A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
Post-humanism in Modern Chinese Culture
The Confucius Institute at the University of New Hampshire presents a conference focused on the study of post-humanism in modern Chinese culture.
As with other modern cultures, China in the 20th and 21st century faces the fundamental challenge of re-defining what it means to be human under the changed historical situation. Humanism has unsurprisingly gained wide currency along the way. Humanist discourse not only played a crucial part in launching the New Culture Movement in early 20th century and in re-orienting the intellectual culture in the post-Mao era of 1980s, it also functions as a general underlying principle for many cultural productions and intellectual discussions in modern China.
On the other hand, however, the re-definition of the human has also taken a direction that might be characterized as a posthumanist approach, in the sense that it questions the rationalist premise of humanism and challenges the humanist division between human and animal, and between nature and culture. Posthumanism has never acquired the same level of discursive coherence and prominence as humanism, and sometimes even expresses itself in humanist terms. Despite this fact, however, it has nevertheless persisted as a significant intellectual trend, finding its spokesman in some of the most prominent modern Chinese minds, including Lu Xun. With the rapidly changing social and technological conditions in recent years, in particular, posthumanism has come to assume an increasingly important role in contemporary Chinese culture.