Past Events

When did the Cultural Revolution Begin?

Speakers: Professor Yiching Wu
Time and Date: 04:00 pm – 06:00 pm, Thursday, February 16th
Location: Room 120, C.K. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver

Sponsors: Institute of Asian Research, St. John’s College UBC, Centre for Chinese Research

Laughing in the Year of the Chicken: The Past and Future of Chinese Humor

China’s Anti-Corruption Reforms and Shareholder Valuations

(Hosted by the UBC Centre for Asian Legal Studies)

Speakers: Professor Randall Morck
Time and Date: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Tuesday, January 10th
Location: Room 104, Peter A. Allard School of Law, Allard Hall, 1822 East Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Sponsors: UBC Centre for Asian Legal Studies

Mars over America: The New Wave of Chinese Science Fiction

(Hosted by the UBC Modern Chinese Culture Seminar)
Speakers: Professor Mingwei Song
Time and Date: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Wednesday, January 11th
Location: Fairmont Social Lounge, St. John’s College, UBC

Sponsors: the CCK Foundation Inter-University Centre for Sinology, St. John’s College at UBC, the UBC Centre for Chinese Research, and UBC Asian Studies.

The Post-CY Leung Era of Hong Kong 香港的後梁振英時代 (in Cantonese)

Time and Date: 7:00 pm, Friday, January 6th, 2017
Speaker: Mr. Lau Sai-leung 劉細良
Location: Performance Hall, Richmond Library and Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond, BC V6Y 1R8
Language: Cantonese

Sponsors: Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society, Hong Kong Studies Initiative 共研香江 (UBC), Richmond Public Library

RSVP: or call 604-231-6462

Yellowing亂世備忘: Film Screening

Time and Date: 6:30 pm, Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Location: Frederic Wood Theatre, 6354 Crescent Rd, Vancouver

Film Length: 133 mins

Language: Cantonese with English Subtitles

Sponsors: Centre for Chinese Research, Department of Asian Studies, Department of History, Department of Theatre and Film, St. John’s College, School of Social Work, Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society, PCHC-Museum of Migration Society, explorASIAN/VAHMS, VAFF

China’s Rise: Consequences for China and for the World

Speakers: Professor Qin Hui 秦暉 (Tsinghua University) and Professor David Kelley (Oberlin College)

Type: Lecture

Time and Date: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Wednesday, November 30th

Location: Room 120, C.K. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver

Sponsor: Centre for Chinese Research


Date: Monday, November 7th
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Yang Chao
Director of the Silver Bear award winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and the latest work from renowned Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bing李屏賓 (The Assassin, In the Mood for Love), CROSSCURRENT長江圖

The Female Chieftain’s Tribute

Date: Tuesday, November 15th
Time: 4:00PM-6:00PM

Professor Siao-Chen Hu
Siao-chen Hu is Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy in the Academia Sinica, Taiwan. A specialist in early modern Chinese literature, especially Ming-Qing narrative and women’s literature. She received the Academia Sinica Research Award for Junior Research Investigators and the Taiwan Wu Dayou Research Award from the Taiwan’s National Council of Science. Her manuscript on Ming-Qing literary representation of China’s southwest region will be published in February 2017.

Foreignness, Cultural Identity, and the Emergence of the Barbarian hero as a Literary Archetype: Using Zhang Fei as a Case Study

Date:Tuesday, October 18th

Time: 12:30pm-2:00pm

Dr. Issac Yue:
Issac Yue is an associate professor at the School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong. His fields of research include: translation studies, classical Chinese fiction, as well as food history and literature. He is the author of Translating Culture: Late Victorian Literature into Chinese (National Taiwan University Press, 2015) and a co-editor of Scribes of Gastronomy: Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature (Hong Kong University Press, 2013). Professor Yue has held visiting appointments at the University of London, National Taiwan University, and Stanford University.

Chinese Politics in the XI JINPING Era – Reassessing collective leadership

Date:Monday, October 17th

Time: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Dr. Cheng Li:
Cheng Li is Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. He is also a director of the National Committee on US-China Relations, a member of the Academic Advisory Team of the Congressional US-China Working Group, a member of the Committee of 100, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author/editor of numerous books, including, The Road to Zhongnanhai: High-Level Leadership Groups on the Eve of the 18th Party Congress (2012, in Chinese), China’s Political Development: Chinese and American Perspectives (2014), Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership (2016) and The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China (forthcoming).. He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.

Xue Yiwei: New Directions In Contemporary Chinese Literature

Time and Date:12-1 pm, Monday, October 17
Location: Room 604, UBC Asian Centre,1871 West Mall, Vancouver

Xue Yiwei:
Based in Montreal, Xue Yiwei is one of the most influential Chinese authors writing today. He is the author of twenty books, including five novels, six collections of stories, and five collections of literary essays. Shenzheners (2016) is his first book translated (by Darryl Sterk) into English; Chinese Literature and Culture has also just released a special issue on “Xue Yiwei and his War Stories.”

How China Escaped the poverty trap

Date:Thursday, October 13th

Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Dr. Yuen Yuen Ang:
Yuen Yuen Ang is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, is released by Cornell University Press in September 2016. She received the Eldersveld Prize for outstanding research from the University of Michigan’s Department of Political Science, two Early Career Fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, and a global essay prize on “The Future of Development Assistance” from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ang’s scholarship integrates the study of development, complex systems, and Chinese political economy

The Ruse of Reason: Poverty, Inequality and Personal Freedoms in the People’s Republic of China (1950-2015)

Date:Thursday, October 6th

Time: 5:00pm (Light Refreshments will be served in Honour of John’s 90th Birthday)

Prof. John Friedmann (Honorary Professor) :
My talk will be about China, more specifically about the 65 years of the People’s Republic’s existence. I have chosen this as my theme, in part because, as Ananya Roy reminds us, poverty and inequality in life chances are best understood in the context of a given territory—a city, region, or nation. But above all, I focus on China, because in a world-historical perspective, the peaceful rise of this vast country is perhaps the central story of the last century.

(Re)Viewing China Today: A Roundtable Discussion

Date: April 26, 2016
Time: 12:30PM – 2:00PM
In an effort to encourage better understanding of the complexities of today’s China, IAR’s Centre for Chinese Research will host a roundtable discussion at which perspectives from some of UBC’s prominent China specialists will be accompanied by community discussion.

Global Real Estate Investment: The Vancouver-China Nexus

Date: April 14, 2016
Time: 5PM – 8PM
This event will bring together experts from the International Monetary Fund, the real estate industry, the media, and the University of British Columbia to explain the forces that have so dramatically shaped the Vancouver real estate market in recent years.

This event is reported by the CBC News.
Full Video of the event can be viewed here.

Chinese Science Fiction and the Search for Lost Time

Date: April 13, 2016
Time: 12PM – 1:30PM
Wu Meng argues about the Chineseness of the Three-Body trilogy and how it lies in its representation of memory and history.

City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China

Date: April 12, 2016
Time: 12PM – 2PM
This talk takes up some of the most powerful shaping forces of Tang-dynasty Chang’an: its siren call as a destination; the unforeseen nooks and crannies of its urban space; its potential as a “media machine” to broadcast images and reputations, and its demimonde—a city within a city where both literary culture and commerce took center stage.

Weaker States under the Shadow of Sino-US Great Power Competition: Myanmar and Thailand’s Foreign Policy Choices

Date: April 7, 2016
Time: 4PM – 6PM
In this talk, Dr. Enze Han examines the foreign policy choices of two mainland Southeast Asian countries – Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand – since the start of the Cold War, and analyzes their current trend and future trajectories.

Utopia, Dystopia and Uchronia – From ‘The Fat Years’ to ‘The Second Year of Jianfeng’: An Alternative History of New China

Date: April 5, 2016
Time: 4PM – 6PM
Chan Koonchung will talk about his books, from The Fat Year to The Second Year of Jianfeng: An Alternative History of New China.

