Hong Kong in Revolt: A Conversation with Au Loong-Yu

For the past year and a half, Hong Kong has been in turmoil, with a new generation of young and politically active citizens mobilising to protest Beijing’s tightening grip over the city. In Hong Kong in Revolt: The Protest Movement and the Future of China (Pluto Books 2020), prominent Hong Kong leftist intellectual Au Loong-Yu […]

The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt

A Conversation with Michael G. Vann

In The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press 2018), historian Michael G. Vann tells the darkly humorous story of how the French colonial state unsuccessfully attempted to impose its vision of modernity upon the colonial city of Hanoi, Vietnam, focussing on a long-forgotten episode that took […]

Asian Reservoirs: A Conversation with Frédéric Keck

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees. Yet, this coronavirus is only the latest in a number of zoonosis events originating in different parts of the globe, and especially within Asia, over the last 20 years. For this reason virologists commonly refer to places like China, Hong Kong, or Singapore as […]

Negotiating Inseparability in China: A Conversation with Timothy Grose

Over the past few years Uyghurs in Xinjiang have been the target of unprecedented repression by the Chinese Party-state. However, efforts to assimilate this ethnicity within the Han-dominated ‘Chinese Nation’ (中华民族) long predate the establishment of reeducation camps in 2017. A good example is the case of the ‘Xinjiang Class’ (内地新疆高中班), a programme that funds […]

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The Power of Place: A Conversation with Mark Frazier

Shanghai and Mumbai are leading centres of manufacturing and finance. In The Power of Place: Contentious Politics in Twentieth-Century Shanghai and Bombay (Cambridge University Press 2019), Mark Frazier adopts a comparative historical lens to chronicle the political biographies of these metropolises, reconstructing an impressive series of riots, strikes, and protests that shook the two cities […]

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Disenfranchised: A Conversation with Joel Andreas

Work units (单位) and the ‘cradle-to-grave’ employment model that they represented have not escaped the general rejection of China’s Maoist past. Not only have they become symbols of inefficiency, but they have also been criticised for putting workers in a position of total dependence and therefore subjugation. In Disenfranchised: The Rise and Fall of Industrial […]

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Epidemic Control in China: A Conversation with Liu Shao-hua

Liu Shao-hua earned her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology at Columbia University, and is now a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Her research takes AIDS, drug use, leprosy, and environmental issues as a lens for analysing the nature and trajectories of contemporary social change and individual life […]

Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness

A Conversation with Miriam Driessen

How is China’s success in Africa experienced by those who work on the Chinese-run construction sites that have emerged across the continent? In Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness (Hong Kong University Press 2019), Miriam Driessen follows the lives of Chinese road builders in Ethiopia to reveal the friction of Chinese-led development on the ground. […]

City Making and Global Labour Regimes: A Conversation with Antonella Ceccagno

Chinese immigrants in European societies have often been perceived as a threat, especially in those contexts affected by economic decline and industrial retrenchment. Prato is no exception to this. Once a flourishing textile hub in which local entrepreneurs dominated the industry, a couple of decades ago the Italian city entered a phase of decline. It […]

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