Ecological States: A Book Forum (Jesse Rodenbiker and others)

This is a book forum on Jesse Rodenbiker's book, Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China (Cornell University Press, 2023). It was recorded on Oct. 27, 2023.

The King's Road (Xin Wen, Princeton University)

This talk, based on Xin Wen's book The King's Road, offers a new interpretation of the history of the Silk Road, emphasizing its importance as a diplomatic route, rather than a commercial one. It was recorded on March 8, 2023.

The Rise and Fall of Imperial China (Yuhua Wang, Harvard University)

Drawing on more than a thousand years of Chinese history, Yuhua Wang highlights the role of elite social relations in influencing the trajectories of state development. The talk is based on Wang's book with the same title. It was recorded on Feb. 23, 2023.

The Great Unity Ideal: A Key to China's Imperial Longevity? (Yuri Pines, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

In this talk Yuri Pines argues that intellectuals during the Warring States period promoted the idea that peace and stability in “All-under-Heaven” is attainable only in a unitary state ruled by a single omnipotent monarch. By denying legitimacy to any but unifying regimes, this ideal facilitated common quest for reunification during the periods of fragmentation. It was recorded on Oct. 26, 2022.

China and the Ukraine Crisis (Xiaoyu Pu, University of Nevada Reno)

In this talk, Xiaoyu Pu talks about Chinese perspectives in the deepening Ukraine crisis due to the Russian invasion launched on Feb. 24, 2022. It is moderated by Xian Huang (Rutgers). It was recorded on March 9, 2022.

Adapting: A Chinese Philosophy of Action (Mercedes Valmisa, Gettysburg College)

In this talk, Mercedes Valmisa presents a distinctly Chinese philosophy of action, what she calls "adapting." It was recorded on Feb. 18, 2022.

From Leitmotif to Film Noir: China's Rust Belt on the Silver Screen (Dorothee Hou, Moravian University)

Dorothee Hou examines the changing cinematic representations of Chinaʼs northeast, known as China's Rust Belt, ranging from state-sponsored leitmotif films, to independent documentaries and commercial crime thrillers. The talk was recorded on 2/4/2022.

Polluting Dreams in Han-Period and Early Medieval China (Rob Campany, Vanderbilt University)

In this talk, Rob Campany discusses the social dimensions of dealing with troubling dreams in Chinese texts written between 250 BCE and 800 CE. It was recorded on 2/4/2022.

The Beijing Palace Museum Comes to Hong Kong: Aestheticizing the Future of the Nation (Carolyn Cartier, University of Technology Sydney)

In this talk, Carolyn Cartier presents a study of the Hong Kong Palace Museum project, a treasure box for newly mobile national relics from the Beijing Palace Museum, and its regional context. It was recorded on Oct. 28, 2021.

Ritual and Relationship in Living Daoist Practice in Contemporary China

By weaving together ethnography, textual analysis, photography, and film, David Mozina invites the audience into the flourishing yet fraught religious world of ritual masters amid the social and economic pressures of rural life in the post-Mao era. This talk was recorded on Oct. 14, 2021.

Mobility, Responsibility, and the Covid-19 Pandemic in China

Juan ZHANG (University of Bristol, UK) looks into how digitally enhanced surveillance tracks and exposes ‘toxic mobility,’ which legitimizes the sentiment about immorality of returning to China during the global pandemic and shows a paradigm of Chinese health nationalism. This talk was recorded on April 20, 2021.

China’s Trade Union and Labor Movement

This Zoom talk is by Mingwei Liu from the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers. It was recorded on April 13, 2021.

How China Has Responded to SARS and COVID-19

In this talk, Dali Yang (University of Chicago) discusses how the complex interplay of actors shaped China’s responses to the two major public health emergencies. It was recorded on April 6, 2021.

Why are fewer young adults having casual sex (in the US)?

