Call for Papers: “Exploring the China Dream”

Stockholm University, Sweden
15-16th Aug 2016
Deadline: 25th Mar 2016

The research project “Exploring the China Dream. Trajectories
and articulations of soft power in the sinophone world”
would like to invite scholars and PhD students to the
international conference to be held at Stockholm University,
15-16 August 2016. The project started thanks to the support
of the STINT Initiation Grant and is led by Elena Pollacchi. The
conference is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The
keynote speakers are Gina Marchetti (Hong Kong University)
and Paola Voci (Otago University, New Zealand), who also
represent the two partner universities of the project.
The twenty-first century has been hailed as the Chinese
century. In 2012 Chinese President Xi Jinping launched his
leadership’s catchphrase the “China Dream”. This catchphrase
has been associated with a Chinese, often negative, form of
“soft power” capable of shaping both the region’s self-image
and others’ perception of Chinese culture. This conference
rethinks soft power, particularly the “China Dream” from
different perspectives within sinophone cultures and in
relation to the international scene and the global market. It
seeks to examine the role of screen and literary cultures not
just as articulations of a Chinese soft power, but rather how
they contribute alternative perspectives on national
imaginaries, political discourses, and new subjectivities.
The conference seeks to address the following questions:
How do fields of film, media and literature among others
endorse or undermine the notion of the “China
Dream”? What kinds of hopes, dreams, alliances or futures
does the China Dream inspire? And what kinds of conflicts
and tensions can it incite? How does the “China Dream”
circulate and resonate in China and outside China? How can
issues of gender, ethnicity, and class be connected, contested
or negotiated within the narrative of the “China Dream”?
The conference will mainly focus on screen cultures but will
also include panels on literary cultures and topics related to
different forms of political, visual, digital narratives. It aims to
bring together researchers working in Sweden with
internationally recognized scholars and PhD students with a
common interest in articulations of soft power in order to
discuss how visual and literary cultures complicate
conceptualizations of a Chinese soft power.