A semi-serious deep dive into Chinese history and culture broadcast from Beijing and hosted by Jeremiah Jenne and David Moser.
"Yellow Jazz, Black Music" with Marketus Presswood
49:08with historian and filmmaker Marketus Presswood
47:43In this episode, Jeremiah and David talk about the foreign experience of travel in China, drawing upon their personal experiences over the years as explorers, educators, and tour guides. The two trade accounts of the rapid expansion of China’s travel industry in decades after Reform and Opening, the occasional brushes with anti-foreign sentiment, and the exploding domestic luxury travel market as the economy booms and overseas travel has been restricted. The discussion also turns to the new post-Covid-19 reality of quarantines, vaccination records, and issues with the ubiquitous health-record apps that have become mandatory additions to everyone’s mobile phone. The podcast concludes with cautious prognostications about the upcoming Olympics, vaccination passports, and the future of foreigners traveling, studying, and working in China. David also recommends the excellent new documentary about jazz and jazz-age Shanghai by Marketus Presswood, Yellow Jazz, Black Music now streaming on Vimeo.
Elegy for the Eighties
43:07In this episode (taped on the eve of June 4th), Jeremiah and David examine the zeitgeist of China in the 1980s through the lens of the historic 1988 documentary River Elegy《河殇》. The six-part documentary was a scathing critique of Chinese traditional culture and political philosophy, portraying hallowed icons such as the Great Wall and the Yellow River as morally repugnant symbols of barbarism and cultural self-deception. The TV series also touched upon previously taboo topics such as Mao's Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The documentary was highly controversial at the time yet was widely disseminated in State media such as the People's Daily, giving rise to an astonishingly frank public debate about the fate of China and the need for economic and political liberalization. The documentary was banned after 1989 but remains a cultural time capsule of the decade's relatively open political discourse. The podcast discussion examines the contentious intellectual currents of the 1980s and poses some counterfactual questions about how China's reforms might have progressed if the free-thinking trajectory of River Elegy had continued to exert an influence. Link to a segment of River Elegy on YouTube Moser, David, "Thoughts on River Elegy, June 1988-June 2011" (2011). The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012. 904.
Talking the Line between Culture Shock and Racism
41:24In this episode, we host Ruth Poulsen, Director of Curriculum and Assessment at the International School of Beijing and author of a recent article in The American Educator entitled "What's the Line between Culture Shock and Racism?" Ruth is a long-term ex-pat, having spent much of her childhood and adult life in various countries in the Middle East and Asia. In the interview, Ruth shares her cross-cultural insights gained from her years working with teachers and students living abroad and offers some strategies for coping with cultural shock, cultural misunderstandings, and negative stereotypes. Those new to the podcast might want to check out an earlier episode with Lenora Chu, which examined cross-cultural differences in the Chinese and American education systems.
China's New Youth