From Firefly to Fox News: The Evolution of "Chimerican" Media with Professor Fan Yang
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
2w ago
This episode features a lively conversation with Fan Yang, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, about her new book Disorienting Politics: Chimerican Media and Transpacific Entanglements.  The term “Chimerica” is a portmanteau word, blending “China” and “America.” The neologism denotes the economic, political, and cultural entanglements of the two countries. Fan Yang uses the concept of “Chimerican media” to explore how the conflicts and tensions between the world’s two superpowers are played out in movies, television series, journali ..read more
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What happens after a Barbarian walks away from the Gate?
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
2M ago
This episode represents a new direction for the podcast, recorded on the eve of Jeremiah’s move to a new home base in Geneva. We start with a retrospective snapshot of the podcast’s beginnings – with many episodes recorded under the backdrop of COVID-19 – and then segue into our perennial concern, the plight of academic exchange in China, for which our consensus was “cautious optimism," while accepting an unsatisfying "new normal.” We sign off with future plans and ideas for the next phase of Barbarians at the Gate ..read more
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Seeking News, Making China
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
3M ago
In this episode, John Alekna talks about his fascinating new book Seeking News, Making China: Information Technology and the Emergence of Mass Society. In 20th-century China, the gradual importation and development of information technology had an enormous impact on the way that news was disseminated and accessed by the general public. When radio first appeared in the early 1920s, less than 8 in 1,000 people had access to newspapers, whereas, by the time of the Mao period, hundreds of millions of citizens were receiving daily news and information via radio, TV, and shortwave technology ..read more
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Peter Goullart: Forgotten Kingdom
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
3M ago
Peter Goullart (1901-1978) wasn’t the first outsider to discover the charms of Lijiang in China’s southwestern Yunnan province. And if the crowds of tourists that thronged the destination when I last visited over Spring Festival were any indication, he won’t be the last. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain towers above cobbled streets, visible from almost every section of the old town. Wild rivers cascade down nearby slopes and through the surrounding valley and villages. At 8,000 feet​【2 438 m】 in elevation — but on the same latitude as Florida and Saudi Arabia — Lijiang’s natural bounty has ..read more
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The Mountains are High
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
3M ago
In this episode, we welcome back to the podcast our good friend, Alec Ash, who has written a fascinating book recounting a year spent in the city of Dali, Yunan Province. Unlike Alec’s previous book, Wish Lanterns, his new book, The Mountains are High, is a highly personal account of his attempt to find solace and healing after a pivotal emotional crisis and his decision to disentangle himself from his urban Beijing life and escape to a simpler life in mountainous Yunnan Province. But Alec’s life in Dali was not completely hermitic. Quite the contrary, Alec found his new life interwo ..read more
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Exile from Expat-Ville
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
4M ago
In this episode of Barbarians at the Gate, our guest is Michael Wester, founder and publisher of True Run Media and The Beijinger. Mike is a long-time resident of Beijing, and we talked with him about running the city’s most-read ex-pat publication, his experiences in organizing the “Safe and Sane” WeChat communities during the pandemic, and what the future holds for the international population of China’s capital. Also, Jeremiah surprises David and Mike with an announcement ..read more
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Ellen La Motte: An American Nurse in Peking
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
5M ago
If only all China memoirs could include the kind of caveat emptor with which Ellen La Motte begins her 1919 travelogue, Peking Dust: Two classes of books are written about China by two classes of people. There are books written by people who have spent the night in China, as it were, superficial and amusing, full of the tinkling of temple bells; and there are other books written by people who have spent years in China and who know it well, — ponderous books, full of absolute information, heavy and unreadable. This book falls into neither of these two classes, except perhaps in ..read more
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No Laughing Matters: The State of Stand-up in China Today
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
6M ago
Has the Chinese government killed stand-up comedy in China? In May of 2023, a popular standup comedian made an innocuous joke in which he mentioned a phrase used to laud the fighting spirit of the People’s Liberation Army. The next day, a complaint from a nationalistic netizen resulted in the Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media Company being fined a whopping $2 million and the temporary shutdown of virtually all the standup TV shows and comedy clubs in China’s major cities. The immediate aftermath of the incident also cast a pall over other entertainment venues, leading to increased scrutiny of mus ..read more
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Marco Polo: Travel writer? Fraud? Sexpat?
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
6M ago
Did Marco Polo make it to China? Does it matter? The Venetian explorer — and arguably the first Western “China writer” — supposedly traveled, between 1271 and 1295, through Central Asia to Kublai Khan’s capital of Khanbaliq, the forerunner of modern Beijing, accompanied by his father and uncle as traveling merchants. His book The Travels of Marco Polo is about as deep into the China archive as we can delve. Many in China, and around the world, believe Marco made it. The Sinologist Frances Wood famously dissents. Most historians of China — like kids at recess debating the existence of Santa — f ..read more
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Art with Altitude: A Conversation with Artist, Educator, and Social Entrepreneur Kristel Ouwenhand
Jeremiah Jenne
by Jeremiah Jenne
7M ago
On this episode of Barbarians at the Gate, I talk to Kristel Ouwehand, also known by her Tibetan language name, Tenzin Dolma, the founder of Snowland Academy in Gansu province where she lives with and teaches young Tibetan artists. Beginning at age 17, Tenzin traveled across Central America, Europe, parts of the Middle East, and the east coast of Africa before settling in India. She stayed in India for 11 years, mastering the traditional art of thangka painting. She also learned to craft butter sculptures and sand mandalas, contributed as one of 30 artists painting a new prayer hall, and even ..read more
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