Trans-Asia as method seminar: “Creative industries in China: Catch-up or alternative Modernity?”

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Date(s) - 19/09/2013
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

ACJC Seminar Room Building H, 8th Floor (H8.06 H8.05)


“Creative industries in China: Catch-up or alternative Modernity?”

Speaker: Justin O’Connor (Monash University)

Discussant: Fran Martin (University of Melbourne)

Thursday 19th September (Thurs), 3-5pm

ACJC seminar room, 8th floor H Building, Monash University Caulfield


Since 2005 the creative industries have been adopted and promoted by the Chinese government at national, provincial, city and rural levels. This has been re-affirmed in the 2011 five year plan. Here the creative industries are presented as part of a new wave of economic modernisation, firmly within the narrative of development as catching up with the advanced nations. In this paper I raise two problem areas. First, how can an agenda associated with a term – creativity – whose specific meaning has emerged from Western cultural modernity, and within an economic narrative strongly associated with advanced liberal democracies – the proliferation of micro-businesses and the everyday mobilisation of creativity – be ‘rolled out’ in China? Through what narrative and what kinds of socioeconomic and cultural transformations? Second, how might the adoption of the creative industries be understood in terms of the notion of modernity/ modernities. Is there a specific Chinese modernity and what might this mean?