IAC Culture Talks

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Following the launch of IAC Art Talks, the Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture (IAC) at Western Sydney University is excited to launch another webinar lecture series focusing on research around various aspects of culture. The aim of IAC Culture Talks is to build up cultural knowledge and understanding of multiculturality through sharing recent studies of specific areas that will engage, inform and enlighten audiences so as to better relate to the world of diversity and understand humanities.

IAC Culture Talks is a cross-disciplinary series exploring a diverse range of topics from contemporary society in mainland China, the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement in Taiwan to cultural investigations across Asia. Specially invited speakers include leading researchers and experts in ethnographic research, international legal practice, social and cultural studies, feminist studies, ethnomusicological research, Chinese Australian studies and more.

The series will be held via Zoom Webinar to enable interstate, national and international access. Each lecture will be recorded with each recording adding to IAC resources on arts and culture for ongoing usage by the general public.

For the Inaugural Lecture, we are greatly honoured and privileged to have the renowned and widely published scholar of media and cultural studies, Professor Wanning Sun of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The lecture focused on Professor Sun’s latest publication Love Trouble: Inequality in China and Its Intimate Consequences. Four decades of economic reform have made China one of the most unequal countries but the impact of inequality is not just socioeconomic. Love Troubles is the first book to examine the emotional cost of this inequality to the intimate and emotional lives of people in China. Drawing on first-hand ethnographic research among rural migrant factory workers in the Pearl River Delta in southern China, Professor Sun provides a critical and insightful analysis of narratives about love, romance, and intimacy in contemporary China. This book not only reveals a cultural anthropologist approach to China’s social changes, but also presents a significant intellectual intervention into worldwide debates on inequality. In this lecture, Professor Sun took the audience to the site of her research and show them what she had learned from talking to and interacting with some of the rural migrant workers who produce our iPhones.

The first IAC Culture Talk of Series 2 is dedicated to the search for Australian literature: what constitutes it and where is it to be found? Prof Nicholas Jose, Emeritus Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide and Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University, will take us on a journey across different genres by a mix of authors and will examine the question of what Australian fiction is today. Is it the books that we read, or the books we don’t and have never heard of? Between those two answers there is room for contention and debate.
At the 20th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) National Congress, held in October 2022, something caught the world’s attention: there was not a single woman among the Politburo’s 24 members, breaking a tradition of two decades. While the number of women in key political roles globally is steadily improving, female representation in the CCP has worsened over time. There are several factors that have made the absence of women so severe in Chinese politics and in her IAC Culture Talk, Innocent Young Girls, Dr Minglu Chen, Senior Lecturer at Sydney University, will discuss the contributing factors through an examination of the ‘Innocent Young Girls’ assumption about female political leaders in China.
Dr Quah Ee Ling's book "Transnational Divorce: Understanding Intimacies and Inequalities from Singapore" uncovers the stories of four main groups of transnational divorcees at the field site of Singapore and tells more of a global story of transnational divorce. In this lecture, Dr Quah will propose a new framework of transnational divorce biography to explain the divorced individuals’ cross-border intimacies.
culture talks lecture 2
IAC Culture Talks is a cross-disciplinary series exploring a diverse range of topics from contemporary society in mainland China, the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement in Taiwan to cultural investigations across Asia. The Inaugural Lecture is delivered by Professor Wanning Sun, a renowned scholar of media and cultural studies. In this lecture, Professor Wanning Sun examines the emotional cost of the inequality in China to the intimate and emotional lives of the people there.
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