Speaking and Media Appearances


I comment in the media and speak regularly at companies, universities, high schools, think tanks  and  appear in the media on many of the issues I write about. (Please see the articles page for a complete list of subjects and publications.)

Some of the most popular Chinese topics include: how changing social values impact foreign businesses, China's political climate, the government's reform agenda, and Chinese people's search for values and religion.

European topics include the rise of Islamism, history, Germany after reunification, and the creation of the new Berlin. 

Please feel free to contact me via The China's Speakers Bureau, China Speakers Agency, Sage Worldwide, or directly by email at info@ian-johnson.com 
Notre Dame and Chicago
October 28
South Bend, IN
Notre Dame University
Details TBA
October 29
Public lecture on religion in China
Co-hosted by Notre Dame and U.S.-China Catholic Association
Details TBA
American Academy of Religion
November 23-26
San Diego
Annual conference and awarding of 2019 prize for "Best In-Depth Newswriting on Religion."
Details TBA
U.S-China Catholic Association
March 13-15, 2020
Santa Clara, CA
Annual meeting keynote address
Details TBA
BBC Weekend
27 July 2019
Ten-minuted taped interview about the death of former Premier Li Peng, nicknamed the "butcher of Beijing" for his role in the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen crackdown and his legacy as an authoritarian technocrat--in essence a template for the people running China today.
Show site is here but episodes only stay up for three weeks. 
Leipzig University
3 July 2019
Public lecture: "Religion in China: Back to the Center of Society and Politics."
Biblioteca Albertina, Cafe Alibi, 8 pm. Details here.
BBC Television
4 June 2019
Interview on how Chinese people keep the memory of Tiananmen alive despite efforts to eliminate it. Based on this op-ed in the New York Times.
Princeton University
24-25 April 2018
Public lecture details here.
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
22 April 2018
Discussion about Li Rui papers.
Closed event.
Foreign Policy
30 March 2019
Interview on Islam's troubles in China. Read the article here.
The Initium
15 March 2019
Interview with the Hong Kong publication on Chinese politics, search for values. Read it (in Chinese) unpaywalled here.
13 March 2019
Outtakes of my March 8 interview with Sherry Lee. One small correction: I meant to say my stick-fighting was *not* good (because it isn't!). 
Read it in Chinese here.
The Reporter
08 March 2019
In-depth interview by Sherry Lee, editor of Taiwan's leading magazine of long-form journalism. 
Read it (in Chinese) here.
BBC The Real Story
3 March 2019
One-hour roundtable discussion on the economic and demographic challenges facing China, Inc.
Listen to the podcast or download the show here.
Talks in Taipei, Taiwan 
15 February 2019
Discussion at Tapei Book Fair for launch of Taiwan edition of Souls
Click here for the FB event page.
16 February 2019
 一個西方記者如何書寫中國?[How Does a Western Journalist Write About China?] 討論會(地點:未定,與談人:林育立、李雪莉)
Tickets here.
18 February 2019
「當代華人宗教中心」學術討論會. 地點:國立政治大學,主辦人:林敬智助理教授)
The Economist
17 January 2019 issue
The magazine discusses my Foreign Affairs piece (read it unpaywalled here) on how China is coopting some religions and persecuting others. 
26 December 2018
"Beijing's crackdown on religion clouds the holiday season for the country's faithful."
Read the article here.
National Public Radio
26 December 2018
"Chinese Authorities Raid Two Prominent Independent Churches."
Read or listen to the piece here.
Brush Talks
December 2018
An interview about journalism, working in China, cliches about China, my pet peeves about how foreigners write about China and.... Read the interview here.
Dec. 3 and 5
Talks in Bratislava and Kosice as part of their Pulitzer Prize winners' lecture series. Details here and registration here.
Einstein Forum
13 December 2018
Potsdam, Germany
"Die Seelen Chinas" (lecture in German)
Details here.
Portland State University
10 October 2018
Details here.
Baylor University
3 October 2018
Details here.
Auburn University
2 October 2018
Littleton-Franklin Lectures 
Details here.
Gethsemane Church Berlin
13 July 2018
Keynote speaker for a global commemoration on the anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo's death, along with Herta Müller, Wolf Biermann, Liao Yiwu and Liu's recently released widow Liu Xia.
Details, including Chinese, English and German versions of the talk, please click here.
China Institute
New York City
7 June 2018
"Ethical Dilemmas: Rebuilding China's Moral Foundation," panel discussion with Rutgers University's Jiang Tao, moderated by Barbara Demick. 
Details here
China Zentrum
(Sankt Augustin, Germany)
12 April 2018
Talk at the Jahresakademie:
"Gott und Glauben in Xi Jinpings China." 
3 pm. Details here.
Konfuzius Institut an der FU Berlin
16 April 2018
"Die Rückkehr von Tradition und die Suche nach 
neuen Werten im China der Gegenwart"
19 April 2018
"Li Manshan: Portrait of a Folk Daoist"
Moderation of film screening by Stephen Jones.
Details for both events here.
School of Law
19 March 2018
"China's Search for Faith and Values"
12 noon to 2 pm. Details here
UC Irvine
20 March 2018
Search for Meaning: Return of Religion and Spirituality in China
3-4 pm. Details here.
UC San Diego
21 March 2018
"The Return of Religion and China's Future"
5 pm. Details here.
Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C.
24 March 2018
Book signing. 
2-3 pm.
Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Random House booth.
Purdue University
27 March 2018
Center on Religion and Chinese Society
"The Confucian Dream?"
West Layfayette Public Library
4:30-6 pm. Details here.
University of London
School of Oriental and African Studies.
15 January 2018
5-7 pm. Details here.
Cambridge University
16 January 2018
5-7 pm.
Chatham House
(Royal Institute of International Affairs, London)
17 January 2018
1-2:30 pm. Details here.
Reform Club
18 January 
Invitation only. 
14 December 2017
Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies, Berlin 
Details here.
ThinkIn China Beijing
5 December  2017
Event report and pictures here.
Singapore Writers Festival
11 November 2017
5-6 pm "Media: Friend or Foe?"
8:30-9:15 pm "China Soul-Searching"
12 November 2017
2:30-3:30 "Turning to Faith" 
Details for all events here.
Hong Kong University
6 November 2017
Details here.
Hong Kong Baptist University
6 November 2017
Details here.

