About the talk:

The sealing off of Wuhan from January 23 to April 8, 2020 was an unprecedented event in modern world history. Recently published by Columbia University Press, Guobin Yang’s THE WUHAN LOCKDOWN recounts this history by presenting a galaxy of dramatic scenes and characters. This talk introduces the main features of the book and then zooms in on one theme – the significance of social media postings in documenting and making history. During the lockdown, residents in Wuhan and beyond took to social media to document their experiences, producing large numbers of digital stories in the forms of diaries, photography, video blogs, poems, online user comments, and more. In this way, they not only created vast archives of first-hand historical records, but directly participated in the making of history.

About the speaker:

Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Center on Digital Culture and Society and serves as deputy director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He is the author of The Wuhan Lockdown(2022), The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016), and The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009). 


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