CAMEo - Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies

Cultural industries in Shanghai modern

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 4.00pm-5.30pm

A public lecture by Professor Justin O’Connor, Monash University

Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

Shanghai Modern is a term designating the city’s moment of global cultural eminence, from the end of the First World war to the beginning of the Second.

The site where the very word modern made landfall in China, the city’s economic power and semi-colonial/ semi-autonomous status, gave it a unique status within the country’s aspirations to modernity and national self-determination. However, its image is disputed and ambiguous, amongst Western observers (who see it as moment of cultural potential snuffed out by the 1949 revolution) and the Chinese government (who have been attempting to re-engineer its image as an decadent urban entrepot for colonial capitalism into a positive resource for the present). Central to the image of Shanghai have been the commercial cultural industries and the urban lifestyles with which they were intertwined.

Professor O’Connor’s talk will explore these images in some detail, and attempt to give an alternative account through the left wing use of the cultural industries. Our speaker will also outline how these debates are important to the current figuration of the cultural creative industries in contemporary Shanghai, and what lessons this might have for us in ‘the West’.

About the Speaker:

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University. He is also visiting Professor in the School of Media and Design, Shanghai Jiaotong University. He heads the new MFJ research unit Culture Media Economy and is program leader for the Master of Cultural Economy. He is part of the UNESCO ‘Expert Facility’, supporting the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity, a board member of Renew Australia and convenes the Global Cultural Economy Network.

Justin has two ARC Discovery projects. Working the Field seeks to understand how graduates of creative arts programs in Australia and China build careers in the arts and cultural industries. He is also part of multidisciplinary team looking at Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production – focusing on the relationship between the cultural sector and making/ manufacture in Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin, Shenzhen, New York and Los Angeles.

Under the UNESCO/EU Technical Assistance Programme he worked with the Ministry of Culture in Mauritius to develop a national cultural industries strategy, and the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Samoa, to link their cultural industries strategy to the 2005 Convention. O’Connor is the author of the 2016 Platform Paper After the Creative Industries: Why we need a cultural economy, the 2015 Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, and is finalising a book on Cultural Economy in the New Shanghai.

This event is free and open to all.

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