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Videos of Past Events

You can check out our latest videos on the LRCCS YouTube Channel, or listen to an archive of our audio recordings.

2020-2021 Event Videos

The People’s Courts Forty Years On- Appraisal and Argument | December 8, 2020

Nicholas Howson, Pao Li Tsiang Chair Professor of Law, Michigan Law School

Description: The PRC’s post-1978 court bureaucracy is assumed to be the cat’s paw of an all-encompassing and authoritarian system of social control—lacking everything from political independence to the technical competence required to play a robust role in contemporary China’s increasingly complex economic system and contentious civil society. This easy appraisal of the function and performance of the People’s Courts at all levels in contemporary China is not accurate now, if it ever was, and ignores concurrent developments in the surrounding political legal system, including the application of a new generation of substantive and procedural laws and regulations, the rise of a private bar intent on pushing the boundaries of professional autonomy, the increased (legal) sophistication and autonomy of PRC judicial officials, and the expansion of the public law and administrative law spheres. Professor Howson will review what the PRC People’s Courts have become in the civil, criminal and administrative law spheres over the past 40 years along three distinct lines of inquiry – (technical) competence, (bureaucratic) autonomy, and (political) independence, and make an argument as to how this key institution may shape the future of China’s “Socialist Legality” and the national governance system.

Nicholas Howson is the Pao Li Tsiang Chair Professor of Law at the Michigan Law School. A specialist in Chinese law and legal institutions and developing Chinese jurisprudence, he is a former partner of the New York based international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where he was a managing partner of that firm’s Asia Practice based in Beijing. Starting in the late 1970s, he has spent more than a decade as a student, scholar, and practicing lawyer resident in Beijing and Shanghai, has been active in the Chinese courts and US and international judicial fora as both an advocate and expert witness on Chinese law, and since the late 1990s has advised the National People’s Congress and PRC ministries on the drafting and amendment of key Reform era statutes and administrative regulations, including the 1999 PRC Securities Law, the 2006 PRC Company Law and the 2020 PRC Securities Law.

Constructing a China: Nationalism and Culture in Modern History | November 17, 2020

Wen Yu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan

“What is the ‘Chinese way’? How should China’s traditions speak to its future?” During the past three decades, China’s intellectuals have been increasingly preoccupied with defining the country’s cultural identity in its pursuit of political modernity. While their positions vary, intellectuals share the assumption that there are unique elements to China’s historical and cultural institutions, and that China’s future ought to be based on this legacy. This exceptionalist turn is unfolding at a time when the party-state is in search of a new ideology based on nationalism. Understanding this recent turn and its continued political force requires us to revisit the deeper roots of modern Chinese national thought. Diverging from the dominant view that modern Chinese nationalism is a product of Western-style modernization, this talk explores how the quest for a Chinese cultural identity became central to debates over political and moral values. This century-long pattern can help to shed light on where China’s intellectual and political life is heading.

Wen Yu is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in History from Harvard University in 2018. Her research focuses on China’s social and political thought, ideological movements, and intellectual culture from the seventeenth century to the present. Her dissertation, "The Search for a Chinese Way in the Modern World: From the Rise of Evidential Learning to the Birth of Chinese Cultural Identity,” explores the roots and development of modern Chinese exceptionalism by tracing how the search for a Chinese cultural identity has become central to the intellectual debates over shared values in modern China. Her dissertation was awarded the 2017 Harold K. Gross Dissertation Prize.

The Gendered Pursuit of Individualism: Fertility Intention and the Meaning of Children in Contemporary Urban China | November 10, 2020

Yun Zhou, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan

Reproduction links the personal and the political. Through policies that promote or limit births, the state attempts to regulate individuals’ reproductive behavior. At the same time, individuals make reproductive decisions guided by their own fertility intentions and the meaning they attach to children and parenthood. A puzzle remains: Why does active pro-natalist state policy fail to achieve fertility recovery? This talk centers on urban Chinese individuals’ fertility decision-making under the 2016 universal two-child policy. By examining the meaning of children, Dr. Zhou highlights how a gendered pursuit of individualism underlies women’s and men’s fertility aspiration and behavior. In turn, she sheds light on the question of why state policies promoting births may not resonate on the individual level.

Yun Zhou is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research examines social inequality and state-market-family relations through the lens of gender, marriage, and reproduction. Her work combines statistical analysis of survey data, in-depth interviews, and agent-based computational models. With a focus on gender equity and authoritarian reproductive governance, Dr. Zhou’s current project investigates the intended and unintended consequences of China’s recent shift toward a universal two-child policy.

Monumental Friendship: Chinese Ceramics in the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art | October 27, 2020

Natsu Oyobe, Curator of Asian Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art

The James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art is consisted of Chinese ceramics, bronze wares, Buddhist sculptures, and other East Asian art works donated by his family and friends in memory of the prominent U-M professor of East Asian art, James Marshall Plumer (1899 – 1960). The collection shows an incredible network of scholars, collectors, and artists Plumer developed between 1930 and 1960, through his research of Jian (Tenmoku) and Yue wares, experience as a “Monument Man” in the occupied Japan of the post-World War II, and teaching at U-M. In this talk, Dr. Oyobe will highlight the Chinese ceramics in the Plumer Collection, and illuminate his remarkable scholarship and humanism that connected the people of diverse backgrounds from China, Japan, and the US.

Natsu Oyobe is Curator of Asian Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Specializing in modern and contemporary Japanese art, she has curated numerous Japanese art exhibitions, including "Wrapped in Silk and Gold: A Family Legacy of 20th-Century Japanese Kimono" (2010), "Turning Point: Japanese Studio Ceramics in the Mid-20th Century" (2010), and "Mari Katayama" (2019). Dr. Oyobe is also involved in cross-cultural projects from a variety of historical periods, including "Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930" (2013), "Xu Weixin: Monumental Portraits" (2016) and "Copies and Invention in East Asia" (2019). She served as the consulting curator for the Detroit Institute of Arts’ new Japan Gallery (2016 – 2017). Dr. Oyobe earned a PhD in art history from the University of Michigan in 2005.

Special Arts Webinar | Studio Visit and Conversation with Artist Wang Qingsong | October 7, 2020

Moderator: Dorinda Elliott--Senior Vice President for Programming, China Institute; Guest Panelist: Barbara Pollack--Journalist and Art Critic

Introductions: Carol Stepanchuk--Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan; Natsu Oyobe--Curator of Asian Art, Museum of Art, University of Michigan

Translator: Banyi Huang, Columbia University

Wang Qingsong is a contemporary Chinese artist whose large-format photographs address the rapidly changing society of China.
Although he was trained as a painter, Wang began taking photographs in the 1990s as a way to better document the tension of cultural shifts and global change.

In 2018, community participants from Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor were brought together in Wang's collaborative art installation on land reform presented as an exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. In this webinar, we are invited to take a tour of Wang's latest exhibition, "On the Field of Hope," at Tang Contemporary, Beijing, followed by an insider's visit to his Beijing studio. Noted art journalist Barbara Pollack together with China correspondent & China Institute's vice president of programming, Dorinda Elliott, will provide a multi-faceted view of China today and the contemporary visual arts scene.

Co-sponsored by China Institute, New York; U-M Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies; and University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA).

Cold War Counterpublics and the Ghosts of Pan-Asianism: The Japanese Matsuyama Ballet’s 1958 White-Haired Girl Tour in China | September 29, 2020

Emily Wilcox, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

In 1958, the Matsuyama Ballet of Japan toured the first ever ballet adaptation of the classic Chinese land reform opera "The White-Haired Girl" in China. Examining Chinese-language sources such as newspaper and magazine reviews and rare original programs held in the University of Michigan Asia Library's Chinese Dance Collection, Professor Wilcox reconstructs the circulation and reception of this work in China, arguing that the production represented an attempt to create a leftist Sino-Japanese counter-public at a time of Cold War tensions between the two countries. She suggests that the Japanese ballet dancers' cross-ethnic performances of Chinese characters critically reconfigured pre-1945 Japanese imperialist discourses of pan-Asianism, leading them to be interpreted as acts of inter-ethnic solidarity in the context of 1950s Asian internationalism.

