Friday, December 2, 2022
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Live via Zoom
Please Registration for Zoom Webinar Link Here
On November 24, 2022, a fire erupted in a residential high-rise apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. Rescue efforts were hampered by COVID security measures and ten people were killed in the ensuing blaze. The incident became a flashpoint for widespread protests in cities throughout China. The nature of the protests is unlike anything seen in China since 1989 and have triggered widespread discussions and debates throughout Chinese society.
This panel brings together leading experts from the fields of history, law, politics, and cultural studies to reflect at this critical juncture in contemporary Chinese history.
Ting Guo（University of Toronto）
Neysun Mahboubi（University of Pennsylvania）
Victor Shih（UC San Diego）
Gina Anne Tam（Trinity University）
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom（UC Irvine）
moderated by Michael Berry（UCLA）and Alex Wang（UCLA）
About the speakers:
Ting Guo is Assistant Professor of Language Studies, University of Toronto, focusing on religion, politics, and gender in transnational Asia. She is writing her first book, Politics of Love：Religion, Secularism, and Love as a Political Discourse in Modern China. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, and Critical Research on Religion. She co-hosts a Mandarin podcast called "in-betweenness"（@shichapodcast）.
Neysun A. Mahboubi is a Research Scholar of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Lecturer in Law at Penn Law School. He hosts the CSCC Podcast, and is one of the project leaders for the Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations. He also hosts the Law & Governance series, co-sponsored by the Penn Program on Regulation. His primary academic interests are in the areas of administrative law, comparative law, and Chinese law, and his current writing focuses on the development of modern Chinese administrative law. He has chaired the international committee of the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, advised both the Asia Foundation and the Administrative Conference of the United States on Chinese administrative procedure reform, and moderates the Comparative Administrative Law Listserv hosted by Yale Law School. Occasionally, he comments on Chinese law and policy developments for CGTN America and other media outlets. He has taught at Princeton University's School of Public & International Affairs, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Yale Law School. Previously, he served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division（Federal Programs Branch）of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a law clerk to Judge Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and an A.B.（Politics & East Asian Studies）from Princeton University.
Victor Shih holds the Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. He is an expert on the politics of China’s fiscal and financial policies, as well as the elite politics of China. He was the first analyst to identify the risk of massive local government debt, and is the author of two books published by the Cambridge University Press, entitled "Factions and Finance in China：Elite Conflict and Inflation" and "Coalitions of the Weak：Elite Politics in China from Mao’s Stratagem to the Rise of Xi." He is also editor of "Economic Shocks and Authoritarian Stability：Duration, Institutions and Financial Conditions," published by the University of Michigan Press. An active member of the China Data Lab, he is also constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China, as well as the activities of the elite.
Previously a principal in The Carlyle Group’s global market strategy group, Shih is a PI or co-PI on several research projects on China funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Henry Luce Foundation and Smith Richardson Foundation. He currently leads a project at 21CCC on the political economy of digital currency in China and the Asia Pacific region.
Gina Tam is an associate professor of history and co-chair of Women and Gender Studies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas; she is also a Public Intellectual Fellow at the National Committee on US-China Relations, and the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Asian studies. She completed her Ph.D. in modern Chinese history at Stanford University in 2016, and received her B.A. in History and Asian Studies from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008. She is a fourth-generation Italian-American originally from Lakewood, Colorado.
Her interest, at its core, is how the identities we ascribe to ourselves or are ascribed to us-- including gender, national identity, race, ethnicity, and class-- translate into access or the removal of access to cultural, political, and material power. Her research has examined these themes in the history of modern China. Her first book, Dialect and Nationalism, winner of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Best Book Prize, explores the relationship between language and national identity from the late Qing through the height of the Maoist period. Now, she is working on a new project that explores the relationship between gender and post-colonialism in the history of protests in post-war Hong Kong. She speaks Mandarin, reads standard written Chinese, and speaks conversational Cantonese and Japanese.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, where he also holds courtesy appointments in Law, Literary Journalism and Political Science. He is the author of six books, including two on the subject of popular unrest: Student Protests in Twentieth Century China：The View from Shanghai （1991）and Vigil：Hong Kong on the Brink （2020）. He writes regularly for newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals and is a cofounder of UCI's Forum for the Academy and the Public. He will spend the spring of 2023 as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Michael Berry is an author and translator who is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. He has written and edited ten books on Chinese literature and cinema, including Speaking in Images：Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers （2006）, A History of Pain：Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film （2008）, Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke （2022） The Musha Incident：A Reader on the Indigenous Uprising in Colonial Taiwan （2022）and Translation, Disinformation and Wuhan Diary：Anatomy of a Trans Pacific Disinformation Campaign （2022）. He has served as a film consultant and a juror for numerous film festivals, including the Golden Horse（Taiwan）and the Fresh Wave（Hong Kong）. A two-time National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, Berry's book-length translations include The Song of Everlasting Sorrow：A Novel of Shanghai （2008）by Wang Anyi, shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, To Live （2004）by Yu Hua, a selection in the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read library, and Wuhan Diary：Dispatches from a Quarantined City （2020）by Fang Fang. His translation of the dystopian science fiction novel Hospital by Han Song is forthcoming from Amazon Crossing.
Alex Wang is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. His research focuses on the interaction of environmental law and governance institutions in China and the United States. He is a member and former fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a co-chair of the academic advisory committee for the California-China Climate Institute, a collaboration between the State of California and China on climate change law and policy. Prof. Wang was previously a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council（NRDC）based in Beijing and the founding director of NRDC’s China Environmental Law & Governance Project. He was a Fulbright Fellow to China in 2004.
He is the author of numerous articles and monographs. Representative works include: The Search for Sustainable Legitimacy：Environmental Law and Bureaucracy in China, 37 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 365（2013）; Climate Change Law and Policy in China, in Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law（Kevin R. Gray, Richard Tarasofsky, & Cinnamon Carlarne eds.）（2016）; Chinese State Capitalism and the Environment, in Regulating the Visible Hand? The Institutional Implications of Chinese State Capitalism （Curtis Milhaupt & Benjamin Liebman eds.）（2016）; Explaining Environmental Information Disclosure in China, 44 Ecology L.Q. 865（2018）; Symbolic Legitimacy and Chinese Environmental Reform, 48 Envtl. L. 699（2018）; and Coordinated Governance of Air & Climate Pollutants：Lessons from the California Experience （2020）.