In this Zoom talk, Rutgers sociologist, Lei Lei, looks into possible reasons underlying the decrease in casual sexual activities among young American adults. It is based on a recent article with the same title co-authored by Lei. It was taped on March 30, 2021.

Translating Psychology: Group Relations Work and Psychoanalysis in Contemporary China

In this talk, Nick Bartlett (Barnard College) discusses various fascinating group dynamics in Group Relations Conferences held in China, from an anthropological perspective. This Zoom lecture was recorded on March 23, 2021.

Isomorphic or Poly-Ontological Pluralism? A Chinese Puzzle of Religious Diversity

In this talk, David Palmer drew on the pluralistic structures of Chinese religion to propose a critical re-examination of conventional Western-derived norms and values of religious pluralism. It was recorded on March 11, 2021.

A Philosophical Defense of Culture: Perspectives from Confucianism and Cassirer

In this Zoom talk that is based on her forthcoming book, Shuchen Xiang draws on the Confucian philosophy of “culture” and Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms to argue for the importance of “culture” as a philosophic paradigm. It was recorded on January 28, 2021.

Translating Tianxia: Confronting Sinophobic Narratives and Reimagining Cosmopolitan Ideals

In this talk, Joseph Harroff presents Zhao Tingyang's creative readaptation of the "All-Under-Heavens" (tianxia 天下) ideal of a ritually federated, world-inclusive order. It was recorded on Nov. 18, 2020.

Contested Moralities in China’s App-Based Gay Sexual Economy

In this presentation, Yifeng Troy Can (Brown University) talks about the complex and unexpected ways sex, money, and social norms play in the lives of a certain segment of gays in Shanghai. The Zoom talk, moderated by Louisa Schein (Rutgers Anthropology and Women's & Gender Studies), was recorded on Nov. 11, 2020. Here is a recap of the talk.

Beaconism and the Trumpian Metamorphosis of Chinese Liberal Intellectuals

In this talk, Yao LIN (Yale Law School) examines the puzzling phenomenon that many Chinese liberal intellectuals fervently idolize Donald Trump and embrace the alt-right ideologies he epitomizes. This Zoom talk was held on Oct. 30, 2020.

Civility and Manners in These Times: Early Confucian Strategies and Sensibilities

In this talk, Amy Olberding (University of Oklahoma) discusses the sensibilities informing the early Confucian commitment to li, a body of practices that include what we call manners and civility. She focuses especially on ways that Confucian treatments of li can be adapted to understand current civic and community struggles. This Zoom talk was held on Oct. 22, 2020.

The Present as Prologue: The Gloomy Outlook for US-China Relations

In this talk, Avery Goldstein (University of Pennsylvania) offered an informative analysis of the underlying structural challenges facing the US-China relations and provided a sobering assessment of its trajectory. The presentation was followed by Q&A from the audience. Xian HUANG (Political Science, Rutgers) moderated the Zoom talk which was held on Oct. 14, 2020. Here is a recap of the talk.  

Of the People, for the People, but not by the People —Confucian Meritocracy as a Correction of Democracy

In this talk, Tongdong BAI (Fudan University, China) offers a critique of the one-person-one-vote ideal in democracy and tries to make the case for a hybrid regime that contains both democratic and meritocratic elements from a Confucian perspective. The Zoom talk was held on Oct. 8, 2020.

China’s Ruling Class: Elite Persistence and the Ironies of Social Change

In this talk, held on Oct. 1, 2020, David Goodman (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China) examines the social backgrounds of China's political and economic elites and suggests that contemporary China remains far from a system dominated by capitalists. The questions are fielded by Louisa Schein (Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies). Click here for a recap of the talk.  

A Conversation with Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, on China

In a conversation on September 25, 2020, facilitated by Tao Jiang (RCCS director, Religion Department) and Tanja Sargent (Graduate School of Education), Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer-Prize winner and one of the most prominent Western journalists on China, talked about the many facets of his life and experience as a journalist in China over 20 years. Click here for a recap of the conversation.