China's Digital Nationalism
- Tuesday 4 December 2018
- Universtity Library
- Vossius room
Book presentation by Dr. Florian Schneider
Nationalism, in China as much as elsewhere, is today adopted, filtered, transformed, enhanced, and accelerated through digital networks. And as we have increasingly seen, nationalism in digital spheres interacts in complicated ways with nationalism "on the ground". If we are to understand the social and political complexities of the twenty-first century, we need to ask: what happens to nationalism when it goes digital? In this introduction to his new book, China's Digital Nationalism, Florian Schneider explores what search engines, online encyclopedias, websites, hyperlink networks, and social media can tell us about the way that different actors construct and manage a crucial topic in contemporary Chinese politics: the protracted historical relationship with neighbouring Japan. Drawing from two cases, the infamous Nanjing Massacre of 1937 and the ongoing disputes over islands in the East China Sea, the book shows how various stakeholders in China construct networks and deploy power to shape nationalism for their own ends. These dynamics provide crucial lessons on how nation states adapt to the shifting terrain of the digital age and highlight how digital nationalism is today an emergent property of complex communication networks. The short presentation of the book will be followed by comments from two discussants and an audience Q&A.
There will be drinks and food outside the Vossius room after the presentation.
Dr. Jay Hwang, Leiden University College
Prof. Jeroen de Kloet, University of Amsterdam
Florian Schneider, PhD, Sheffield University, is University Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He is managing editor of the academic journal Asiascape: Digital Asia, director of the Leiden Asia Centre and the author of China’s Digital Nationalism (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018) as well as of Visual Political Communication in Popular Chinese Television Series (Leiden & Boston: Brill 2013, recipient of the 2014 EastAsiaNet book prize). He is also a VENI laureate, whose research on China’s digital nationalism was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and he was awarded the 2017 Leiden University teaching prize for his innovative work as an educator. His research interests include questions of governance, political communication, and digital media in China, as well as international relations in the East-Asian region.