Historian to discuss Global Economic Competition at VGCC


Dr. Peter Coclanis speaks during a previous presentation at VGCC. (VGCC photo)

Vance-Granville Community College will host noted economic historian Dr. Peter Coclanis for a presentation entitled “India, China, and the United States: The Battle for Global Economic Supremacy in the 21st Century,” on Wednesday, April 3 from 11 a.m. until noon in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. The public is invited to attend the presentation, which is offered free of charge.

Coclanis’ presentation is the seventh installment of an ongoing International Speakers Series sponsored by the VGCC Global Awareness Committee in partnership with the University of North Carolina’s World View program. The series is designed to enhance public awareness of pressing international issues and how they affect area residents. Coclanis previously spoke on the global recession as part of the series in 2009.

Dr. Coclanis is the Albert R. Newsome Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He specializes in economic history and the history of American business, and has published extensively on the history of agribusiness, the economic impact of the American Civil War, comparative aspects of agricultural production in the American South and Southeast Asia, as well as the economic and social history of South Carolina from the 17th century to the present. He has also published on the sociology of architecture and the role of ideas in the principal American social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. He gives public presentations on a variety of topics dealing with American and global economic history.

In his April 3 seminar at VGCC, Coclanis will address the growing head-to-head economic rivalry between China and India and the impact of that rivalry on the United States.  “I will trace the economic rise in recent decades of India and China, document their achievements, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each economy, and compare the prospects of India and China going forward to the prospects for the U.S.,” Coclanis said.

Coclanis earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1984, joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill that same year. He served as Associate Dean for General Education at UNC from 1993 to 1998, and chaired the History Department from 1998 through 2003. He has also served as Associate Provost for International Affairs, as an adjunct professor in Economics and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Asian Studies.

For more information, call Betty Jo Ellis at (252) 738-3249.