Posts tagged China

Propaganda on the Socialist Periphery seminar

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Wednesday 8th February, 4 – 6pm
Westminster Forum, University of Westminster, 5th Floor, Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Power, reform and identity in Soviet Uzbek posters
Dr Elizabeth Waters, University of Westminster

Recent work on Soviet propaganda has looked both at the techniques used to convey political messages and the extent to which the USSR succeeded in controlling information and public opinion. Scholarship on Central Asia has examined the power of peripheral elites to influence centrally generated plans and of populations to resist communist change. Disagreement continues over whether the ‘Soviet project’ in the region was one of affirmative action or of colonial intent. This seminar looks at these issues in relation to Uzbekistan in the early decades of Soviet power and assesses the evidence on the character and impact of social, economic and political reforms that is provided by posters used in campaigns to promote women’s emancipation, cotton production and Uzbek identity.

Elizabeth Waters is Principal Lecturer in the Department of Modern and Applied Languages at the University of Westminster. Most of her previous research has been on Soviet social history in the 1920s. Recently she participated in a study of alcohol consumption in Kazakhstan. This seminar represents work-in-progress on her new project on Uzbek Soviet propaganda.

Hosted by the Contemporary China Centre. All welcome, but non-University of Westminster attendees please register at:

‘True Lies of War’ seminar, 1st February, 6-8

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Wednesday 1 February 2012, 6 pm – 8 pm,
Room 152, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

True Lies of War
Group for War and Culture Studies Seminar

Hongping Annie Nie, University of Oxford
“China’s War with Japan (1937-1945): A Study of Chinese History Textbooks”

Dr. Hongping Annie Nie (MA in Education, Calvin College, USA; Ph. D. in Cross-cultural Education, Biola University, USA) is currently Faculty Tutor of Chinese Politics at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She is also a core member of the Leverhulme funded China’s War with Japan Project, History Faculty, University of Oxford. Her research interests include moral/ideological education, mass communication, patriotism, and national memory. Among her publications are The Dilemma of Moral Education Curriculum in a Chinese Secondary School (University Press of America, 2007) and “On-line Gaming, Ideological Work, and Nationalism in China” (Journal of Contemporary China, forthcoming).

Celine Righi, London School of Economics
“Memory in post-Civil War Lebanon under artistic scrutiny: a space for individual and social autonomy in the public debate?”

Celine Righi completed a Master in Political Sciences at Science Po Lyon in 2000 and a Master in Social Psychology at Paris IX Dauphine University in 2001. After working for a think tank in Paris and Lyon in the field of social and economic development, Celine embarked in her PhD in 2008 at the Institute of Social Psychology at London School of Economics.

Entrance free. To reserve a place, please R.S.V.P. Dr Caroline Perret:

Anne Witchard talk on Lao She, Weds 7 December

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The IMCC’s Anne Witchard will be speaking about her forthcoming book at the following event organised by our friends in the Contemporary China Centre:

Wednesday 7 December 2011, 4.30-6.30pm
Westminster Forum, Fifth Floor, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

‘Lao She: A Chinese Writer in Modernist London’
Anne Witchard (University of Westminster)

Chinese cultural and intellectual texts engaged in various ways with Western constructions of modernism. Of these exchanges and encounters, my focus in this paper will be on the early life and work of the famous Chinese novelist and short story writer, Lao She (1898 – 1966). Lao She was uniquely positioned in his engagement with specific conditions of modernity and nationhood both in Britain and in China. By birth a disenfranchised Manchu, he lived and worked in London during the late 1920s, a period seen as the apex of high modernism and his writing registers this interaction in ways that suggest we rethink his work beyond the parameters of the socialist realist tradition to which, chiefly because of his proletarian magnum opus, Rickshaw Boy (1936), it has largely been confined. Reading Lao She as an incipient modernist, initiating in China new subjects and new styles of writing in the endeavour to remake the sensibility of the Chinese people, serves also to unsettle Eurocentric considerations of modernism as exclusively Western, its place of origin unquestionably the metropolitan West.

Anne Witchard teaches in the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster. She specialises in representations of China and the Chinese in early-twentieth-century Britain (see her book Thomas Burke’s Dark Chinoiserie, Ashgate, 2010; and most recent of various papers, a chapter in the collection Chinatowns in a Transnational World, Routledge, 2011). Her book Lao She, London and China’s Literary Revolution will be published in Autumn 2012 by the University of Hong Kong Press.

