Monumental Change: China's Transformation Since the 1980s

Collage of bike shadows and city lights at night

An international conference exploring the tremendous change China has undergone since the 1980s focusing on urbanization and the environment, families and gender, and communications and the economy.

Conference Agenda 


Fromm Hall, Maraschi Room 

2:00 p.m. Opening Remarks/Welcome

2:15 p.m-4:15 p.m. Session 1: Shifting Rural & Urban Landscapes

Discussant: Lanchih Po, Adjunct Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley

A Northeast Borderland Perspective on Post-Mao Transformations in the Environment
Martin Fromm, Assistant Professor, History and Political Science, Worcester State University

Megablock Urbanism: The Spatial Instrument of Large-scale Development in China
Jeffrey Johnson, Director, School of Architecture, University of Kentucky

The Land of Monumental Change: Urbanization and Rural Dispossession in Contemporary China
Jia-Ching Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Keynote Address:
China in 1987 and in 2017: Modernization and its Discontents
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

Thursday, November 16, 2017

McLaren Conference Center, Room 251

9:20 a.m. Registration

9:40 a.m.-11:40 a.m. Session 2: Reshaping Families and Communities

Discussant: Li Zhang, Professor of Anthropology, University of California at Davis 

China’s Hukou (household registration) System Since the 1980s
Fei-Ling (Philip) Wang, Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech (via video conference)

Religious Change and Social Change in Contemporary China
Adam Yuet Chau, Senior Lecturer, Chinese Studies, University of Cambridge 

Remaking Patriarchy in Urban China: Views from a Disadvantaged Beijing Neighborhood
Harriet Evans, Professor, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Westminster

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Break

12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Session 3: Responding to Economic & Social Changes

Discussant: Peter Lorentzen, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of San Francisco

Mom-and-Pop Shops as a Driver of Change in China during the 1980s
Karl Gerth, Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies and Professor of History, University of California, San Diego 

Rising Social Conflict, Resilient Communist Party-State: Interpreting the Chinese Puzzle
Alvin So, Chair Professor, Social Science, Hong Kong University of Technology and Science

A Double-edged Sword: Party Leaders versus Netizens in an Explosive Internet and Social Media Age in China, 1987 to present*
Tuen-Yu Lau, Founding Director, Digital Media Master’s Program, University of Washington, *co-authored with Pauline Luk, Ph.D. candidate, communications & new media, National University of Singapore

2:45 p.m.-3 p.m. Closing Remarks

3 p.m.-4 p.m. Reception

Register here

This conference is made possible due to the generous support of Suzanne Wu Zurinaga, Luis Zurinaga and the Wu Chen Lew Zurinaga Fund.