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Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


The Fairbank Center is a world-leading center on China at Harvard University. Listen to interviews on our "Harvard on China" podcast, recordings from our public events, and audio from our archives.

Popular episodes

Connecting the World-Island | What Will China’s PEACE Cable Bring To Pakistan And East Africa?

Nov 16 • 01:16:09
China’s Hengtong Group—leading a consortium of telecom companies from Hong Kong, Pakistan, and East Africa—will soon complete installation of the Pakistan East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable. Spanning the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, this cable will connect the three most populous continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, or what Halford Mackinder described...

The Stone and the Wireless, with Ma Shaoling

Nov 10 • 01:28:02
The Stone and the Wireless: Lyrical Media and Bad Models of the Feeling Women

Ma Shaoling is an Assistant Professor of Humanities (Literature) at Yale-NUS College. She was born in Taiwan, grew up in Singapore, and spent ten years in the United States where she obtained her PhD (University of Southern California, Comparative Literature), and subsequently taught at Pennsylvan...

From Poverty Eradication to Common Prosperity, with Bill Bikales

Nov 10 • 01:14:49
Speaker: Bill Bikales, Principal and Lead Economist, Kunlun Associates

Bill is a Harvard-trained economist and Asia specialist and has worked at the most senior level of government in Mongolia on comprehensive fiscal reform and restructuring insolvent bank and power sectors, and at grass roots level in rural China on increasing poor women’s uptake of maternal health service...

Pandemics and Politics in Mao's China, with Fang Xiaoping

Nov 10 • 01:01:22
Speaker: Fang Xiaoping, Assistant Professor of History, School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

During the 1961-1965 period, a cholera pandemic ravaged the southeastern coastal areas of Mao’s China which was already suffering from lingering starvation, class struggles, political campaigns and geopolitical challenges of the Cold War. This lecture f...

Evolutionary Governance under Authoritarianism, with Kellee Tsai

Nov 9 • 01:14:57
Speaker: Kellee Tsai, Dean of Humanities and Social Science and Chair Professor of Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The structural transformation of China over the past several decades has given rise to a fundamental tension between the pursuit of social stability and authoritarian resilience. On the one hand, repressive strategies enable ...

How Great is the Risk of War over Taiwan? With Bonnie Glaser

Oct 15 • 01:16:24
There is an intense debate among experts over the likelihood of a near-term Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Senior US military officers have warned that a PRC military action could take place in the next six years. Such dire predictions are largely based on estimates of PLA capabilities. But even if China can seize and control Taiwan, will it do so? Assessing the potential for...

What does US Business really want from China? With Jeffrey Lehman

Oct 15 • 01:09:34
Speaker: Jeffrey Lehman, Vice Chancellor and Professor of Law, NYU Shanghai

Jeffrey Lehman is the Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai, where he oversees all academic and administrative operations. Lehman is an internationally acclaimed leader in higher education, having served as dean of the University of Michigan Law School, the 11th president of Cornell University, and the fo...

Economic Sovereignty in Contemporary China, with Pang Laikwan

Oct 15 • 01:21:00
Speaker: Pang Laikwan, Professor of Cultural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This paper focuses on the wide popularity of the meme and buzzword jiucai, garlic chives, on China’s internet to investigate the cultural and political subjectivity of the ordinary Chinese citizens in a time of fierce competition simply to survive, largely known as neijuan, involution. Thr...

How China Escaped Shock Therapy, with Isabella Weber

Oct 15 • 01:24:38
Speaker: Isabella Weber, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

China has become deeply integrated into the world economy. Yet, gradual marketization has facilitated the country’s rise without leading to its wholesale assimilation to global neoliberalism. This book uncovers the fierce contest about economic reforms that shaped China’s path. In...

The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History, with Ruth Mostern

Oct 15 • 01:32:09
Speaker: Ruth Mostern, University of Pittsburgh

This talk showcases Ruth Mostern’s new book: The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History (Yale University Press, 2021). The Yellow River explains how environmentally transformative human activity has shaped the whole watershed and constituted the relationship between people and the river since Neolithic times. The book...

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