The Enemy-radio Listeners: Technology and Agency in Socialist China
2021-03-26 @ 1:00 pm ~ 2:30 pm
Socialist China was usually understood as a totalized society with strict control over the flow of information. In this talk, Dr. Wang Yu complicates the above understanding by exploring the popular practice of listening to foreign radio stations in the 1950s and 1960s China. He will bring into light this largely unknown group of radio users and answer the following questions: who were they, when, how, and why did they listen, and more importantly, how did they interact with the state as they process the information from the political power beyond state-borders? Wang suggests that the state’s failure to control the flow of information not only had to do with its technological limits but also was closely related to a few other geopolitical and social issues. This talk also invites the audience to rethink the limit of the state in the age of technological innovation and globalization.