All welcome, but non-Westminster attendees should register in advance with Derek Hird:

Events at The Indian Media Centre, University of Westminster

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Our friends in the India Media Centre at University of Westminster are organizing a series of fascinating events, please see details below:

Thursday 13th October, 6.30pm

BHOPALI, a film
Bhopali, (dir. Max Carlson, 2011, 89 mins) is a multi-award-winning documentary about the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India. After the screening Mick Brown (journalist, writer and broadcaster) will chair a panel discussion with filmmaker Pawas Bisht (University of Loughborough), author, Meaghan Delahunt, (University of St Andrews) and Tim Edwards (International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal).
Venue: The Old Cinema, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Friday 14th October, 6.30pm

Kathryn Hansen, (University of Texas at Austin), a cultural historian with a special interest in Indian theatre, will present material from her new book Stages of Life: Indian Theatre Autobiographies (Anthem Press). This will be followed by a round-table discussion with Francesca Orsini, Reader in the Literatures of North India, SOAS; Rosie Thomas, Reader in Film and Director of CREAM and Co-director of India Media Centre at the University of Westminster; and Ravi Vasudevan, Professor of Film, Director of the Sarai Centre, Delhi, and Smuts Fellow at University of Cambridge.
Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Monday 17th October, 6.30pm

Devi Prasad was India’s pioneering artist-potter, visionary educationist and pacifist. This event looks at how his story exemplifies the importance of the Arts and Crafts Movement in shaping the nature of Modernism in India, and the role of pottery and the community of potters that Prasad set up. Naman P. Ahuja, (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), will speak about the themes of his new book, The Making of a Modern Indian Artist-Craftsman: Devi Prasad, followed by a conversation with architect Sunand Prasad, Devi Prasad’s son, and with potter and writer, Julian Stair, Visiting Lecturer in Ceramics at the University of Westminster.
Venue: The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Friday 2nd November, 5pm – 9pm

INDIAN ARTS ON FILM: Charles Correa, Bhupen Kakar, Nalini Malani and Vivan Sundaram
What makes a successful documentary about art? What specific issues arise when translating the visual arts onto film? How far do different cultural contexts require different approaches? Award-winning arts filmmakers and scholars, Arun Khopkar and John Wyver (Iluuminations and University of Westminster), together with art historian Partha Mitter (University of Sussex), discuss these questions, followed by a screening of two of Khopkar’s films: Figures of Thought (1990, 33 mins), on Bhupen Kakar, Nalini Malani and Vivan Sundaram, and Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa (2008, 59 mins) on India’s most eminent architect.
Venue: P3 Gallery (5pm) and Cayley Lecture Theatre (7pm), University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

These events have been organised in association with our partners, DSC-South Asia Literature Festival and Magic Lantern Persistence Resistance Festival. As spaces are limited, BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL (follow web-links for each event). For full details visit

‘Queer Comrades’ seminar, Oct 19 2011

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Wednesday 19 October 2011, 4-6pm
Cayley Room, Room 152, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B

‘Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Queer Politics in Postsocialist China’
Dr. Hongwei Bao (Goldsmiths)

One of the most interesting phenomena in modern Chinese language is manifested by the semantic change of the term tongzhi. Literally ‘comrade’, tongzhi was the most popular address term in China’s socialist era. Since the 1990s, the term has been used by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people in the Chinese-speaking world to refer to sexual minorities. Today, the queer use of tongzhi has dominated Chinese cyberspace. How did the change take place? What does the change mean? Was this simply linguistic change, or does it indicate transformations in bodies, desires, identities and subjectivities under shifting governmentalities? In this talk, Dr. Hongwei Bao traces the genealogy of the term tongzhi, discusses its political and social implications, and unveils its pertinence for contemporary Leftist politics.

Dr. Hongwei Bao is a British Academy visiting fellow at the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. He has taught media and communication, gender studies, cultural studies and Asian Studies at the National Academy of Chinese Theatrical Arts, Beijing, the University of Sydney, and University of Potsdam.

All welcome, but non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Derek Hird:

Guest Lecture: Mao Zedong and China in the World

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Wednesday 17 November 2010, 4-6pm
The Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Professor Rebecca Karl (New York University)
Mao Zedong and China in the World’

Rebecca E. Karl is author of Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, and of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (both Duke University Press). Her most recent book, The Magic of Concepts: Philosophy and ‘the Economic’ in Twentieth Century China, is forthcoming.

Co-organised by The Contemporary China Centre and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture