ANU China Seminar Series

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The ANU China Seminar Series is the pre-eminent forum for discussion of China and the Sinophone world at the ANU. Speakers come from across the full range of disciplines. They include senior scholars, younger academics, and post-doctoral research fellows from in and outside the university. The Seminar Series is aimed at a broad audience: members of academic staff from many fields; undergraduate and graduate students; policy-makers; and interested members of the public are all welcome to attend. It acquaints people with a range of China-related research and offers a social setting for discussing matters of mutual interest.

The seminar usually runs between 4.00pm and 5.30pm on alternate Thursdays during the University’s teaching term. Exceptions will be noted on the Seminar Series’ website, which is regularly updated.

All attendees are invited to join us in the CIW Tea House from 3.30pm for informal discussion with the guest speaker before the seminar.

The Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University's College of Asia & the Pacific.

Latest Seminar Series Podcast

Hongbo Ji

An International NGO’s 40 years in China

The Asia Foundation (TAF) has been programming in China since 1979. During this seminar, I will examine the Foundation’s experience in China over the past 40 years, including how our focus has evolved from overseas scholarships and sending English language science books to China in the early...

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Although the ANU China Seminar Series runs by invitation only, the convenors welcome communication from those interested in presenting their research as part of its program.


Benjamin Penny | Shuge Wei | Ivan Franceschini


With the consent of speakers, seminars are recorded and made publicly available through the Seminar Series’ website to build an archive of research on the Sinophone world. Listen to the podcasts

There are currently no upcoming events.


Beyond the Frontier: cultural politics and regional identity in Yunnan Province

For much of its history as part of the People’s Republic of China, Yunnan Province has been regarded as ‘backward’ (luohou 落后). Yunnan was a highly undesirable location inhabited as it was by ‘uncivilised’ ethnic minorities and mysterious miasmas (zhangqi 瘴气). During the Maoist period the borders were tightly closed and cross-border trade (Yunnan shares international borders with Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Vietnam) and traffic was miniscule.

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Teaching people how to live: television and self-making

Together with the rollback in the provision of public goods and services by the Chinese state also comes the disappearance of many previously state-supported institutions and figures of authority. As a consequence, many people are instead now actively pursuing a wide range of self-educational activities that help shape and optimise their life chances. Given that television is mostly free and accessible to the majority of the population in China, it has become the favoured medium for engaging people in these self-orienting initiatives.

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Unrest in Tibet: understanding the post-2008 wave of protest and conflict

Since riots engulfed Lhasa in the spring of 2008 the Tibetan Plateau has been a hotbed of ethnic unrest. Many hundreds of people have died as victims of ethnic-based violence or as victims of crackdowns by state security forces. Ethnic protest in the region is also taking on new forms. Since 2011 more than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in extreme acts of protest. The current wave of unrest in China’s Tibetan areas has been described as the most serious since the 1950s, and one of the toughest policy challenges facing the new Communist Party leadership.

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Carl Schmitt in Contemporary PRC Legal Philosophy

Western epistemologies of Chinese law are shaped by aporetic ideas of law and legality as absolute values in themselves and means to an end, and driven by a quest for the flaming pearl of political liberalization. This intellectual orientation has precluded the observation of those institutions, legal norms and intellectual currents which are less likely to act as incubators of liberal-democratic values, or as catalysts of a systemic change.

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Updated:  6 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team