Karen Ma received her M.A. Degree in Chinese Literature from the University of Washington, and was a Japanese Ministry of Education scholar at Tokyo University. She has taught at several universities in Japan and the United States, including Sophia University, Tokai University and St. John’s University. While in Japan, she also worked for many years as a film critic for several English language newspapers.
Professor Gargan has worked around the world for the New York Times and Newsday. He has been based in Africa, India, and Hong Kong and twice in China. In his two China postings, he covered the nascent democracy movement and the early stirrings of economic liberalization, and later the rise of the middle classes, the spread of corruption, the changing, and unchanging status of women, and growing the gap between urban and rural China. When based in Hong Kong, he wrote extensively on the political and social issues leading up to the colony’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997. He also reported extensively on the war in Afghanistan following the attacks on the United States in September 2001, and the Iraq war in 2003. He is the author of two books, China’s Fate and The River’s Tale.