes.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of media outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are John Dickerson, Scott Anderson, and Susan Glasser.

The event is co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center.