Emily Wilcox is Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She is the author of "Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy" (University of California Press, 2019, winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize from the Dance Studies Association) and co-editor of "Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia" (University of Michigan Press, 2020). Her articles, in English and Chinese, have appeared in "China Perspectives," "Inter-Asia Cultural Studies," "The Journal of Asian Studies," positions: asia critique, "TDR: The Drama Review," "Asian Theatre Journal," "The Journal of the Beijing Dance Academy," "Dance Review," and other venues.

Special Webinar | Covid Impact on U-M Chinese Studies Students | August 27, 2020

As the story of COVID-19 continues to unfold, students at University of Michigan have had unique experiences as they restructured China-related research and the ways in which they preserved people-to-people exchanges with community, scholars, friends and family. In light of these varied perspectives and on-going challenges/solutions, Twila Twardif, Director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies (LRCCS) and Lan Deng, Associate Director, will moderate a session with student panelists who will share their experiences on the impact of the pandemic on their work and everyday life and how they have adapted to it. Attendees will be able to submit written questions through Zoom during the session which will be answered at the Q&A period following the presentation.

Panelists: Fusheng Luo (Ph.D. Candidate, History, University of Michigan); Yeori Park (Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology, University of Michigan); Wenjia Song (M.A. Candidate, Regional and International Studies); Sabrina Li (B.A. Candidate, Economics) Moderators: Prof. Twila Tardif (Director, LRCCS), Prof. Lan Deng (Associate Director, LRCCS)

Bilateral Breakdown: Science and Education in the Crossfire | Philip Bucksbaum, Bradley Farnsworth | August 6, 2020

Philip Bucksbaum and Bradley Farnsworth

As U.S.-China relations continue to deteriorate, two components of the relationship that have been successful in the past are increasingly coming under attack: higher education and scientific collaboration.

On August 6, 2020, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and Michigan-China Innovation Center held the final in a series of “Bilateral Breakdown” webinars exploring U.S.-China relations through the lens of disengagement. Speakers Philip Bucksbaum, who holds several positions at Stanford University and its SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and is also the current president of the American Physical Society, and Bradley Farnsworth, vice president of the American Council on Education, discussed the effects the downturn in U.S.-China relations is having on American innovation and competitiveness, international students and universities, and research and development. Mary Gallagher, director of the University of Michigan’s International Institute and the Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor in Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights, moderated the discussion.

This is the third and final program in the Bilateral Breakdown series. You can view the first program here, and the second program here.

LRCCS WebinART Studio Visit and Conversation with Artist Xu Weixin | July 29, 2020

Featuring Artist Xu Weixin with Natsu Oyobe, UMMA Curator of Asian Art and U-M Panelists: Prof. Lihong Liu (Art History) and Angie Baecker (Asian Languages and Cultures) Translation with Yihui Sheng (Asian Languages and Cultures) Panelists: Lihong Liu (Assistant Professor, History of Art, University of Michigan) Angie Baecker (Lecturer, Department of Art History, University of Hong Kong)

Moderator: Natsu Oyobe (Curator of Asian Art, Museum of Art, University of Michigan)

Translator: Yihui Sheng (Ph.D. Candidate, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan)

Based in Beijing and New York, artist Xu Weixin is known for his stunning, large-size portraits of Chinese people who lived during the Cultural Revolution. In 2016, the series and portraits of contemporary miners were presented with great acclaim at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. In this webinar, he will invite us into his studio in New York, and talk about his paintings in progress, some of which are directly concerned with the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand a larger context, we will invite two panelists to talk about Xu Weixin’s work in relation to Chinese contemporary society and artistic practice, followed by conversations with the artist. This webinar will illuminate art and artists’ roles during the global health crisis and the rise of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment in the US.

