Talks and lectures

New Scholarship from the China Centre: Chinese Politics and Power

Tuesday, 21 November, 17:00 - 18:30 at Lecture Theatre 1

Vivienne Shue (University of Oxford), Patricia Thornton (University of Oxford), and Maria Repnikova (Georgia State University). A book launch for To Govern China: Evolving Practices of Power and Media Politics in China: Improvising Power under Authoritarianism. What is the nature of political change in China? How is it reflected in the changing face of the Chinese Communist Party, the relations between state and society, and the changing role of the media?  This forum brings together three scholars who have been working on powerful academic insights on these questions and many more about what China's politics are today.  Bringing together deep research and new theoretical viewpoints, the new books discussed here are examples of the cutting-edge scholarship developed at Oxford's China Centre.  Join us for analysis, discussion and more. Drinks reception to follow - all are welcome. Display copies and discount vouchers will be available. ShueThorntonBookAmazonRepnikova book

Regulatory State in China: Ambition, Power and Paradox

Thursday, 23 November, 17:00 - 18:30 at Lecture Theatre 1

Hong, Frank2For a country to have high speed trains safely running at 200-350 KM per hour on tracks exceeding 22,000 kilometers and mobile payments reaching US$5.5 trillion in 2016 (five times of its counterpart in America), things must be 'well regulated' in many areas. Indeed, 'well regulated' and 'orderly' are the impressions of China for most international visitors. Yet, in one domain after another, citizens and the State are struggling to achieve order or stability. For example, recurring violence by patients against doctors; mind boggling high prices for urban housing; rampant fraud in financial sectors; abuse of police powers; environmental pollution, the list goes on and on. Frank Hong, a native Chinese but trained as an American lawyer, has been advising clients in China for the last 15 years or so. Mr Hong encounters the social and economic issues in many areas. For Mr Hong and his clients, merely labelling a system as illiberal does not end the conversation. In pursing solutions of real life problems, Mr Hong directly interacts with the regulatory system, which spans many domains and jurisdictions within China. Notwithstanding the apparent emulation of western and especially American regulatory institutions, the magnitude of the issues that must be addressed and the unprecedented scale of societal transformation in China make the Chinese regulatory system one that is uniquely complex and dynamic. In 2017, one could say the Chinese regulatory state is coming of age. In this talk, Mr Hong will share his case experience in how the Chinese regulatory system works under the constraints of politics, rule of law and practicality among others; and how private sectors game the regulatory game. With examples relating to foreign exchange control, internet communication, policing power and judicial authority among others, Mr Hong will illustrate the PRC regulatory state’s ambitions, strategies and limitations.

Sino-Japanese Wars: Communications, Cartoons, and Diplomacy

Monday, 27 November, 17:00 - 18:30 at Seminar Room 1

International History of East Asia seminar Jenny Huangfu Day, Skidmore College: 'A Covert History of Communications in the Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95'. Mariia Guleva, St Petersburg Polytechnic University: 'Soviet Diplomacy and Sino-Japanese Conflict in Krokodil and Shidai manhua (1931-37)'.

Blockbusters, Biennales and Market Economy: the Global Spin of Chinese Contemporary Art

Tuesday, 28 November, 17:00 - 18:00 at Lecture Theatre 1

Francesca dal Lago, Independent Scholar, speaking at the Oxford Seminar on Visual Culture in Modern and Contemporary China  

Easy Riders and Good Fellows: Rebellion, Masculinity, and the Market in Contemporary Chinese Fiction and Film

Thursday, 30 November, 17:00 - 18:30 at Lecture Theatre 1

Hunt, Pamela TalkAs a so-called 'bad boy' novelist, rally-car driver, blogger and filmmaker, Han Han has been hailed as the voice of youthful rebellion since he first shot to fame in 1999 at the age of 17. Since then, the 'Han Han phenomenon' has emerged, combining counter-cultural posturing with a string of blockbusters and an equally long string of sponsorship deals.  While the majority of commentators concentrate on the theme of dissidence and commercialism in Han Han’s works, Pamela Hunt points to another crucial element: his representation and enactment of masculinity. Focusing on the recurring motif of travel, this talk explores how Han repeatedly associates manliness with the adventure of the open road. In drawing on a range of global and local images of male travellers, Han Han reveals how masculinity in contemporary Chinese culture can develop through an interweaving of market forces, global cultural flows, and long-established cultural archetypes. Mobile masculinity in Han’s works and public image are explicitly linked to cultural rebellion; this talk concludes with a discussion of the implications of this for gender relations within his works, and popular Chinese culture as a whole. Pamela Hunt is a Chiang Ching-kuo postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford China Centre, and a Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford. Her research focuses on masculinity, rebellion and mobility in post-1989 Chinese literature.