China's Mania for Mega-Events: Thinking about the Beijing Games and the Shanghai World Expo

Jeffrey Wasserstrom , Professor of History, UC Irvine; Editor, Journal of Asian Studies

This illustrated talk will explore the connections between China's first Olympics and the event that begins in Shanghai on May Day of 2010, which is being promoted as China's "First World's Fair" (and as an "Economic Olympics"). One question it will address is why, rather than resting on its laurels after the spectacles of August 2008, the Chinese government has been intent on hosting further high-profile international gatherings. The role that "mega-events" (as some sociologists dub gatherings such as the Olympics) in the rise of nations and of global cities will be explored. So, too, will the historical parallels that seem most and least useful for thinking about last year's Beijing extravaganza and the one that is on the horizon for Shanghai.

Monday, September 28, 2009 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies