Southwest China (and how it fell out of academic fashion)

The Contemporary China Centre at the University of Westminster is pleased to announce the next event in our Conference Deconstructed

Southwest China (and how it fell out of academic fashion)
Speakers: Dr Jenny Chio, Dr Andrea E. Pia, Dr Peter Guangpei Ran
Date and Time: Wednesday, 6th December, 12:00-14:00 (GMT)
Location: Online via Zoom

Registration: The event is free to attend and open to all. A Zoom link will be provided to all those who register via Ticket Tailor before 4th December.

Panel Description:

Since the 1980s, southwest China has enjoyed considerable attention from academics, including a particular focus on representations and everyday practices relating to the many “ethnic minorities” within this region. While importance theoretical tools, such as Louisa Schein’s notion of internal orientalism, have subsequently emerged, recent years have seen a decline in the profile of southwest China within English-language academia. This panel seeks to account for this decline, as well as suggest new ways of thinking about and doing research in southwest China, in an attempt to refocus academic and wider public attention upon this region.

This panel continues the Contemporary China Centre Conference Deconstructed format, bringing together international experts to present their own research on southwest China, as well as discuss how this research on the southwest can contribute more broadly to the interdisciplinary field of Chinese studies.

Chair: Dr Paul Kendall (University of Westminster)


Dr Jenny Chio is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She currently researches vernacular video practices in China’s ethnic minority communities. Her earlier work advanced a critical perspective on visuality and mobility as key analytics for understanding contemporary tourism development in southwest China. For this panel, she will draw upon her work on tourism and media-making in Guizhou, Guangxi, and Yunnan to discuss the persistence of the rural in Chinese modernity.

Dr Andrea E. Pia is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of Cutting the Massline: Water, Politics, and Climate in southwest China (JHUP, 2024) and one of the editors of the Open Access Journal Made in China. On this panel, Dr Pia will touch upon the global relevance of indigenous environmentalism in southwest China and discuss his current project on Chinese decarbonisation initiatives across borders.

Dr Peter Guangpei Ran is an Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Anthropology at Nanjing University, and currently a visiting fellow at University of Freiburg. He has done years of extensive fieldwork in southwest China. On this panel, Dr Ran will give a general overview of the significance of studies on southwest China in anthropology and Chinese studies, and also reflect upon the challenges to bring relevant discussions forward.

Past events in the CCC Conference, Deconstructed series can be found on our Youtube Channel.

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Posted by: Paul Kendall <>

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