The Idea of China through the Lens of International Sports

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Conveners: School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies & Faculty of Oriental Studies

Speaker: Professor Guoqi Xu

This talk will examine the question: What is China and Chineseness, from the perspective of global sports and the global public from the late 19th century to the present?  It will pay special attention to the close connection between China’s search for answers to the question ‘what is China and Chineseness?’ and the fervent desire to participate and compete in global sports. The talk will also examine how the Chinese have used participation in international sports federations and the major global Games to address the issue: ‘who represents China?’

Guoqi Xu received his PhD in History from Harvard University and is currently professor of history at the University of Hong Kong. He is author of the following recent books in English: Asia and the Great War: A Shared History; Chinese and Americans: A Shared HistoryStrangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great WarOlympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008China and the Great War: China’s Pursuit of a New National Identity and Internationalization.

Professor Xu is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled ‘The Idea of China’, which is under contract for Harvard University Press.