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A lecture by PERRY LINK, in the series Beyond the Headlines: China and the Global Future
The collapse of socialist ideals in China’s late-Mao years led some Chinese intellectuals, beginning in the 1980s, to speak of a “values vacuum” in society. Later the rise of materialism and nationalism seems to have filled this vacuum in certain ways, but such values do not involve core ethical issues that have long been central to Chinese culture. So the question remains, “What does it mean to be a good person in daily life, and how important is it to be one?” Link will consider some answers to this question that emerge in several kinds of popular media: fiction, television, the blogosphere, and the oral grapevine.
Perry Link (PhD, Harvard 1976) is Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, and Chancellorial Chair in Teaching Across Disciplines and Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages at the University of California, Riverside. Link is a renowed scholar of twentieth-century Chinese literature. He has also published in the fields of modern Chinese language, popular culture, intellectual history, art, and politics. His current research is on rhythm, metaphor, and politics in contemporary Chinese language. Among his recent are The Uses of Literature: Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System (Princeton, 2000); Chinese Primer, an elementary Chinese textbook; and Banyang suibi (Notes of a Semi-Foreigner, in Chinese) (Taipei: Sanminchubanshe, 1999). Professor Link has edited, among others, the late Liu Binyan's Two Kinds of Truth: Stories and Reportage from China (Indiana U Press, 2006), and has co-edited The Tiananmen Papers (Public Affairs, 2001). He is also a frequent contributor to the press. (Click here for a list of his articles in the New York Review of Books, for instance.)
Professor Link has consistently spoken out for human rights and social justice in China. For this, the Chinese government has blacklisted him, banning him from entering China.
Published: Friday, May 07, 2010
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