China on My Mind

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A few weeks ago, those of us based at UCI had the pleasure of hearing author Michael Meyer talk about his new book, The Last Days of Old Beijing. Accompanied by the evocative photos of Mark Leong, Meyer described his experience living in the ancient hutongs of central Beijing and how he tried to convey that experience–threatened by Beijing’s rapid development–in his recent book. Here, Tom Mullaney, who teaches history at Stanford, chats with Meyer about his book. Scroll down to enjoy Leong’s photos while you listen.

The character “chai” (to demolish) is painted on houses marked for demolition.

If you’d like to learn more, this video will give you a tour of Meyer’s Beijing neighborhood.

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In their coverage of the 1989 student demonstrations, foreign and domestic media focused almost exclusively on the demonstrations in Beijing. However, sympathetic students and workers protested and marched across China in May and June 1989, and there has been little coverage or scholarship written about the shape and scope of those events. In the spring and early summer of 1989, professor and philosopher Ian Hacking was teaching in Wuhan and Lanzhou. In this installation of the audio feature, “China on My Mind,” China Beat contributor Tom Mullaney chats with Hacking about what he saw during this critical moment in Chinese history. (Users who have trouble with the interface can follow this link directly to the audio file at imeem.)