Past Event

Chinese Civil Society in the Times of Covid-19

October 9, 2020
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Online Event

Please join us for a panel discussion with:

Diana Fu, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto 

Elizabeth Knup, Regional Director of the Ford Foundation in China

Jing Wang, Professor of Comparative Media Studies, MIT

Moderated by: Nick Bartlett, Assistant Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University

This panel, part of the WEAI in a COVID-19 remote lecture series, features brief presentations and discussion by scholars and practitioners who have studied and participated in Chinese civil society activities. Our conversation will include discussion of changes to the role of and spaces for non-government actors in the Hu and Xi eras, as well as recent developments in light of the COVID pandemic and rise of Hong Kong and Black Lives Matter and protests.

Diana Fu is associate professor of political science at The University of Toronto and director of the East Asia Seminar Series at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Her research examines popular contention, state control, civil society, and authoritarian citizenship, with a focus on contemporary China. She is author of the award-winning book Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is a non-resident fellow at Brookings and a public intellectuals fellow at the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Elizabeth Knup is the regional director of the Ford Foundation in China, overseeing all grant making in the country from its Beijing office. Prior to joining Ford in 2013, she served simultaneously as chief representative of Pearson PLC and president of Pearson Education in China. Elizabeth has also worked at the National Committee on US-China Relations, co-directed the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and worked at Kamsky Associates, a business strategy and investment advisory firm in Beijing. She is on the board of the National Committee on US-China Relations and has served on the boards of numerous nonprofits.

Jing Wang is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and is the author, most recently, of The Other Digital China: Nonconfrontational Activism on the Social Web (Harvard University Press, 2019). She is the founder and director of MIT New Media Action Lab and serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for Creative Commons China. She is also the founder and secretary-general of NGO2.0, a grassroots nonprofit organization based in Beijing and Shenzhen, specializing in ICT (Information Communication Technology) powered activism. Ford Foundation awarded her a ten-year grant (2009-2019) to develop NGO2.0. Wang’s current research interests include civic media and communication, nonprofit technology, entertainment media in China and the US, and advertising and marketing, with an area focus on the People’s Republic of China.

Nick Bartlett is an assistant professor in the Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures department at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of Recovering Histories: Life and Labor after Heroin in Reform-era China (University of California Press and Columbia Weatherhead series, 2020).

The event will be streamed live on WEAI's YouTube channel.

This event is organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.

Event Flyer

Contact Information

Athina Fontenot