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COMMUNITY EVENTS


Free or low cost Community Events and college courses are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day format. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.
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May 2018

Ley’ Go: A Film About Students in Liberia-Screening at Strom Auditorium

May 4 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Strom Auditorium, 25 Keelson Dr.
Rockport, ME 04856 United States
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$5.00

Camden Hills and Watershed School Liberian Education Fund chapters are teaming up to host a screening of Ley’Go, a documentary made by LEF to bring awareness to some of the issues surrounding education in Liberia. The screening will be held at the Strom Auditorium at 7:00 pm on May 4th. The documentary captures the stories of four students living in Liberia trying to make their communities and country a better place, while working to break out of their situations in a poverty-stricken post-civil war Liberia. The film was directed and edited by New England filmmakers Jesse Galkowski and Matthew Brady and produced by Maya French and Kim Ouillette. A short discussion/ Q and A will follow. LEF is a student led nonprofit organization with the mission to provide youth in Liberia with educational opportunities by building connections among students from across the world. LEF was founded at Belfast Area High…

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June 2018

“Lost and Guided” to be performed at the Portland Museum of Art and the Camden Opera House

June 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Camden Opera House Camden, ME United States + Google Map
$45

New England Arab American Organization - NEAAO is proud to invite you to a staged reading of an incredible new play Lost and Guided, at Portland Museum of Art - Portland, ME on 06/22 and Camden Orchestra House -Camden, ME on 06/23. Lost and Guided is written and directed by Irene Kapustina from the Angle Project. Lost and Guided tells the story of how the lives of four young Syrians are changed forever after anti-government protests transpire in the city of Daraa. Throughout the next six years, each of them is forced to undergo a unique and heroic journey, while the turmoil in their country erupts into a full-fledged civil war. From the Middle East to the streets of New Orleans, Lost and Guided is a universal story of love, friendship, and the struggle for happiness. Lost and Guided is an original play based on interviews conducted with Syrian refugees. Approximately 90% of the script was taken directly from interview…

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July 2018

Angus King at the Camden Opera House: Experience on the Senate Intelligence Committee and its Investigation of Russian Meddling

July 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Camden Opera House Camden, ME United States + Google Map
Free

At this free event at the Camden Opera House, Senator King will discuss highlights of his work on the Senate Intelligence Committee looking into Russian intrusion into the 2016 election. He will also reflect on the roles of Congressional oversight in general, how it works when it works, and how it doesn't when it doesn't. After the talk, there will be a chance for audience engagement and a Q&A session moderated by Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations director Tom DeMarco.  Event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations. Doors open at 6 pm. Event begins at 7 pm.

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Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to speak at the Strand Theatre

July 24 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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$20

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) invites the public to its 2018 Distinguished Lecture presented by Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on Tuesday, July 24, 5:30pm, at The Strand Theatre, 345 Main Street, Rockland, Maine.  Tickets are $15 CMCA Members, $20 Non-members and are available for purchase online at cmcanow.org or by calling 207-701-5005. A reception will immediately follow that talk at CMCA, adjacent to The Strand Theatre at 21 Winter Street. One of the most esteemed historians and museum directors of our time, Dr. Bunch will speak on “The Challenge of Building a National Museum.” Established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public on September 24, 2016. Located on the National Mall in a stunning contemporary building designed by architect David Adjaye and his team, the NMAAHC encapsulates the…

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September 2018

Foreign Affairs Discussion Group at the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine

September 5 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Witherle Memorial Library, 41 School Street
Castine, ME 04421 United States
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The Witherle Memorial Library in Castine  will host a discussion group on Wednesday, September 5 at 5 pm. In keeping with the 2019 Camden Conference focus on China, the topic will be China’s political and military ambitions.  Readings, listed below, are available at the Library’s front desk.  All are welcome. 1. Campbell, Kurt M. Ratner, Ely. The China Reckoning: How Beijing Defied American Expectations. Foreign Affairs. February 13, 2018: pp. 1 - 7. 2. Various. Did America Get China Wrong? The Engagement Debate. Foreign Affairs. July/August 2018: pp. 183-195.

