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Dr. Chaohua Wang: Chinese Intellectual Life amid Censorship and Commercialization

  • University of Edinburgh 50 George Square, Screening Room (map)

Wednesday, November 2, 17:00-19:00
50 George Square, G.04 Screening Room, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Chinese intellectual life was highly energetic and extremely influential in the broad socio-cultural realm. In the new century, however, under the dual pressure of censorship and commercialization, it has shrunk and become far less significant. In this talk, the speaker will examine topics that are drawing intellectual attention in today’s China. These include issues related to constitution and revolution, and civilizational heritage vis-à-vis China’s international standing. She will analyze new ways in which the government has used its power not only to restrict political debate but also to drown out intellectual voices with loud commercial noise. The speaker argues that the precarious state of current intellectual life may be causing lasting damage to the quality of Chinese cultural well-being.
Dr. Chaohua Wang, trained at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), did her earlier research on Chinese intellectual transformation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her edited volume, One China, Many Paths (London: Verso, 2003), won an Outstanding Academic Titles prize from Association of College and Research Libraries, U.S.A. She is now an independent scholar based in Los Angeles, currently working on a project on contemporary Chinese literature and intellectual life. She has published research articles in both Chinese and English, and writes in Chinese regular political commentaries on China and Taiwan.