Weekly Forums

In addition to the regular speaker series and other co-sponsored events, CSCC convenes an informal “Weekly Forum,” noon on weekdays in the CSCC conference room. These sessions are envisioned as “brown-bag lunches” at which graduate students or faculty can informally introduce or present work in progress. This will be a great way for all of us to get to know one another and learn more about the kinds of work on contemporary China being done across Penn’s campus. Please email us your thoughts and suggestions on how to best organize the Friday Forum and to let us know when you would like to volunteer to discuss some of your work. Even on days when no discussion is scheduled, people are welcome to bring their lunch to eat with others in the CSCC conference room.

Past Weekly Forums


More Bottoms than Tops? Transmediated Sexual Roles and Masculinity Assemblage in Chinese Gay Communities

Benson Zhou, CSCC Postdoctoral Fellow
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

This talk addresses the production, circulation, and implications of the discourse “there are more 0s (bottoms) than 1s (tops)” in gay communities. It explores why many Chinese gay men perceive it as a “sexual truth…


When Autocrats Clean House: Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign and Its Consequences

Chris Carothers,  CSCC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

Corruption is rampant in many authoritarian regimes, leading to the widespread perception that autocrats have little incentive or ability to curb government wrongdoing. Yet meaningful anti-corruption efforts by…


Grand Strategy or Grand Tragedy? China’s Foreign Policy in the Xi Jinping Era

Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Virtual Talk

Jude Blanchette holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Previously, he was engagement director at The Conference Board’s China Center for Economics and…


Performing Legality: When and Why Chinese Government Leaders Show Up in Court

Jieun Kim, CSCC Postdoctoral Fellow
- 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

Starting in 2015, Chinese government leaders have been required by law to appear in court when citizens sue their unit. Yet, little empirical research has been undertaken to explain this unique practice of “…


Building a New JV University from Scratch in China: The Case of Duke Kunshan University

Denis Simon, Professor of China Business and Technology, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

Joint venture universities in China are part of a larger on-going effort to internationalize Chinese higher education and to absorb some of the “best practices” from Western universities. Launching and operating…


From Poverty Eradication to Common Prosperity: Continuities in Xi Jinping’s Narrow Approach to Key Social Policy Goals

Bill Bikales, Principal and Lead Economist, Kunlun Associates
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

When the Chinese government proclaimed in 2020 that it had eradicated extreme absolute income poverty through a six-year poverty reduction campaign, it presented this achievement as proof of the superiority of their…


Beyond Decoupling: Maintaining America’s High-Tech Advantages over China

Scott Kennedy, Senior Adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business & Economics, Center for Strategic & International Studies
- Virtual talk via Zoom

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Clean Air at What Cost? The Rise of Blunt Force Regulation

Denise van der Kamp, Associate Professor, School of Global and Area Studies, Oxford University
- Zoom Talk

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China’s green transition is often perceived as a lesson in authoritarian…


Whither China-U.S. Relations?

Xiao Ren, Professor of International Politics, Fudan University; Roger Cliff, Research Professor of Indo-Pacific Affairs, Army War College
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

Over the four years of 2016-2020, the U.S. Trump administration took on China and came up with a number of tough actions vis-a-vis China, out of a mentality of competing with and clamping down on the latter. Quite a…


The Performative State: Public Scrutiny and Environmental Governance in China

Iza Ding, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
- CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

What does the state do when public expectations exceed its governing capacity? The Performative State shows how the state can shape public perceptions and defuse crises through the theatrical deployment of language,…