Presented by THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE
Some words: princelings, the New Left, sexual intercourse. Some more: without hair, dry your mother, lesbian, labor strike. More still: calico cat, Bloomberg, color of leopard, rich woman. All these terms have been censored by Weibo, China’s hugely popular version of Twitter. They, like the hundreds of other words currently proscribed, represent a shadow lexicon, a psychological seismograph of a nation in flux. According to Jason Q. Ng, who designed a computer script and website to spotlighting and anatomising them, they are a valuable introduction “to Chinese history, culture and politics as well as a way to think about issues of media, censorship and democracy in a fast-changing technological world.”
Jason Q. Ng is a Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and author of the newly-published Blocked On Weibo: What Gets Suppressed On China’s Version of Twitter (And Why) (The New Press, 2013). His writing has appeared in publications such as Le Monde, Foreign Affairs, TheAtlantic.com, and Shanghaiist. Copies of the book will be for sale at the event.
Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU