Review of 2 Books on Urban Culture in China

In volume 3 issue 1 of Reviews in Cultural Theory, Joshua Neves has reviewed these two books:

Yomi Braester. Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract. Duke University Press, 2010. 405 pp.

Robin Visser. Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China. Duke University Press, 2010. 362 pp.

Read the review in the original context here

and click here for youtube discussion by the authors of those books.



Conference (Oct 2012)–XJTLU University in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

This just in:
International conference in XJTLU university in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in China on 18/19 October 2012
It’s a dual ‘academic conference‘ and ‘public round-table debate‘ festival. See:
The UK ambassador and the Irish consul will be opening the event and a full list of speakers is listed here:
The academic conference includes 75 participants from the following countries: Spain, France, Mexico, UK, US, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Afghanistan, Egypt, China, Hawaii, Japan, Australia, India, Nepal and Ukraine.
The Architectural Review – the world’s oldest architecture magazine – is hosting the drinks reception. We are guest editing their September edition which is ALL about Chinese architecture.
Austin Williams
guest editor, Architectural Review
lecturer in architecture, XJTLU, Suzhou
author, The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs

Notes from Chinese Urban Cultural Studies

This just in from Robin Visser at the U of North Carolina, Chapel HIll:

As for upcoming events and resources in Chinese urban cultural studies I can tell you about the following:

Urban China listserv:

Mar 30, 2012
Workshop on “Cosmology, Isomorphism, and Sustainability in Chinese Urban Forms” (organized by UNC-Chapel Hill for the China Triangle Forum): contact Stephanie Nelson, Carolina Asia Center,

Environmental Narratives and Urban Change in China
Piper Gaubatz, Professor of Geography, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“New Cities” and the “Virtual Rural” in Twenty-first Century China
Robin Visser, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The “New Socialist Countryside”: A Case Study in Sichuan Province
Yan Song, Associate Professor of Urban Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

May 11-12, 2012
Workshop (organized by Duke University) and Forthcoming Publication:
Development and Displacement: China and its Global Footprint, Carlos Rojas and Ralph Litzinger, eds.

Forthcoming Publication:
New book: The Chinese City
By Weiping Wu<>, Piper Gaubatz<>
To Be Published July 30th 2012 by Routledge

China’s cities are home to 10 per cent of the world’s population today. They display unprecedented dynamism under the country’s surging economic power, and they challenge conventional urban theories and experiences of cities elsewhere. Their remarkable transformation builds on immense traditions, having lived through feudal dynasties, semi-colonialism, and socialist commands. Studying them offers a lens into both the complex character of the changing city and the Chinese economy, society, and environment.

This text is anchored in the spatial sciences to offer a comprehensive survey of the evolving urban landscape in China. It is divided into four parts with 13 chapters that can be read together or as stand alone material. Part I sets the context, describing the geographical setting, China’s historical urban system, and traditional urban forms. Part II covers the urban system since 1949, the rural-urban divide and migration, and interactions with the global economy. Part III outlines the specific sectors of urban development, including economic restructuring, social-spatial transformation, urban infrastructure, and urban land and housing. Finally, Part IV showcases urbanism through the lens of the urban environment, lifestyle and social change, and urban governance.

The Chinese City offers a critical understanding of China’s urbanization. This comprehensive book contains a wealth of up to date statistical information, case studies, and suggested further reading to demonstrate the diversity of urban life in China.