Bilateral Breakdown: Views from our Allies | July 9, 2020

Andrew Chubb Gordon Houlden Daniela Stockmann

Although the majority of U.S. allies are increasingly worried by some of China’s discriminatory economic and trade practices, growing assertiveness in territorial and maritime disputes, continued human rights violations, restrictions in its domestic political and social spaces, and its dominance in the high tech space, none are interested in completely or substantially decoupling from China, as some in the United States have advocated. While U.S. allies agree that they do not want China’s influence and aggressive behavior to go unchecked, each has its own strategic national interests to consider in terms of its relations with Beijing.

On July 9, 2020, The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Michigan-China Innovation Center held the second in a series of three “Bilateral Breakdown” webinars exploring the current and future state of U.S.-China relations through the perceived lens of disengagement. Speakers Andrew Chubb, British Academy postdoctoral fellow at Lancaster University; Gordon Houlden, professor of political science at the University of Alberta, adjunct professor of the Alberta School of Business, and director of the University’s China Institute; and Daniela Stockmann, professor of digital governance at the Hertie School in Berlin; along with moderator Jan Berris, vice president of the National Committee examined the current state of Sino-Australian, Sino-British, Sino-Canadian, and Sino-German relations, respectively; some of the key red line issues at the heart of each country’s relationship with China; and how each country views the current state of U.S.-China relations and the consequences that flow from those views.

This is the second program in the Bilateral Breakdown series. You can view the first program here

Bilateral Breakdown: Dynamics of Decoupling | June 18, 2020

Anna Ashton Scott Kennedy Damien Ma

After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the U.S.-China economic relationship became increasingly interdependent. However, a sharp downturn in bilateral relations and growing competition has called the value and efficacy of these connections into question. Voices from both countries argue that high degrees of economic linkages in various sectors no longer fit their respective needs and national strategic interests, and are advocating for decoupling.    

On June 18, 2020, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Michigan-China Innovation Center held the first in a series of three “Bilateral Breakdown” webinars, that will explore the current and future state of U.S.-China relations through the perceived lens of disengagement. Speakers Anna Ashton, senior director of government affairs at the US-China Business Council, Scott Kennedy, senior advisor and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics at CSIS, and Damien Ma, director and co-founder of MacroPolo, and moderator Brian Connors, executive director of the Michigan-China Innovation Center, explored various narratives and questions surrounding decoupling, including its origins, the legislative landscape on the Hill, state and local level concerns and implications, and attitudes within China.

LRCCS Webinar China's Proposed National Security Law and Hong Kong - What's Happening Now? | June 9, 2020

The Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies brings together a panel discussion on the ongoing legal crisis in Hong Kong, stemming from the recent decision by China's Central People's Government to draft and impose a national security law. Experts discussed the recent decision and provide context about the basic law of Hong Kong, and analyze the implications of the decision on political movements in Hong Kong, and the effects on the lives of the people of Hong Kong. Featuring Sharon Hom, Nicholas Howson, Louisa Lim, and Martin Flaherty, with opening remarks from incoming LRCCS Director Twila Tardif.

The webinar featured each of the panelists individually, followed by a combined conversation between the panelists, and ending with Q&A from the audience. Audience members could submit written questions using the Q&A feature during the webinar.

U.S.-China COVID-19 Crisis Briefs: Political Implications for the United States and China | April 30, 2020

Watch presentations by Jessica Chen Weiss, associate professor of government at Cornell University, and Ryan Hass, fellow and the Michael H. Armacost Chair in the Brookings Institutions’ Foreign Policy program, on the political implications of COVID-19 in the United States and China.

The following video is an excerpt from a U.S.-China Subnational Symposium webinar, co-organized by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Michigan-China Innovation.

U.S.-China COVID-19 Crisis Briefs: Public Health Responses in Greater China, South Korea, and Japan | April 16, 2020

Watch three presentations on China’s, South Korea's, and Japan's varying responses to COVID-19 delivered by Anthony Kuhn, Seoul-based NPR correspondent, Shelia Smith, senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Elanah Uretksy, assistant professor of global studies and anthropology at Brandeis University respectively. Recorded 04/16/20.

The following video is an excerpt from a U.S.-China Subnational Symposium webinar, co-organized by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Michigan-China Innovation.