Ian Buruma is the author of the recent book Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents (2010) and numerous other books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh (2006). A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, he is the recipient of the 2008 Erasmus Prize and was named one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers of 2010 by Foreign Policy magazine. This event follows the October 4 kickoff of the series season.
Ian Buruma was educated in Holland and Japan, where he studied history, Chinese literature, and Japanese cinema. In 1970s Tokyo, he acted in Kara Juro's Jokyo Gekijo and participated in Maro Akaji's butoh dancing company Dairakudakan, followed by a career in documentary filmmaking and photography. In the 1980s, he worked as a journalist, and spent much of his early writing career travelling and reporting from all over Asia. Buruma now writes about a broad range of political and cultural subjects for major publications, most frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Corriere della Sera, and NRC Handelsblad.He was Cultural Editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong (1983-86) and Foreign Editor of The Spectator, London (1990-91), and has been a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington D.C., St. Antony's College, Oxford, and Remarque Institute, NYU. He has delivered lectures at various academic and cultural institutions world-wide, including Oxford, Princeton, and Harvard universities. He is currently Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. In April 2012, Buruma was awarded the Abraham Kuyper Prize at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Nonfiction Dialogues, now in its seventh season, features in-depth conversations with distinguished nonfiction writers about their work and careers, with Professor Lis Harris. The series continues on April 4.