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Kristin Vekasi talk at the Rockland Public Library “Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula”

September 6 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Rockland Public Library, 80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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The Camden Conference will present speaker Professor Kristin Vekasi, Assistant Professor at the University of Maine, School of Policy and International Affairs, at the Rockland Public Library on Thursday evening, September 6, at 6:30pm. Professor Vekasi will discuss "Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula." This program is free and open to all. Professor Vekasi received her PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has conducted extensive research and fieldwork across Northeast Asia, particularly China and Japan. She has been a visiting fellow with the Japan Foundation at Tokyo University, a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow at the Harbin Institute of Technology, and a Fulbright Fellow at Tohoku University. She is a member of the US-Japan Network for the Future through the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Foundation and Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership. Her research focuses on China-Japan relations, and how multinational firms manage political risk in…

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CIFF film-Putin’s Witnesses

September 14 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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The Camden International Film Festival is taking place September 13-16, 2018 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland. Several of the films might be of interest to our Camden Conference community.  Putin’s Witnesses Friday Sept. 14, 6:00 PM at the Strand Filmmaker in attendance! On New Year's Eve 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin surprised the world by announcing that he was stepping down and turning the office over to the country's newly appointed Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. Through testimonies from Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and the current Russian president himself, Filmmaker Vitaly Mansky tells the story of how Putin rose to power and has held his position for nearly two decades.   https://pointsnorthinstitute.org/ciff/films/features/harrell-competition/putins-witnesses-svideteli-putina/

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Ted Raia talk at the Camden Public Library “Understanding the Far East”

September 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Camden Public Library, 55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
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The Camden Conference presents Ted Raia at the Camden Public Library on September 18 at 7 pm. His talk, "Understanding the Far East," explains how the four major players, who through almost two centuries of wars and intrigue, are responsible for today's Far East. This event is free and open to all.  Ted has traveled in Russia, China, India, Pakistan and nine Middle East countries as well as Afghanistan, where as a volunteer physician in April of 1978, he and his wife, Fil, were detained by the communist overthrow of the government. They retired to Naples, Florida but have been summer residents of Camden, Fil’s home town where they were married, since 1958. He retired in 1997 with the rank of colonel after 26 years of active duty in the US Army Medical Corps.  Ted did his residency in radiology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and later chaired…

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October 2018

Michael Roskin speaks at the Rockland Public Library “China’s Century? Not So Fast”

October 4 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Rockland Public Library, 80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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The Camden Conference presents Michael Roskin at the Rockland Public Library at 6:30pm on Thursday, October 4. His talk will be "China's Century? Not So Fast." This event is free and open to all. China's "S-Curve" is starting to kick in, argues Michael Roskin, a retired professor of political science living in Rockland. An elongated "S" charts economic growth generally: awakening, rapid growth, then leveling off. China seems to be heading into this third phase with problems in banking, investment, debt and capital flight, all amid overseas expansion and a crackdown on dissent. Roskin has visited and lectured in China but worries that the deterioration of U.S.-China relations could escalate. Great care and patience will be necessary to avoid conflict, he argues. This may not be China's century, but it is our biggest problem. Michael Roskin, a political scientist, is a 1960 Berkeley graduate who worked as a newspaperman in…

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China Town Hall featuring Condoleezza Rice (webcast) and Eliot Cutler

October 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Luther Bonney Hall, USM, 96 Falmouth Street
Portland, 04103 United States
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The World Affairs Council of Maine, in collaboration with Camden Conference and the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, is pleased to present the twelfth annual CHINA Town Hall. The program will take place on Tuesday, October 9, at 6pm at the Talbot Hall in Luther Bonney, USM, Portland, and features Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state and national security advisor, as the national webcast speaker, followed by an in-person presentation by Eliot Cutler, titled, "Slipping the Noose: How the U.S and China Could Evade the Thucydides Trap." Free and open to the public. Suggested donation of $15 to support the programming of the World Affairs Council of Maine. Please register in advance here to ensure a seat. Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and…

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The Chinese Exclusion Act-American Experience film in Belfast

