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Solidarity or Realpolitik: Documentary Performance of Ethnic Relations in China

This talk discusses how ethnographic documentary films and their filmmaking processes constructed distinctions, formed ethnographic knowledge, and contributed to the changing relationships between the Chinese state and the minority peoples at its border.

 Ying Qian, Assistant Professor, Dept. of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University

March 30, 2020 4:00pm to 6:00pm

"I focus on two historical periods – the Sino-Japanese War period when the KMT government attempted to wield further control over its border regions to support its war of resistance to Japanese invasion, and the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the CCP government initiated programs of rapid social transformations in the minority regions. Placing “scientific research films” made in late 1950s and early 1960s, alongside Shanghai filmmaker Zheng Junli’s documentary Long Live the Nation, completed in 1941 during the Sino-Japanese War, I complement textual analysis with oral histories, memoirs and historical documents to reconstruct the filmmaking processes, and argue that in both cases, documentary films were actualized by and actualizing power relationships between the state, local elites and filmmakers as the three parties engaged in concrete negotiations that went much beyond the images on the screen."

 Weihong Bao, Associate Professor, EALC, UC Berkeley

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)


April 9, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for an online talk with Julia Strauss on her new book, which focuses on the period 1949 to 1954 and compares how the Communist Party in China and the Nationalist Party in Taiwan sought to consolidate their authority and foster economic development.

April 16, 2020 - 4:00pm

The USC U.S.-China institute presents a webcast with award-winning journalist Dexter Robert. His new book explores the reality behind today’s financially-ascendant China and pulls the curtain back on how the Chinese manufacturing machine is actually powered.