Chinese Media and Cultural Studies
The group is not wedded to the idea of ‘Chinese Media and Cultural Studies’ as a necessary good – and indeed we hope that participants will question whether such nomenclature privileges the state, the nation, ethnic essentialism, or even particular industrial and ideological modes of doing media and thinking through culture. We will consider what such privileging means – either as a passing strategy in the organization of higher education and research, or as a deliberate political appropriation of conceptual space. The question of cultural identity is very much in play in this discussion, as we will broach the question of who does what media and cultural studies and for whom; the scope and relevance of targeted area studies research in media and culture; the place of comparison; and the elephant in the room: how Chinese ethnic identities are subsumed and managed through an idea of China which may be limited and constrained on the part of those who do not undertake area studies, but – on the other hand - may become reified and precious in the work of those who do.
We propose to run a two-day workshop that articulates why location matters in thinking through culture, but also invites debate on why recent significant paradigms of engagement with culture are not necessarily or usefully confined to pre-formulated ideas of geo-political and cultural space.
The state of the field symposium 2009