Date: Thursday, 5 August 2021
Venue: The seminar will be hosted online via Zoom. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 August, 5:00pm, to receive the Zoom details.
Culture as logistics: Infrastructure, power and China
Presenter: Professor Anthony Fung
Discussant: Zoe Horn
This lecture is designed to explore and elucidate, under an era of digitalization and an advanced mode of capitalism or planned capitalism, how culture is increasingly a question of logistics, of which the core manifestation is the infrastructure. Today, nations’ global powers are exercised through digital (invisible) and physical (visible) infrastructure that transmits, conveys and extends the reach of goods, as well as the culture that is embodied in goods and adheres to such infrastructure. Understanding culture as logistics, this lecture attempts to not only reconceptualize culture and power in our globalizing world but also develop a new perspective to understand China and its power. At stake here is neither American hard power, through drones and military bases, nor its soft power—through Hollywood (e.g., Marvel or Disneyland in Shanghai)—but infrastructure power instead. In China we can see the Chinese version of Amazon, Taobao, has been making use of such infrastructure to seamlessly deliver commodities and transmit power, whereas, globally, infrastructure built for the One Belt, One Road initiative is a vivid exemplar of this emerging phenomenon of cultural logistics.
Anthony Y.H. Fung is Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Professor in the School of Art and Communication at Beijing Normal University at Beijing. His research interests and teaching focus on popular culture and cultural studies, popular music, gender and youth identity, cultural industries and policy, and digital media studies. He published widely in international journals, and authored and edited more than 20 Chinese and English books. His recent books are Youth Cultures in China (2016 under Polity Press) (coauthored with de Kloet), Global Game Industries and Cultural Policy (2016 under Palgrave Macmillan), Hong Kong Game Industry, Cultural Policy and East Asian Rivalry (2018 under Rowman & Littlefield), and Made in Hong Kong: Studies in Popular Music (Routledge, 2020).