How Huang Zunxian Helped Canadian-Chinese in an Age of Chinese Exclusion (1882-1885)

Date: April 4, 2016
Time: 12PM – 2PM
Prof. J. D. Schmidt will show how Huang managed to provide assistance to Canadian-Chinese travelers who had to pass through U.S. Customs in San Francisco.

Why Create, When You May Steal? Ai Weiwei and the Art of Appropriation

Date: March 30, 2016
Time: 3PM – 5PM
This talk investigates how Ai Wei Wei employs, borrows and “steals” the ideas, prototypes and expertise of others in the making of his artworks, which range from massive and laborious to instant and cheaply recyclable but always end up bearing Ai’s unmistakable brand.

The Rise of Cultural Entrepreneurship in Twentieth-Century China and Southeast-Asia

Date: March 29, 2016
Time: 12PM – 1:30PM
Drawing on their recent book, The Business of Culture: Cultural Entrepreneurs in China and Southeast Asia, 1900-65, Rea and Volland will trace the emergence of three distinct archetypes of cultural entrepreneur: the cultural personality, the tycoon, and collective enterprises.

Confucian Role Ethics and the “Casting” of Persons

Date: March 24, 2016
Time: 12PM – 1:30PM
Dr. Roger T. Ames uses the aesthetic of the casting of bronzes as an analogy for person-making in the Confucian tradition.

Mapping Modern Chinese Intellectual Life: A Roundtable Conversation with Tim Cheek

Date: March 23, 2016
Time: 4PM – 6PM
Book launch of The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History.

King of Beasts: White Tiger Lore in the Ritual Culture of South China

Date: March 21, 2016
Time: 12PM – 2PM
Dr. April Liu from MOA will reconstruct the ritual histories of objects and reconnect them to various forms of contemporary white tiger worship, a vibrant realm of activity that is witnessing a stunning resurgence of interest in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

 Teaching the Asian Literary Classics: A Roundtable Discussion

Date: March 11, 2016
Time: 3-5PM
Distinguished scholars of Japanese and Chinese literature discuss the techniques they use in the classroom to help students find meaning in Asian literary classics.

Manga Formosa: The Wild World of Taiwanese Comics

Date: Feb 29, 2016
Time: 12pM – 2PM
Nick Stember, a recent UBC M.A graduate, is going to talk about Taiwanese comics and cartoons, exploring the wild world of Taiwanese comics and the challenging process of translating and lettering graphic texts.

The Belt and Road Initiative: Chevalier Professorship Lecture on China’s New Grand Strategy for the 21st Century

Date: Feb 23, 2016
How do we define the nature of the BRI? What factors drove the formulation of this policy? What implications will it have on China’s foreign relations (particularly the US-China relations), and the geo-political economy of the 21st century?

“Taiwan’s 2016 Elections and the future of Cross-Strait Relations”

Jan 6, 2016

Prof. Chen-Yuan Tung will provide his observations on the 2016 Taiwanese elections.

“Chinese Models and Chinese Dreams: Myths and Realities of Political Governance in Contemporary China”

Nov 27, 2015

A panel discussion on how The China Dream intersects—in rhetoric and in practice—with governance in contemporary China. Panelists include Dr. Daniel A. Bell, Dr. Timothy Cheek, Dr. Xiaojun Li, Dr. Paul Evans, and moderator Dr. Alison Bailey.

Book Launch: On the Selection of Leaders in a Political Meritocracy: The Case of China

Nov 26, 2015

Dr. Daniel A. Bell, will draw on his new book The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy (Princeton University Press) and attempt to answer these questions: how to judge whether China has improved its meritocratic system?  Which qualities – abilities, skills, and virtues – matter for political leaders in a Chinese context? What sorts of mechanisms and institutions can increase the likelihood that officials are selected and promoted on the basis of those qualities?.

Chinese Origins,  Indonesian Audiences: Contemporary  Sino-Indonesian Identity Politics in the case of a puppetry Genre

Nov 18, 2015

Dr. Josh Stenberg, postdoctoral fellow in UBC’s Department of Theatre and Film, will  examine wayang potehi, a cloth glove puppet theatre of southern Fujian origin performed in Indonesian on Java among ethnic Chinese. The puppetry form exhibits strategies of the mixed-culture non-Chinese-speaking communities of East and Central Java to perform a streamlined, integrationist, and loyal Sino-Indonesian identity.

馬習團: The Ma Ying-jeou – Xi Jinping Meeting: More than Just a Political Show?

Nov 16, 2015

Panel discussion about the implications of the Xi-Ma Meeting. Panelists include: Dr. Timothy Cheek, Dr. Josephine Chiu-Duke, Dr. Pitman Potter and Dr. Yves Tiberghien; moderated by Dr. Christopher Rea.

Canada-China Engagement: the 45th  Anniversary

Nov 12, 2015

A daylong celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Canada and China. Featured speakers include UBC President Dr. Martha Piper, Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada Chair Dr. David Emerson, Chinese Consul-General (Vancouver) H.E. Lu Shumin, and UBC China Council Co-Chair Hon. Jack Austin.

The Native Language of Space: the Spatial Connotations of Southern Fujian-Style He-Yuan Architecture 空間母語:閩南合院建築的空間意涵

Nov 4, 2015

Shu-Cheng Huang, associate professor of the Department of Oriental Languages and Cultures of Tzu Chi University in Hualien, Taiwan, talks about how the people suffice the way of life, express their thoughts and consciousness, and extend naturalism into a man-made environment through He-Yuan architectural style.

“Andy Lau and the Popular Representation of Cultural Identity”

Nov 2, 2015

Dr. Joyleen Christensen from University of Newcastle, discusses the success of Hong Kong film and recording star, Andy Lau (劉德華) and  critiques theories about how cultural identity is expressed through popular culture.

 “Historical  Ownership and Territorial Indivisibility: Survey Evidence from China”

Nov 2, 2015

Professor Xiaojun Li discusses how and why historical ownership plays such a significant role in the respondents’ perception of territory indivisibility compared with the alternative scenario of no such ownership. Those who perceive a territory to be indivisible are more likely to favor economic sanctions and military solutions to the dispute, and much less likely to support bilateral negotiation and IO arbitration.

“China’s Age of Irreverence: Christopher Rea in Conversation with Timothy Brook”

Oct 21, 2015

Christopher Rea and Timothy Brook discuss how political turmoil, new media, and other forces have nurtured cultures of humor in a modernizing society, from the last days of empire to the digital age.

“China’s Civil War: A Social History, 1945-1949”

Oct 14, 2015

This new book by Professor Diana Lary explores the long-term impacts of the social upheaval, the separations, the exiles and political divides that came from the civil war.

“Social Media in China: What Canadians Need to Know”

Sep 24, 2015

What are the three things that every Canadian should know about social media in China? Is state control of social media tightening as much as many commentators outside China are warning? In light of new legislation and regulations, what are the prospects for virtual civil society in the cyber domain?

“PRC Environmental Tradeoffs: Modern China’s Environment, Science(s) and Landscapes”

Sep 21, 2015

Three panels of this conference addressed issues ranging from the effect of environmental impact assessments and NGOs to CAFO policies, earthquake reconstruction to fire, floods and flood control, and the socio-ecological implications of medicinals production to developments in socio-ecological resiliency, ecosystem vulnerability & disasters.

“The AIIB and the Future of the Global Economic Order: Myth and Reality”

Sep 17, 2015

Dr. Injoo Sohn from the University of Hong Kong argued that, to avoid overdependence on existing global institutions, East Asia has been pursuing a counterweight strategy by developing regional supplements without antagonizing key players outside the region. He will also identify key factors that may shape the future development of the AIIB and international monetary order.

“China’s Road Towards Democratic Governance: Thoughts on Political Development since the Reform”

Sep 15, 2015

Professor Yu Keping, Deputy President of the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau (CCTB), and the finding Director of the China Center for Comparative Politics and Economics (CCCPE),  summarized the major achievements and the ongoing challenges of China’s democratic governance, and offered a brief analysis and reflection of the underlying reasons for these reforms and the main characteristics of China’s governance model.


For events before September 2015, please click here.