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China and the Human

City University of New York will host a conference to explore the relationship of China with human beings.

April 19, 2012 12:00pm to 6:00pm

China is everywhere in the news-for its astounding economic development and its equally astonishing human rights abuses. Beginning with this curiously inverse correlation between economic success and political rights and freedom, the relationship of China and the human begs to be explored. Bringing together editors (David L. Eng, Teemu Ruskola, and Shuang Shen) and contributors to the newly published double issue of Social Text on "China and the Human," this interdisciplinary symposium seeks to question the self-evident nature of both "China" and "human" by examining the long career of the human in Western as well as Chinese culture and thought, reaching back to ancient traditions and exploring its radical transformations under Maoism and in the current socialist-capitalist era. Join us for a series of panel discussions and conversations.

Featuring: Ackbar Abbas, Tani Barlow, Michael Dutton, Brent Edwards, David L. Eng, David Harvey, Eric Hayot, Peter Hitchcock, Petrus Liu, Camille Robcis, Teemu Ruskola, Haun Saussy, Shuang Shen, Shu-mei Shih, and Mei Zhan

Halle Institute and The Law School, Emory University; the Mellon Committee on the Study of Globalization and Social Change and the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York; the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University; the Department of Comparative Literature, Penn State University, and Social Text.


12:00-12:30pm: Opening Remarks

  • Teemu Ruskola (Emory), Social Text, and The Center for the Humanities

12:30-2:15pm: Panel 1
Chair: Shuang Shen (Penn State University)

  • Ackbar Abbas (University of California at Irvine), "China and the Human: A Visual Dossier"
  • Michael Dutton (Goldsmiths), "Fragments of the Political, or How We Dispose of Wonder"
  • Camille Robcis (Cornell), "'China in Our Heads': Althusser, Maoism, and Structuralism"
  • Mei Zhan (University of California at Irvine), "Worlding Oneness: Daoism, Heidegger, and Possibilities for Treating the Human"

Commentator: Peter Hitchcock (Graduate Center CUNY)

2:45-4:30pm: Panel 2
Chair: David L. Eng (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Eric Hayot (Penn State University), "Cosmologies, Globalization, and Their Humans"
  • Petrus Liu (Cornell), "Queer Human Rights in and against China: Marxism and the Figuration of the Human"
  • Shu-mei Shih (University of California at Los Angeles), "Is the Post- in Postsocialism the Post- in Posthumanism?"

Commentator: Brent Edwards (Columbia)

5:00-6:00pm: Roundtable Discussion
Chair: Teemu Ruskola (Emory)

  • Tani Barlow (Rice)
  • David Harvey (Graduate Center CUNY)
  • Haun Saussy (Chicago)
Phone Number: 
(212) 817-7000