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Music and China's National Identity

Speaker | Dr. Chen Yudan (Fudan University)
Time | 12:00-13:00 Wednesday 27 Jan 2016
Venue | NIAS Conference Room (18.1.08) Øster Farimagsgade 5, University of Copenhagen


Though sometimes regarded as “universal language“, music always plays a significant role in national identity building. It helps to answer the question of “who are we“, by constructing collective memory, defining the distinctions of nationals, and shaping cultural identity per se. Music is especially crucial in Chinese politics since the concept “propriety and music (li/yue)” lies at the very centre of Chinese culture. In his talk, the speaker will provide a brief introduction of how “Chineseness” has been constructed in music, with a historical review covering ancient, modern and contemporary China, leading audience to some “things we hear but cannot see”.


Chen Yudan is Assistant Professor of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. His research interests include History of International Thought (Classical Greek and Chinese thoughts) and Cultural Perspective of International Relations (music, literature, martial arts and gastronomy).