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China’s Viral Villages: Digital Nationalism in Times of Crisis

Florian Schneider, Leiden University

November 16, 2021 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm EST · Zoom

East Asian Studies Program

Nationalism, in China as much as elsewhere, is today adopted, filtered, transformed, enhanced, and accelerated through digital networks. And digital nationalism interacts in complicated ways with nationalism “on the ground.” If we are to understand the political complexities of the 21st century, we need to ask: what happens to nationalism when it goes digital? In this talk, Florian Schneider explores what interactions through digital platforms can tell us about the way that different actors construct and manage a crucial topic in contemporary Chinese politics: the sovereignty of the Chinese nation and its state. Relating his earlier findings about Japan representations in Chinese cyberspace to the recent Chinese reactions to major political crises such as the Hong Kong protests and the Coronavirus outbreak, Schneider asks how popular nationalism is evolving today, and how it goes viral in digital China’s networks.

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