Modern Intellectuals and the Public Sphere in China

Jul 02, 2015 | 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

In the 1990s, Jürgen Habermas‘ theory of the public sphere had a great influence on Chinese academic circles. The emergence of China’s public sphere in the late Qin and early Republican Era is closely related to the rise of modern Chinese intellectuals. The existence of Chinese intellectuals is based on three important institutional systems of the public sphere: university, mass organizations, and public media. Using the public sphere as historical background, Chinese intellectuals managed to gain major influence in the educational, public, and political arena during the Republican Era. Under Mao Zedong, the Chinese public sphere was entirely controlled from 1949 until the 1980s. It was not until then that it started to recover and enliven again. Modern China’s public sphere and the fate of Chinese intellectuals are closely intertwined, their interconnection is a mutual story of rise and fall.

The lecture is held in Chinese.

Xu Jilin is a intellectual historian of modern Chinese thought and chair professor of History at East China Normal University in Shanghai. His field of research focuses on the Chinese intellectuals and the urban culture of Shanghai. His publications include Public Communication of Modern Chinese Intelletuals (co-author, 2008) and How the Enlightenment was Reborn (2011).

Time & Location

Jul 02, 2015 | 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Holzlaube, Room 0.2002
Fabeckstr. 23-25
14195 Berlin-Dahlem