Cosmopolitan Nationalists: Can Studying the 2008 Student Demonstrations in China Help Develop a Comparative Perspective on Online Youth Nationalism?
In the run-up to the Peking Olympics of 2008, a worldwide wave of demonstrations by Chinese students defending the Chinese government from Western criticism took observers by surprise. Why did young, well-to-do Chinese students in the West come out to support an authoritarian government?
Since then, we have seen youth mobilised in support of authoritarian leaders worldwide, including Russia, Hungary, Turkey and India. Just like mobilisation opposing authoritarianism, it too largely takes place on social media. This talk will discuss our combination of online and offline research in tracing the dynamics of the 2008 demonstrations and suggest that, with the global rise of online youth nationalism, similar research could be done in a comparative fashion. Dr. Lajosi will offer a response from the perspective of her research on nationalism in Hungary and Romania.
About the lecturers
Pál Nyiri is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He holds doctorates in History and Sociology. His most recent books includeReporting for China: How Chinese Correspondents Work With the World (University of Washington Press).
Krisztina Lajosi-Moore (Ph.D. 2008) is Assistant Professor of Cultural History in the Department of European Studies at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the history of European nationalism, and particularly on the relation between nationalism and various media. Her publications include Staging the Nation: Opera and Nationalism in 19th-Century Hungary (Brill, 2018); an edited volume Choral Societies and Nationalism (Brill, 2015); and an article on “National Stereotypes in Music” in Nations and Nationalism 4 (2014). Her current research projects include new nationalism in a digital age and a comparative historical study of transnational adventurers.