Hong Kong Literary Festival
4 November 2017
11 am to 12 noon, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences
"The Souls of China."
Details here
5 November 
13:30-14:30, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science
hosting Zhang Lijia talk about her new novel, "Lotus."
Details here.
National Committee for U.S.-China Relations
26 October 2017
"The Souls of China"
New York City.
Details here.
Yale University
23 October 2017
"The Battle for China's Soul"
Luce Hall Auditorium, 4:30 pm
Details here.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
19 October
"China's Religious Revival"
East Asia Center, 5 pm. 
Details here.
Young China Watchers
18 October 2017
Discussion of faith, values and the Communist Party's once-every-five-year meeting.
New York City.
Details here.
Columbia University 
18 October 2017
Discussion on "Souls of China," moderated by Andrew Nathan. 
Weatherhead East Asian Institute, 12 noon to 1:30 pm
Details here.
University of South Florida
16 October 2017
Centro Asturiano,
1913 Nebraska Avenue, Tampa
Details here.
Council on Foreign Relations
24 May 2017
Panel discussion with Elizabeth Economy, Andrew Nathan, and Yang Fenggang as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Workshop
Watch the video here.
Foreign Correspondents Club of China
18 May 2017
Details here.
Beijing International Society.
18 May 2017
Details here.
Duke Kunshan campus
16 May 2017
Details here.
Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club
15 May 2017 
Details here.
University of Notre Dame
27 April 2017
Talk on China's religious revival.
View on YouTube here
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University
19 April 2017
Talk on China's religious revival.
View on YouTube here.
Center for Strategic and International Studies
18 April 2017
"The political uses of religion in China."
Watch the video by clicking here.
The Bookworm
8 March 2017
Conversation with Jeffrey Wasserstrom of UC Irvine to talk about his new Penguin book: Eight Juxtapositions.
Details here
Sinica Podcast
29 December 2016
"Ian Johnson on the Vatican and China:" 45-minute Q&A on the SupChina Sinica podcast about Catholicism in China, chances for a rapprochement between the two states, and recommended readings.
Click here to listen and to read a description.
National Library of Singapore
2 November 2016
"China's Religious Renaissance:" A 90-minute talk and discussion about China's religious revival, hosted by Kenneth Dean of the National University of Singapore and Francis Lim of Nanyang Technological University as the discussant.
Some photos are online here.
Princeton University
22-24 October 2016
"How and Why Chinese Language Learning is Useful in Careers:" This obvious-sounding workshop (agenda here, including downloads of many of the papers) actually turned into a profound and lively discussion about how we engage with other cultures. I gave a talk--a "new manifesto" for foreign reporting that (I hope) will emphasize more language and culturally savvy reporters. The proceedings might be published in the coming year or two.
Beijing Capital Normal University
24 September 2016
"Non-fiction in China:" Part of a panel discussion with writers and academics about the future of long-form non-fiction in China. Click here for a link to an article in Chinese about some comments I made. 
Fieldstead Company, Irvine, CA
19 August 2016
"Christianity in China:" A talk at Fieldstead Company, the private charity run by the Ahmanson family of Los Angeles, at its "Perspectives on China" conference. Click here for details
Freie Universität Berlin
7 July 2016

