Dartmouth Events

China in Loops

A public lecture by Shaoling Ma, Assoc. Prof. of Asian Studies, Cornell Univ. Sponsored by the Dartmouth Society of Fellows and the Dept. of Asian Societies, Cultures, & Languages.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
4:30pm – 6:00pm
Room 201F, Carpenter Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

The Q&A will be moderated by Yiren Zheng (Society of Fellows and ASCL)

This talk gives an overview of my past and current ongoing projects that stage, in their own ways, how studies of relationality inevitably reproduce and multiply the terms of the relations—cultural or techno-materialist; subjective, collective, or planetary-ecological—that are assumed in the first place. My working diagram has thus been variations upon the recursive loop, whereby recursion refers to the process of repeating a function such that a thing comes to be defined in terms of itself. The loop form helps me to analyse seemingly disparate but co-entangled phenomena from the cinematic zoom-out’s unlikely modelling of computational-assisted macro-economic analysis in 1960s-70s Taiwan, to contemporary Chinese video art’s self-reflexive adaptation of the Chinese Party-State’s 2009 Circular Economy Promotion Law. But recursion also names the algorithmic operation undergirding our economic infrastructure, and its fantasy that everything belongs to the same, flattened, networked connectivity. As a critical Asian humanist retooling the schema that increasingly dominate finance capital, machine learning, and data governance today, how can we treat our areas of specialization and individual case studies themselves as loops, while asserting criticism and culture’s autonomy? 

Shaoling Ma is an Associate Professor of Asian Studies at Cornell University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and critical theorist of global Chinese history, literature, and media. At the broadest level, she is drawn to historical periods when geopolitical, socio-economic, and technological developments appear to provide external vantage points from which to navigate the landscape of cultural production, while, in fact, being resolutely embedded in the latter. Her teaching and research interests include late nineteenth-century to contemporary Chinese and Southeast Asian cultural productions, media studies, and critical theory.

This lecture is free and open to the public. We welcome faculty, students, and staff with any disciplinary backgrounds. If you would like to have your access needs met in order to attend this event, please contact Yiren Zheng (yiren.zheng@dartmouth.edu).


For more information, contact:
Yiren Zheng

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.