BACS Annual Conference

British Association for Chinese Studies Conference

University of Birmingham

6-10 September 2021

 BACS is pleased to announce that the 2021 conference of the British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS) will be hosted online by the University of Birmingham on 6-10 September 2021.

BACS holds a Chinese Studies conference each year at a different location around the UK, and this is the first time the meeting will be hosted at Birmingham.

Keynote speakers

Professor PANG Laikwan (CUHK)

‘Biopolitics in Contemporary China: Garlic Chives and Involution’

The economic success the PRC has enjoyed in the last three decades is hitting a bottleneck, and we are seeing ever intensifying internal competitions among the Chinese people simply to survive. This paper focuses on the wide popularity of the terms jiucai, garlic chives, and neijuan, involution, on China’s internet to investigate the cultural and political subjectivity of the ordinary Chinese citizens in a time of fierce competition and economic statism. The paper also updates Foucault’s theory of biopolitics by investigating the deeply intertwined relation between the biological, the economic, and the political in contemporary Chinese governmentality. While the post-socialist PRC has developed a sophisticated economic rationality to legitimize its state sovereignty, this economic sovereignty also strains the ordinary subjects so much that it begins to pose a serious challenge to this legitimacy.


Dr Rian THUM (Manchester)