I will be doing a series of events about China’s ghost cities this month. Here’s where I will be speaking and when.
Ghost Cities of China is just about finished and should be published by the end of the month. And almost before the ink dries I will be thoroughly engaged in the other phase of authorship: promotion. I’ve received some rather amazing offers recently to speak at lit fests, geographic societies, and book stores around China and the UK, and I’m excited to start practicing this new form of storytelling.
The following are my speaking engagements this month:
Thurs March 26, 20:00- The Bookworm Literary Festival, Beijing
Over the next couple of decades, an estimated 250 million Chinese citizens will move from rural areas into cities, pushing the country’s urban population over one billion. China has aggressively built urban districts over the past 30 years, yet many of these, such as the infamous Kangbashi and Yujiapu, stand nearly empty, construction having ground to a halt due to the loss of investors and colossal debt. In Ghost Cities of China, Wade Shepard examines this phenomenon up close, and posits that the shedding of traditional social structures is at an advanced stage, and a rootless, consumption-centric globalized culture is rapidly taking its place.
Listen to a podcast about the lit fest:
Sat March 28, 17:00- The Bookworm Literary Festival, Chengdu
Hometowns and Ghost Cities 家园和鬼城-城市变迁的病斑 Ran Yunfei, Wade Shepard
Over the next couple of decades, an estimated 250 million Chinese citizens will move from rural areas into cities, pushing the country’s urban population over one billion. In Ghost Cities of China, Wade Shepard examines this phenomenon up close, and posits that the shedding of traditional social structures is at an advanced stage, and a rootless, consumption-centric globalized culture is rapidly taking its place. Social commentator Ran Yunfei has written from the point of view of people caught up in this change and how it impacts deep-rooted cultural constructs of home, belonging and family roots. Join them for an exchange of thoughts and perspectives on urbanization and changing concepts of home. 在未来的几十年中，预计会有约2.5亿中国公民从农村移居城市，致使国内的城市人口增至超过10亿。在《Ghost Cities of China》这部书中，Wade Shepard近距离审视了这个现象，并推测传统社会结构的蜕落已经到了后期，而无根基的全球化消费主义文化正迅速取代着前者的地位。社会评论家冉云飞则从身处转型时期的人民的视角描写了这些变化给根深蒂固的家，附属品和家庭根基等文化结构带来的影响。欢迎大家加入他们两人，一起交流关于城市化及家庭概念变更的看法和观点。
Sunday March 29th, 16:00- The Bookworms Literary Festival, Suzhou
Hometowns and Ghost Cities 家园和鬼城-城市变迁的病斑
Hometowns and Ghost Cities: Perspectives on urbanization and changing concepts of home in China, from non-fiction writer Wade Shepard and a panel of leading thinkers.
The Final Word: BLF Closing Party 结束： 文学节闭幕派对 (Free Event / 免费入场) 19:00
Authors Wade Shepard, Zennon Kapron, Frane Lessac and Bridget Strevens-Marzo will be on hand to bring the BLF to a rousing conclusion!
Tuesday March 31st, 19:00- Royal Asiatic Society, Shanghai
Wade Shepard, Editor in Chief of the China Chronicle, will speak about his book ‘Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World’s Most Populated Country’, which is part of the Zed Asian Arguments series.
Featuring everything from sports stadiums to shopping malls, hundreds of new cities in China stand empty, with hundreds more set to be built by 2030. Between now and then, the country’s urban population will leap to over one billion, as the central government kicks its urbanization initiative into overdrive. In the process, traditional social structures are being torn apart, and a rootless, semi-displaced, consumption orientated culture rapidly taking their place. Ghost Cities of China is an enthralling dialogue-driven, on-location search for an understanding of China’s new cities and the reasons why many currently stand empty.
(Note: I believe this will be the first time I will be giving the full version of my ghost cities presentation.)
If you are going to be around any of these cities during these events please stop by to meet up.
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