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.


China as Number One?

Despite slowing growth and mounting domestic problems, China’s rise to being the world’s second largest economy and largest trading nation presents the first challenge to Western economic primacy since the emergence of a global economy in the late eighteenth century. This panel session, chaired by Michael Wesley (ANU), will bring together Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard (Copenhagen Business School), Jane Golley (ANU), Christopher McNally (Chaminade University, Hawaii) and Yao Yang (Peking University) to discuss this challenge from different perspectives across the globe.

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Exemplary Agriculture: Organic Farming and Urban/Rural Space in China

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This seminar will introduce and discuss exemplary agriculture, a small grassroots movement comprised of independent and small-scale organic farmers in Shanghai and the surrounding countryside. Participants — exemplary agriculturalists — worry about the trajectory of Chinese modernity. They want to make the experience of modernity better for urban residents by providing alternatives, and believe the culture and values of rural China can help.

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Facing Everyday Uncertainty in Qing Society

Popular works produced under the Qing dynasty preserve a number of means for placing oneself in society, understanding the nature of events, and facing the uncertainty of the future. Surviving examples of almanacs display a similar range of content in different combinations for use throughout the calendar, allowing for shifting interpretations within a familiar range of possibilities. Omens in daily life and the movements of celestial bodies are explained through detailed lists, while tales of Confucius and filial piety give moral guidance.

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The Breakdown of Empire and Competitive Justice: the Postwar Chinese Use of Japanese War Crimes Trials

What happened after the Japanese empire collapsed in East Asia? Who took over and how? More importantly, how was order and a sense of justice restored? Using recently opened Chinese and Japanese government, diplomatic and military archives and personal diaries I trace the process of how BC class Japanese war criminals were tried throughout China. I first chart how Japanese rule was restructured on the continent and then details the Chinese pursuit and prosecution of Japanese war crimes in China.

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The Art of Kunqu and Peking Opera

In this lecture-recital, Ms. Tang Yuen-ha will describe her experiences as a student of Maestro Yu Zhenfei, the last of the great exponents of traditional Chinese opera, and the traditional system of theatrical training (the old-fashioned keban 科班 and the modern xixiao 戲校). She will briefly touch on the philosophical and aesthetic foundations of this great theatrical art form. Ms. Tang's lecture will be illustrated with a wide range of video recordings, and she will also give some solo performances.

About the Speaker

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From Cantonese Religious Procession to Australian Cultural Heritage: The Changing Chinese Face of Bendigo’s Easter Parade

Chinese processional and musical performances in Australia are the subject of several key studies, however, the origin of the performances or their continuation during the ‘White Australia’ policy era and their transformations over time are neglected. This talk investigates the Chinese processional performances that have featured at the Bendigo Easter Fair since the late nineteenth century and outlines three stages in the transformation of the procession from a Chinese religious procession to a performance of Bendigo’s cultural heritage.

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The Impact of Enforcement Campaigns on China’s Legal System

This talk examines the role played by regulatory failure campaigns in shaping the development of China’s particular version of the ‘rule of law.’ Campaigns are employed on a regular basis to address perceived crises arising from shortcomings in the legal regulatory regime and to deal with problems that regular enforcement strategies have failed adequately to address. The regularity with which campaigns are used in the reform era poses something of a paradox in our efforts to understand the development of China’s legal system.

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