"China's Religious Revival:" A talk at the East Asian Seminar on why religion is growing in China and the implications for society and politics. Details here

The Beijing Center
28 May and 5 June 2016
Talk to undergraduates from NYU and Universität Antwerpen on China's search for values.

Colgate University
23 May 2016
Talk to visiting students putting together a video project on religion on China, especially the Miaofengshan pilgrimage and Sydney Gamble's 1920s films.

NYRB China Conference
16 January 2016
A talk in Hong Kong at the New York Review of Books' conference on "The Governance of China."

Selected Earlier Talks
Sinica Podcast
7 June 2015  
"How to write about China:" Appearance on one of the most popular China podcasts, "Sinica," with regular hosts Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn, and David Moser. They interview me on a recent article I did in the New York Review of Books on journalism in China. 
Listen to the podcast here
The Beijing Bookworm
20 May 2015
"From Beijing to Berlin:" Public talk and discussion with Timothy Garton Ash on how 1989 played out in China and Europe, and its implications today. 
Listen to the podcast here.  
InterFaith Radio
26 March 2015
Radio discussion with Rebecca Nedostup of Brown University on China's religious boom, the country's spiritual vacuum, and the rise of indigenous religions, as well as Christianity.
"On Point" 
4 November 2014
Appearance on Tom Ashbrook's On Point, with University of Chicago's Dali Yang and Duke's Kang Liu on why Xi Jinping has embraced a nationalist blogger.
High school, university talks in Chicago, St. Louis
27-31 October 2014
Talks in Chicago- and St. Louis-area high schools and at the U Chicago and U Missouri-St. Louis as part of the Pulitzer Center's public education program. No recordings available but links herehere, and here.
The Asia Society
How Stable is China?
Sinica podcast
China's territorial claims
Hudson Institute
A speech given at the Hudson Institute's Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World about my book A Mosque in Munich
Carnegie Council
A talk on A Mosque in Munich 
View Video

New America Foundation 
NPR's "Fresh Air" a discussion on my first book, Wild Grass