Upcoming China Media Centre Seminar: Michel Hockx Talk on 24 February 2016

Upcoming China Media Centre Seminar: Michel Hockx Talk on 24 February 2016

Once again, the China Media Centre has a seminar ready for all, and like last time, when I chaired the highly interactive talk with Vincent Ni, I’ll be chairing this one as well. We’re really honoured to have Professor Michel Hockx from SOAS with us.

As usual, this event is open to all members of the public.

Here’s the details:

China Media Centre 2016 Spring Seminar
WEB LITERATURE AND WORLD LITERATURE
Speaker: Prof Michel Hockx
Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Time: 14:00 – 16:00 (with refreshments to follow)
Venue: A6.03, Maria Howlett Building, University of Westminster Harrow Campus
Chair: Dr David Feng

OPEN TO ALL

Chairing the China Media Centre’s First Seminar for Academic Year 2015-2016 – Speaker: Vincent Ni

Chairing the China Media Centre’s First Seminar for Academic Year 2015-2016 – Speaker: Vincent Ni

The average academic talk is where you’ve students all facing one way, staring at a speaker, and then trying to make sense of this. Then you realise that when I do seminars and events, I wanted to make it the exact way both the speaker and attendees want it. We decided shifting tables so that most of us ended up looking at one other — much like a semi-roundtable — would be the best idea. And that’s exactly how the classroom was arranged for the first China Media Centre seminar, which took place today.

Vincent Ni, who’s now with the BBC World Service, came today as speaker to deliver an extremely insightful talk — insightful as it was also thought-provoking and very much what you expected from a distinguished journalist with a lot of experience. He has covered the elections in Myanmar / Burma, the Arab Spring, and much more. He has also worked previously in China-based media, moving recently onwards to media based in the UK.

Upcoming China Media Centre Seminar: Vincent Ni Talk on 02 December 2015

Upcoming China Media Centre Seminar: Vincent Ni Talk on 02 December 2015

For academic year 2015-2016 here at the University of Westminster, I will be in charge of seminars at the China Media Centre. We’re very honoured to have Vincent Ni as our first speaker, and I’ll actually be chairing this very one on 02 December 2015.

Here’s the details:

China Media Centre 2015 Winter Seminar
“JUST WRITE WHAT YOU’VE SEEN”:
 THE BBC AND ITS CHINA COVERAGE
Speaker: Mr Vincent Ni
Date: Wednesday, 02 December 2015
Time: 14:00 – 16:00 (with refreshments to follow)
Venue: A6.07, Maria Howlett Building, University of Westminster Harrow Campus
Chair: Dr David Feng

OPEN TO ALL

Organising the Autumn 2015 China Media Centre Fresher Party

Organising the Autumn 2015 China Media Centre Fresher Party

The month of October 2015 has been increasingly busy for me — first was getting things right for the University of Westminster & SMG event on 21 October 2015, and today, it was all about getting as many people together as possible for the China Media Centre’s Fresher Party, which in spite of rather short notice, meant a crowd turned up — and it was a big one at that. We just about ran out of seating in one of the university’s larger classrooms!

There was obviously cake to go along, as well as a lot of drinks (I had spent the afternoon getting these back from the local Sainsbury’s along with other Centre staff members). Before this, though, both Centre director Prof de Burgh and I briefed all those here with what the Centre was up to. I also announced my role as the organiser of all academic seminars for the year 2015/2016, and that we’d be having people over to present still within this term.

China Social Media Talk: What’s Next?

China Social Media Talk: What’s Next?

It never mattered that the talk ran just a tiny bit overtime: the audience, made up of nearly everyone, including key scholars and ordinary students, were very much interested in the Chinese social media world. Today’s talk I gave, however, answered some existing issues whilst leaving lot of new ideas and insights to be discovered and discussed upon, ending with a very open-ended question: What’s next?

The talk sometimes extended beyond the “purely technological” and, as you might have expected for China, went a little political. But it also went cultural. “Mr Sci and Mr Dem”, as science and democracy were first referred to around the founding of Sun Yat-sen’s Republic of China, were mentioned, but also talked about was the fact that the Chinese had in essence not ever elected by direct popular vote a leader at the national level. Differences also existed in what priorities the average Chinese in the street had; but comparisons were also drawn between “indirectness”, complaints to the authorities in both China and the UK, but just how vocal citizens got online on social media, especially in the face of controversial issues.

The approximately 2-hour long talk-and-Q&A session was a mere briefer into the Chinese social media world, as the room was filled with both Western veterans but also Chinese natives who were both familiar with the world of Chinese social media, as well as others who had come in to listen to the talk. Many thanks to everyone who came, for the sharp and challenging questions, for the at times very lively debate, but also to learn and share more knowledge, facts, and views. Many thanks also to Dr Paul Dwyer for chairing this talk, and for the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster for making today’s event possible.

Time to Get Started at the University of Westminster

Time to Get Started at the University of Westminster

I know you. I was you. Please don’t think of this course as “yet another boring course by a mad professor”; it is much more about helping you.

These words struck a chord with an audience of over 50 in a lecture hall with people from around a dozen different nationalities. Academics from Europe. Students from Asia. It was like going back to school in Switzerland, where from Day One I was surrounded by fellow pupils from nearly all continents.

Except for this time, the teacher was me. I had just become a Visiting Lecturer on top of a mere “Visiting Academic” or “Visiting Scholar”. My involvement was upgraded so that I’d not only contribute to the Study Skills module, but I’d lead it and lecture for up to two hours every Monday starting from later in the month. (However, I remain committed to dedicating 50% – 67% of the lesson to students for scholarly debate.)