China, Soft Power, and Confucius Institutes with Jennifer Hubbert

China’s government-funded language and culture programs are one of the country’s most ubiquitous globalization projects and aim to smooth a path to superpower status. But, we would do well to avoid assumptions about the transfer of power that happens through soft power policy.

Going Viral in Hong Kong

Disease is but the most obvious part of an epidemic. As coronavirus spreads, it fuels many other kinds of contagious forces.

Gendered Moral Codes in China

The legacy of collectivism and communism has been revived in the construction of a modern Guan Gong, a hero who embodies socially-desired moral codes and concepts of masculinity.

Service-Learning in Rural China

With Apollo 11’s successful moon landing in 1969, humans captured the first picture of the earth as a globe. Taken from a distance in space, this picture marks a pictorial imagination of the “global” characterized by imageries of the earth as a whole.

Staging Harmony in China’s Urban Dance Competitions

At a recent government-sponsored dance competition for retirees in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, more than 20 groups of retired women took to the stage to perform a dance routine set to Kangding Qingge, a Chinese pop song with lyrics extolling the romance of the Tibetan grasslands.

Privatizing the Silk Road in Contemporary China

While Beijing deploys the Road and Belt Initiative as a geopolitical imaginary for international networks, such policies also heavily impact the ways in which local practices adapt to the R&B initiative. Among different efforts to privatize the Silk Road, the physical remains of heritage sites become a key space where local actors deploy a neoliberal logic to blend heritage management and business development. In Xi’an, where the Tang West Market Museum is located, this shows how the past and present reinforce one another.

Mediating Business Risk on the Shanghai Subway

In 2018, two new poster series colorfully bursting with depictions of urbanites in extremis appeared on Shanghai’s subways. They advertise competing mobile phone apps that allow users to check out suppliers, buyers, investment companies, and potential employers to suss out the likelihood of being cheated by them.

Twitter and the Alarming Case of China’s Borderlands

Earlier this year, journalist Wayne Ma published an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Marriott Employee Roy Jones Hit ‘Like.’ Then China Got Mad.” This title is important because it could be an equation for any number of articles on Chinese geopolitics in the digital era.