September China Seminar

Thursday, September 8, 2022

CHINA & GEOPOLITICS IN OCEANIA

featuring
Dr. Tarcisius Kabutaulaka
Associate Professor
Department of Pacific Islands Studies
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Oceania has become the site of increasing geopolitical competition between China and the US and its allies. In the past decade, China’s influence in the Pacific Islands has increased dramatically. Western countries are pushing back. Meanwhile, Pacific Island countries attempt to make sense of these renewed interests and negotiate relationships in an era of intense geopolitical competition. This talk will examine China’s rising influence, Western reactions, and Pacific Islands responses. 

Dr. Tarcisius Kabutaulaka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He earned his PhD from the Australian National University and undergraduate and MA degrees from the University of the South Pacific (USP). In recent years, his research and publications focus on geopolitics, especially China’s growing influence in Oceania. Dr. Kabutaulaka is from the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.


The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 45 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.

May China Seminar

Thursday, May 12, 2022

RED CARPET:
How China Came to Rule Over Hollywood

featuring
Erich Schwartzel
Author, Red Carpet: How Hollywood, China,
and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy
Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Competition between the United States and China dominates the foreign policy landscape, from trade to technology to military might. But this battle for global influence is also playing out in a strange and unexpected arena: the movies.
 
In recent decades, as China has grown into a giant in the international economy, it has become a crucial source of revenue for the American film industry. Hollywood studios are now bending over backward to make movies that will appeal to China’s citizens—and gain approval from severe Communist Party censors. At the same time, and with America’s unwitting help, China has built its own film industry into an essential arm of its plan to export its national agenda to the rest of the world. The competition between these two movie businesses is a Cold War for this century, a clash that determines whether democratic or authoritarian values will be broadcast most powerfully around the world. Red Carpet author Erich Schwartzel will explain the latest battleground in the tense and complex rivalry between these two world powers in the film industry.


The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 45 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.

April China Seminar

April 14, 2022

LANGUAGE AND NATIONALISM IN CHINA

featuring
Dr. Gina Anne Tam
Associate Professor, Chinese History
Co-Chair, Women and Gender Studies
Trinity University

Today, it is often presumed that there is one Chinese language– being what we in English call Mandarin– and a number of Chinese dialects, among which include better-known ones such as Cantonese or Taiwanese. But where do these designations of language and dialect come from, and what effect does this have on Chinese collective identity today? This talk will focus on how the presumption that non-Mandarin Chinese languages are nothing more than “dialects” resulted from battles over competing understandings of the Chinese nation that began in the early twentieth century and were solidified in the early years of the PRC, narrating how the legacies built decades ago built the foundation for the linguistic hierarchies that define the relationship between language and identity in China today.

Dr. Gina Anne Tam is an Associate professor of Chinese history and co-chair of Women and Gender Studies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Having received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2016, her research and teaching focuses on the construction of collective identity– national belonging, ethnicity and race– in modern China. In addition to her book Dialect and Nationalism in China, 1860-1960, she has also published peer-reviewed work in top academic journals and has written about the relevance of her work to current events in Foreign AffairsThe Nation, and Dissent. She is also a Public Intellectual Program Fellow through the National Committee on US-China relations. She is currently working on a new book project on the role of women and gender in the history of grassroots protests in post-war Hong Kong. 


The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 45 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.