David Feng to Chair and Speak at China and the Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication Conference on 09 April 2016
Although I’ve made some not-so-invisible changes to my main commitments, moving out of “theory / research-only” academia and being involved only in projects that yield actual, tangible results for the benefit of the general public, I still will be involved in my part of academia which involve speeches and lessons. This is why I’ve decided to be an active part of the upcoming China and the Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication conference. This is a unique event: both universities co-organising this are those I have academic affiliations to. It’s also a good way to transition academically from London to Beijing.
Check out the full schedule for details, and be sure to book yourself in for the event if you’re interested. I will be chairing Parallel Panel 2 (Cultures of communication) from 11:30 through to 13:00, and in the afternoon hour, I’ll have my 15 minute-presentation. ▶
I have just been informed that in addition to being a discussant on the Civilised dialogue – transcultural and comparative panel at the upcoming UK-China Culture Exchange – 2nd Global China Dialogue: Transculturality and New Global Governance conference, I will also be speaking at the next panel on Urbanisation and the Fabric of China’s Internet.
Most of you know that I’ve been deeply involved in this on two fronts: riding around the country by HSR (and seeing how cities have in essence sprung up from bang in the middle of nowhere — Wuqing is your classic case study) — and a focus on the Internet in China. I’ve also taken a good look at how the two likely match up, so this will be quite a novel presentation.
I am expected to speak in the timeslot between 15:45 and 16:30. ▶
If you thought China was fully in control and regulating things these days (apparently they completely canned Line), this might only be the tip of the iceberg for you. Presently, the firewall operates on a blacklist (liste noire) principle, in essence containing a list of sites you’re not allowed to go to, and then not restricting access to the rest. (The same goes for keywords, especially those in search machines.) Incredibly, though, as long as you stay away from the two Ps — politics and porn — you should be fine.
Because whilst I was just browsing around on my hard drive as of late, I came across this presentation I did in my first PhD year. It really was a scary moment. ▶
As of late, more and more people in China are expressing concern about Green Dam — new software that’s supposed to keep people away from “unhealthy” sites, but which others have concerns about regarding content control and general security. This doesn’t make it quite “green” at all!
Lately, I’ve been interviewed by lots of media, both online and offline, in the UK and elsewhere. My concerns expressed were less political / “censorship”-related, and far more issues regarding how secure the new software was, as well the existing issue of sites in China that already have low-brow content in the form of controversial ads. Some content were already quite “suggestive” — even on officially approved sites!
The most interesting thing that happened was that during one of the interviews, late-breaking news came and I was informed the plan to roll out such filtering applications would not go ahead. ▶