Underglobalization: Beijing's Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy

Talk by Joshua Neves, Concordia University (Montréal)

Photo for Underglobalization: Beijing
This talk draws on Joshua Neves’ 2020 book Underglobalization (Duke UP). Underglobalization examines the cultural politics of the fake as a key site through which contemporary forms of underdevelopment are governed, mediated, and contested—in China and globally. The talk will explore how tensions between (il)legality and (il)legitimacy shore up dominant models for development and, paradoxically, drive dismissals of Chinese modernization as counterfeit or excessive. Combining site-specific research in Beijing with a set of theoretical problems tied to Asian globalizations, the book enacts a critical shift from the routine focus on copyright violations and the creative industries to the proliferation of illegal cities, citizens, and futures. In particular, it explores how piracy and fakes are manifestations of “underglobalization”—the ways social actors undermine and refuse to implement the specific procedures and protocols required by globalization at different scales. Arguing for a shift from global civil society to global political society, it considers how mundane and mediated practices of faking—from informal media networks to piratical citizenship—undergird globalization as we know it.

Download the Introduction to the book here:
book introduction

Joshua Neves is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at Concordia University (Montréal), where he directs the Global Emergent Media (GEM) Lab and teaches in the Film and Moving Image Studies program. He is the author of Underglobalization: Beijing’s Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy (Duke University Press, 2020), and co-editor of Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, 2017).

Sponsor: Center for Chinese Studies

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Published: Monday, March 2, 2020