October 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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The Camden Conference presents the PBS American Experience film "The Chinese Exclusion Act" on Tuesday, October 9 at the Belfast Free Library at 6:00pm. The documentary was directed by Ric Burns and his longtime collaborator Li-Shin Yu (who was an editor on the 2003 PBS series “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience,” which covered some of the same ground). The film is centered on the 1882 act of the title, the first American law to restrict the immigration of a particular ethnic group and ban its members from citizenship. This event is free and open to all. From a New York Times review of the film, May 28, 2018:  "The filmmakers and their cast of mostly Asian-American historians frame the Exclusion Act as part of a long national narrative of racism, xenophobia, predatory capitalism and political calculation. The China trade and the Opium Wars, the Civil War and the collapse of Reconstruction, and…

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Stephen Harder talk at the Camden Public Library “China’s View of the World – and of America.”

October 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Camden Public Library, 55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
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PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME! The Camden Conference presents Stephen Harder at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30 pm. His talk “China’s View of the World - and of America” discusses important aspects of Chinese history, culture, economics and politics that shape a Chinese view of the world - and the Chinese view of America. Stephen Harder is an international lawyer and Global Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University in Shanghai.   For 20 years, from 1996 through 2016, he was based in Hong Kong and Shanghai and led the China practice of an international law firm. He has acted as counsel to American, European and Japanese companies investing in China and also as counsel to China’s state owned investment funds and development banks in projects in Russia, South America and Africa. For several years immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was based…

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“China in Africa: A New Kind of Colonialism?” Paul Holman speaks at Vose Library

October 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Vose Library (Union, ME), 392 Common Road
Union, ME 04862 United States
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The Camden Conference presents Professor Paul Holman at the Vose Library in Union on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:30 pm. He will discuss "China in Africa: A New Kind of Colonialism?" This event is free and open to all. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, no event has transformed world politics as much as the spectacular rise of China.  Its President Xi Jinping was recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as the most powerful person in the world, and his Belt and Road Initiative will involve massive investments (estimated at $4-8 trillion) for participating countries in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and East Africa.  Xi recently hosted a summit conference in China for some 50 African heads of state, with the goal of fostering solidarity and “win-win cooperation” between equal players. Even so, the Chinese impact on Africa is not well understood.   Many Western leaders have accused Beijing of engineering…

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Stephen Harder at the Scarborough Public Library “China’s View of the World – and of America”

October 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Scarborough Public Library, 48 Gorham Road
Scarborough, ME 04070 United States
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The Scarborough Public Library in partnership with the Camden Conference will welcome Stephen Harder for the first of three programs being offered in the Library’s series. Stephen's talk, China’s View of the World – and of America, discusses important aspects of Chinese history, culture, economics and politics that shape a Chinese view of the world – and the Chinese view of America. He will speak on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to all. Stephen Harder is an international lawyer and Global Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University in Shanghai.  For 20 years, from 1996 through 2016, he was based in Hong Kong and Shanghai and led the China practice of an international law firm. He has acted as counsel to American, European and Japanese companies investing in China and also as counsel to China’s state owned investment funds and development banks in…

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Human Rights talk to be feature of UN Day Celebration at Bates College

October 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bates College, 75 Russell St.
Lewiston, ME 04240 United States
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UNA-Maine, a chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), is proud to celebrate United Nations Day with a presentation by renowned human rights educator, Steve Wessler, at Bates College on Wednesday, October 24 at 7 p.m.  The event is being co-sponsored by the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine and Bates College.             Steve Wessler is an engaging speaker who focuses on reducing bias, harassment and hate crimes through education, training and advocacy.  The program, titled “Reducing Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Muslim Bias in Maine,” will present insights from his recent dialogues among refugees, recent immigrants and long-time residents here in the State of Maine.             Steve teaches at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and at George Mason University in Virginia.  He is the author of The Respectful School, and numerous articles focusing on hate crimes and their prevention.  After graduating from Harvard College and…

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China-Maine trade: What’s at stake? –a panel discussion at USM

