Shared fictions – lies not intended to deceive – constitute an important mechanism of governance, one which currently plays a large role in China's informal politics. The result is a wide grey zone, where much is negotiated in an ad hoc way. This talk uses examples from NGOs and from religion in contemporary China to show how this works in practice, to clarify the modes of repression that accompany this mode of governance, and to ask what circumstances encourage the use of shared fictions.Robert P. Weller is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. Weller’s work concentrates on China and Taiwan in comparative perspective. His actual research topics are mulitfaceted, from religion over resistance to landscape paintings. Perhaps what unites everything is an interest in finding the limits to authority in all its settings. His publications include Alternate Civilities: Chinese Culture and the Prospects for Democracy (1999), Discovering Nature: Globalization and Environmental Culture in China and Taiwan (2006) and the recent Rethinking Pluralism: Ritual, Experience, and Ambiguity (with Adam Seligman, 2012).
Time & Location
Jun 16, 2015 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Holzlaube, Room 1.2002