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Villages-in-the-City of the Pearl River Delta: An Unfinished Modernity (Zheng LIN, Sun Yat-sen University/Harvard Fairbank Center)
Thursday, March 30, 2023, 05:40pm - 07:00pm
Contact Weijie Song (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

This is part of Weijie Song's graduate class, "Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society." The Zoom talk is open to the public. Zoom link:; Meeting ID: 926 1520 9386; Password: 549603



Village-in-the-city (chengzhongcun) is a special phenomenon of urbanization in China due to the rural-urban dual system. It seems contradictory to the ideal of a modernized and civilized metropolis, and thus should be moved out of the city. Is that true? This talk presents a case study of a Cantonese rock band “wutiaoren,” whose artistic work demonstrates the aesthetics of chengzhongcun of the Pearl River Delta,and blurs the boundaries of dichotomies between rural and urban, lowbrow and highbrow, ugly and pretty, premodern and modern, local and global. Chengzhongcun embodies both the uncertainty and the possibility of the city. It is marginal, chaotic, unregulated, sometimes even underground, but also wild and dynamic, and implies the strength from the bottom up.


Zheng LIN is an associate professor of Chinese literature at Sun Yat-sen University and a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center, Harvard University. She is the author of Beijing Parks: Cultural Production and Literary Imagination, 1860-1937 (Peking University Press, 2022). Lin received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Peking University.

Location  Zoom