October 30 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hannaford Hall, USM, 88 Bedford Street
Portland, ME 04104 United States
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Maine’s trading relationship with China has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Much of that has been fueled by a growing Chinese middle class clamoring for lobster.  New tariffs and trade agreements, however, could temper that growth.  And by extension, foreign investment and even recruitment of Chinese students by Maine schools could be affected. Join us to explore how this trade can affect the economy of Maine.  Learn from the firsthand experience of Mainers involved in or advising on this fast-moving and multi-faceted scene. Presented by the Camden Conference and Maine International Trade Center, the panel will be moderated by Carol Coultas, business editor of Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, partners for the event, along with the University of Southern Maine. Panelists are:  Wade Merritt, president of MITC; Joseph W. McDonnell professor of public policy and management at the Muskie School of Public Service at USM; Brian McNamara, president and CEO…

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November 2018

“From Alaska to China and Back”-Frank O’Hara, Jr. at the Rockland Public Library

November 1 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Rockland Public Library, 80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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The Camden Conference will present Frank O'Hara, Jr. at the Rockland Public Library on Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 pm where he will discuss the commercial fishing business in his talk "From Alaska to China and Back." This event is free and open to all.  In 2015, The Free Press printed a feature article on the O'Hara fishing dynasty. The following is an excerpt from the article: Frank Jr.’s great-grandfather started the fishing family dynasty in 1904 when he launched a Gloucester sailing vessel, the Francis J. O’Hara, Jr., which fished for cod, haddock, and halibut off of Georges Bank until it was sunk by a German U-boat in 1918.  The vessel’s namesake got a $5,000 family loan to start his own business: the Atlantic and Pacific Seafood Company in Boston. That was the first real step towards becoming the O’Hara Corporation. READ MORE O'Hara will discuss the timeline of growth…

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Film Series “Is This China’s Century?” #1-The China Hustle

November 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rockport Opera House, 6 Central Street
Rockport, ME 04856 United States
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The Camden Conference and Rockport Public Library are pleased to present a Film Series: Is this China's Century?, in connection with the 32nd Camden Conference, which will focus on the same theme.  The series will take place over two Saturdays; November 10, and 17, at the Rockport Opera House.  The screenings are free and open to all. The first film in the series, The China Hustle, will be shown on Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m. From the producers of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room comes a Wall Street heist story about a still-unfolding financial crime so big, it has the power to affect all of our wallets. Investors on the fringes of the financial world feverishly seek new alternatives for high-return investments in the global markets, and have found a goldmine in China. But when one investor discovers a massive web of fraud, everything else is called into question. Jed Rothstein's documentary rings the…

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A Glance Into China Through Poetry

November 11 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cushing Public Library, 39 Cross Road
Cushing, ME 04563 United States
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An afternoon of poetry will take place at the Cushing Public Library on Sunday, November 11 at 2 pm. The event will be facilitated by Ellen Goldsmith and is free is open to all. Poetry opens doors into the personal, social, political and psychological fabric of a country, its particular concerns as well as universal themes. Chinese poetry has a 3,000 year history. Our glance will focus on contemporary Chinese poetry which is enjoying a Silver Age according to Ming Di, editor and translator. In this participatory session, ten participants will read and respond to poems from well regarded Chinese poets. Attendees will have opportunities to respond to the poems as well. Ellen Goldsmith is the author of three poetry collections, Where to Look, Such Distances and No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect which won the Slapering Hol Chapbook Prize. She teaches poetry for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, the 5-Towns CSD…

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“Sacred Landscapes: Healing the Land”-Ted Carter, Calen & Jini Rayne at Scarborough Public Library

November 13 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Scarborough Public Library, 48 Gorham Road
Scarborough, ME 04070 United States
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The Scarborough Public Library in partnership with the Camden Conference will explore ancient Chinese techniques for bringing ourselves into harmony with our surroundings. With over 100 years of collective experience, special guests Jini and Calen Rayne and Ted Carter will focus on how information related to traditional feng shui, geomancy, and landscape design can better situate us in our fast-paced mobile society. They will speak on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to all. Jini will discuss the role and importance of feng shui in Chinese culture, and will offer a few examples of basic feng shui principles that participants can apply for themselves. Calen will discuss aspects of geomancy and working with earth energies as practiced in ancient China. Ted will explain how he uses this information to formulate a landscape design in harmony with the land, drawing from his work with archetypes and…

