In addition to my research blog, “The Rooted State,” I maintain a”just for fun” blog titled “Benevolent Things.” The central conceit of Benevolent Things is that each essay is centered on an object or a kind of object. Like my research blog, this one is largely China-focused.
I was invited to give a talk at a TEDx event in Chengdu in April 2016. The name of the event was “Window,” and the title of my talk was “Window or Mirror? How Cultural Knowledge Changes Culture.” For a while I’ve been pondering a future research project on how changes to the the concept of “culture” have historically changed Chinese and global cultures–a sort of recursive phenomenon. This short talk was my first public foray into that topic.
The event organizers are still putting together a final edit of the talks with Chinese subtitles, but until then, here’s my copy: