2017-2018 Event Videos
Now We See It, Now We Don't: How to Theorize Traditional Chinese Song-Drama | December 4, 2018
This talk will attempt to bring premodern Chinese song-drama out of the straightjacket of Western terminology, that is, comedy vs. tragedy, opera vs. drama, role type vs. character, music vs. voice, etc. Instead, it will seek to map new ways to think through traditional Chinese theatrical practices (playwrighting, acting, musicking, staging, audience participation, etc.) in an effort to both historicize and globalize the modern scholarly discourse on Chinese theater.
Patricia Sieber is an Associate Professor of Chinese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University, where she teaches courses on premodern Chinese drama and fiction, the history of the book, and translation studies. She is the author of "Theaters of Desire: Authors, Readers, and the Reproduction of Early Chinese Song-Drama, 1300-2000" and is currently the lead editor of "How to Read Chinese Drama." She has given talks in the US, Europe, Russia, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and her work has appeared in journals, books, and encyclopedias in English, Chinese, and German.
Bureaucrats, Business, and the Manipulating of Capitalism in China | November 20, 2018
Although China is a global manufacturing titan, the "made in China" model has begun to wane. Starting in the 2000s, China shifted from attracting foreign investment to promoting domestic firms. This shift led city bureaucrats to compete for funding and tax breaks to benefit their business clients. While bureaucrats in some cities successfully motivated local businesses to upgrade, others deprived businesses of their developmental space. With 18 months of in-depth interviews, original surveys, and quantitative data, Professor Chen argues that this regional variation is rooted in how foreign firms strengthened or weakened vested interest coalitions and the historical patterns of local capitalism. She advances a new theory to explain the implementation of economic policies in China and other emerging economies that comprise the new "globalized" generation.
Ling Chen is Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Previously, she was a Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and Rajawali Fellow at the Ash Center of the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research interests lie in comparative politics and political economy, especially the political origins of economic policies and government-business relations in China. Her works have appeared in multiple peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of "Manipulating Globalization: The Influence of Bureaucrats on Business in China" (Stanford University Press, 2018). Chen was recognized as the Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan. Her research has received support from institutions such as the Social Science Research Council, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Institute for Humane Studies and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.
Art, History, and Sinology: An International Conference in Honor of Martin J. Powers | November 9-10, 2018
Full conference details are avaiable here.
Martin J. Powers, Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan has always been a towering beacon in the field, trailblazing fresh methodologies and breaking down academic stereotypes on Chinese culture. In celebration of his well-deserved retirement from teaching, Prof. Powers’ graduate advisees and colleagues from around the world will convene an international conference on Chinese art and history on November 9 and 10, 2018 at the University of Michigan. This academic gathering will reflect upon ways the field of sinology has changed over the course of Prof. Powers’ long academic career and the new directions it is developing, or should develop, in the future.
From Cook to Counterrevolutionary: A Window into Christianity in China through the Saga of a Single Family | November 6, 2018
Jennifer Lin, Former Beijing Correspondent, "The Philadelphia Inquirer"
A former Beijing correspondent for "The Philadelphia Inquirer," Jennifer Lin chronicles 150 years of family history in "Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), described by author Orville Schell as “a beautifully written elegy.” The book includes a compelling cast: the first convert who went to work for missionaries as a cook; a doctor who treated opium addicts; a Penn-educated Anglican pastor; and the influential independent religious leader Watchman Nee, vilified after 1949 as a “counterrevolutionary.” Lin will discuss how her family story personifies the evolution of Christianity from a Chinese perspective, as well as how she used journalistic tools to construct a multi-generational narrative.
Jennifer Lin worked for "The Philadelphia Inquirer" for 31 years, including postings as a financial correspondent in New York; a national reporter in the Washington bureau of Knight Ridder Newspapers; and the Asia correspondent for "The Inquirer" and the 30-paper Knight Ridder chain. Lin left daily journalism in 2014 to complete her family memoir, and to start work on a documentary, “Beethoven in Beijing,” which captures the flourishing of classical music in China through the history and ongoing engagement of the Philadelphia Orchestra. A graduate of Duquesne University, Lin lives in Doylestown, Pa. with her husband, Bill Stieg, a Wolverine and former sports editor of "The Michigan Daily."
China's Crisis of Success | 10/11/2018
William Overholt, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University
China’s success has made its economy and polity so complex that continued success requires transformation. China is struggling with the needed transition. Western views of this process are frequently both strong and wrong.
William Overholt has been Senior Research Fellow at Harvard since 2008. From 2013-2015 he was also President of the Fung Global Institute in Hong Kong. From 2002-2008 he was Distinguished Chair and Director of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy. He served as Asia regional Head of Strategy and Economics for Nomura from 1998 to 2001. Before that, he was Managing Director and regional Head of Research at Bank Boston Singapore. During 18 years at Bankers Trust, he managed a country risk team in New York from 1980 to 1984 and then served as regional strategist in Hong Kong. At Hudson Institute, 1971-1979, he directed planning studies for the U.S. Department of State, National Security Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Council on International Economic Policy.
Xu Bing: The Origins of Creativity | 10/7/2018
Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series
Internationally renowned artist and film director Xu Bing is one of the most well-known contemporary artists in China, recognized for his representations of artistic sophistication, political conscience, and far-reaching imagination. His artworks have been exhibited at many prestigious venues, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. He has been included in the Venice Biennale three times and honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Graphics Council, the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, the Wales International Visual Art Prize, and a US Department of State Medal of Arts. For this special Speaker Series event, Xu will talk about his signature works and his new film, Dragonfly Eyes (2017).
Spatializing Infant Burial in Qing China | 10/2/2018
Jeff Snyder-Reinke, Professor of Chinese History, The College of Idaho
In the nineteenth century, foreigners in China wrote prolifically about so-called "baby towers"—structures that were erected outside cities to house the remains of dead children. In the minds of many foreigners, baby towers came to embody both a peculiar rendering of Chinese death practices, as well as a growing animus toward certain aspects of Chinese social life. This talk will attempt to contextualize these structures, by describing and mapping the history of campaigns to bury children in the late imperial period.
Jeff Snyder-Reinke is a professor of Chinese history at The College of Idaho. He earned his PhD in modern Chinese history from the University of Michigan in 2006. He conducted dissertation research at the Institute for Qing History in Beijing while on a Fulbright fellowship. Out of this research came his first book, "Dry Spells: State Rainmaking and Local Governance in Late Imperial China," which was published by the Harvard University Asia Center in 2009. He is currently working on a book-length study of infant burial in the Qing dynasty. In what little spare time he has, he serves as the CEO of a company that manufactures fruit tea.
LRCCS Panel Discussion | China’s Adaptive Governance: Past Success and Future Challenges | 9/14/2018
A Panel Discussion in Honor of Professor Michel Oksenberg (1938-2001)
This panel discussion honors the legacy of Professor Michel Oksenberg, who taught at the University of Michigan from 1973 to 1991, and served as a key member of the National Security Council when the US normalized relations with China. He consistently urged that the United States engage with Asia in a more deliberate manner. The panel discussion will focus on the broader picture of economic development in China, especially rural China.
The panel discussion also marks the publication of a new volume by Stanford University Press on one of the key research sites of Professor Oksenberg, Zouping County. Two of the panelists, Professors Steven M. Goldstein and Jean Oi, edited this new volume, "Zouping Revisited: Adaptive Governance in a Chinese County."