What is "Left" about the New Left in China?

Wed March 11th 2009, 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
The Stanford China Program, Shorenstein, APARC and the Center for East Asian Studies
Philippines Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Encina Hall
Admission Information
Free and open to the public.
What is "Left" about the New Left in China?
Speaker: WANG HUI, Chinese Language and Literature, Tsinghua University, Distinguished Practitioner and Visiting Professor, Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University DAVID KELLY, Professor of Chinese Politics, China Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney A group of writers and academics in China in recent years have come to be known as the "New Left." But the range of views encompassed under this rubric is broad and seemingly contradictory. Many are critical of the inequality that has come from the market reforms; some seem to look fondly back on the Maoist system and even the Cultural Revolution, while others hold very different views, preferring to call themselves "critical intellectuals," who see a "Chinese alternative" to a neoliberal market economy. This panel will explore the range of views within this group loosely termed the "New Left," to understand what exactly the "New Left" is. How are these "New Left" views different from the Old Left? What are the implications of these views for China's political and economic reforms? Discussing these issues are Wang Hui, a central figure in the "New Left" in China, and David Kelly, a leading Western scholar on the subject. Wang Hui is professor of Chinese language and literature at Tsinghua University and guest professor at Nankai University. In May 2008, he was named one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy magazine. His essays, commentary, and teaching examine the paradoxes of social change in modern and contemporary China. He was editor-in-chief of Dushu, China's leading intellectual journal. David Kelly is Professor of Chinese Politics at the China Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney. Professor Kelly's work ranges widely across Chinese politics: intellectual history, especially of Marxism and liberalism; political sociology, mainly of intellectuals, urban homeowners and migrant workers; and public policy, focusing on the dilemmas of governance under turbulent current conditions.
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