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“China Marches West” talk by Seth Singleton at the Belfast Free Library

November 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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The Camden Conference presents Seth Singleton at the Belfast Free Library on Wednesday, November 14 at 6:30pm. His  talk, "China Marches West," is free and open to all. Several times in its long history a powerful China has marched west into the inner Asian deserts and mountains, toward Persia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Europe.  Today a wealthy and powerful China is marching west again. The Belt and Road initiative sends Chinese companies and workers to build roads, railways, bridges, ports and pipelines in countries from Tajikistan and Pakistan to Croatia and Greece. These projects, financed with Chinese loans, are designed to bring resources to China, expand markets for Chinese goods, and establish China’s primacy across Eurasia. The Belt and Road projects begin in China’s western province of Xinjiang, homeland of the Turkic Muslim Uyghurs. Uyghurs have resisted Han colonization with riots and occasional violence. China links the Uyghur…

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Film Series “Is This China’s Century?” #2-Waiting for the Sun

November 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rockport Opera House, 6 Central Street
Rockport, ME 04856 United States
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The Camden Conference and Rockport Public Library are pleased to present a Film Series: Is this China's Century?, in connection with the 32nd Camden Conference, which will focus on the same theme.  The series will take place over two Saturdays; November 10, and 17, at the Rockport Opera House.  The screenings are free and open to all. The first film in the series, The China Hustle, will be shown on Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m. From the producers of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room comes a Wall Street heist story about a still-unfolding financial crime so big, it has the power to affect all of our wallets. Investors on the fringes of the financial world feverishly seek new alternatives for high-return investments in the global markets, and have found a goldmine in China. But when one investor discovers a massive web of fraud, everything else is called into question. Jed Rothstein's documentary rings the…

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Susan A. Thornton at the Scarborough Public Library “Meeting the Challenge of a Rising China”

November 18 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Scarborough Public Library, 48 Gorham Road
Scarborough, ME 04070 United States
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Our final program in the Camden Conference series will feature Susan A. Thornton, foreign policy leader and expert on U.S. foreign relations on the Eurasian continent. Susan will bring her 28-year career as a diplomat for the U.S. Department of State, including Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, to her discussion of China’s rise and its effects on American diplomacy. Susan will speak on Sunday, November 18 at 2pm. Prior to her departure, Susan led East Asia policy making amid crises with North Korea, escalating trade tensions with China and a generally deteriorating environment in the U.S. for international economic and diplomatic engagement. Thornton was the architect of the diplomatic pressure campaign on the North Korean regime, structured the administration’s initial approach to China and developed the administration’s trademark Indo-Pacific Strategy.

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December 2018

2018 Global Awareness & Responsibility Conference at USM

December 1 @ 11:30 am - 3:30 pm
Luther Bonney Hall, USM, 96 Falmouth Street
Portland, 04103 United States
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“Sino-U.S. Relations: Global Competitors or the Inevitability of Armed Conflict” talk by John Doughty in Falmouth

December 4 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Lunt Auditorium, Ocean View, 74 Lunt Rd.
Falmouth, ME 04105 United States
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  The Camden Conference presents John Doughty at the Lunt Auditorium, Ocean View, Falmouth, on Tuesday, December 4 at 6:30pm. His talk is titled “Sino-U.S. Relations: Global Competitors or the Inevitability of Armed Conflict.” This event is free and open to all. Sino-U.S. relations are approaching a low point.  With tensions building on the trade front and the increased risk of a confrontation in the South China sea, will Thucydides’ trap be sprung?  Can the world’s two super powers move forward peacefully?  We will examine five key historical events in China’s past which may provide a guidepost for future economic and military relations between the two countries.  Further, we will discuss the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. as well as Chinese military developments.  As America increasingly looks inward, the probability of Chinese efforts to cement their position as a global economic and military leader has risen.  Will…

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The Eagle and the Dragon: A New Geopolitics of the 21st Century-talk by Matt Ward at the York Public Library

December 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Rd,
York, ME 03909 United States
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As China’s participation in global politics and culture increases, so does its power. But is the country ready to lead? This and other pertinent questions will be explored on Tuesday, December 4, at 7pm at York Public Library. Retired Foreign Service Officer and China expert Matt Ward will present “The Eagle and the Dragon: A New Geopolitics of the 21st Century.” The Library is collaborating with the Camden Conference 2019 to offer this timely program. “Is this China’s Century?” is the theme of this year’s conference, a 2-day symposium led by experts from China, East Asia, Europe, and the United States that will analyze a wide range of topics and issues regarding the emergence of China as a global power. The Conference will be held at the Camden Opera House, February 22-24 and satellite programs will be held in select public libraries in the months leading up to the Conference.…

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Talk and Tour: Ai Weiwei, international artist-gallery talk at the Farnsworth Art Museum

December 5 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St.
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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$5

The Camden Conference in collaboration with the Farnsworth Art Museum, presents an introduction to the exhibition, Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold on Wednesday, December 5 at 2:00 pm. Learn about internationally renowned artist and filmmaker, Ai Weiwei. Born in China, educated in China and USA, now living in Germany, Ai’s artwork and other projects are world renowned. In Circle of Animals, the year 1860 was critical to socio-political change in China and indeed around the world. How these events affected the people of China, the Chinese government, the art world and Ai’s life is the story behind the exhibition Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold. The talk will introduce the subjects; the tour will invite participants’ thoughts and reactions. The speaker will be Vas Prabhu, Director of Education at the Farnsworth Museum and tour guide will be Judy Bing, Farnsworth docent and professor emeritus, Drexel University. 

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“Sino-U.S. Relations: Global Competitors or the Inevitability of Armed Conflict” talk by John Doughty at the Rockland Public Library

December 6 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Rockland Public Library, 80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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The Camden Conference presents John Doughty at the Rockland Public Library on Thursday, December 6 at 6:30pm. His talk is titled "Sino-U.S. Relations: Global Competitors or the Inevitability of Armed Conflict." Sino-U.S. relations are approaching a low point.  With tensions building on the trade front and the increased risk of a confrontation in the South China sea, will Thucydides’ trap be sprung?  Can the world’s two super powers move forward peacefully?  We will examine five key historical events in China’s past which may provide a guidepost for future economic and military relations between the two countries.  Further, we will discuss the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. as well as Chinese military developments.  As America increasingly looks inward, the probability of Chinese efforts to cement their position as a global economic and military leader has risen.  Will America pivot to meet this challenge?  The answer to this question…

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Chinese Education: 20 years of Evolution from Catch-up to Leadership-talk by Kyle Tong in Kennebunk

December 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street
Kennebunk, 04043 United States
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The past twenty years of education in China has been a period of constant change. There are forces internally and externally that drive these changes. Curriculum serves several masters so some aspects of the educational system are quite progressive while others remain virtually unchanged. Join presenter Kyle Tong at the Kennebunk Free Library on Wednesday, December 11 at 6:00 to learn about the Chinese educational system. Having worked closely with the one-million-student school system of Hefei for two decades has allowed Tong to have a fairly unique window into the soul of China through the education of their young. Tong will talk about the traditional systems, how they have been jerked into the 20th and 21st Centuries, and how simple demographics drive so much in education as well as societal thinking. He will attempt to get beyond the stereotypes and delve deeper into the mind of the Middle Kingdom. Kyle…

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“Maine in the China Trade” talk by Cipperly Good at the Belfast Free Library

December 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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The Camden Conference presents Cipperly Good, Curator and Collections Manager of the Penobscot Marine Museum, at the Belfast Free Library on Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30pm. Her talk is titled "Maine in the China Trade." This event is free and open to all. Drugs, armed conflict, and free trade.  Sound familiar?  The First Opium War of the early 1840s, with British and Chinese fighting over the opium trade and Chinese sovereignty,  opened up Chinese ports to the world.  Maine's merchant mariners aboard Maine-built ships soon thereafter entered the Chinese import and export trade.  The trade aboard Maine-built ships lasted into the turn of the 20th Century.  In the meantime, Maine sea captains and their families brought back souvenirs, stories, and an economic understanding of China.  This talk will use objects, photographs, and archives from Penobscot Marine Museum's collections to provide a historical context to the 32nd Annual Camden Conference's leading…

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