On Friday we welcomed our new group of 65 students for the Global Learning Semester. We also welcomed our professors for the first session of our program, who are flying in from Duke or elsewhere to teach.Read More
Continuation of a rundown of my favorite albums from high school days in the 1980s, featuring artists Peter Gabriel, XTC, Kate Bush, Violent Femmes, Big Audio Dynamite, Depeche Mode, King Krimson, Prefab Sprout, Shriekback, and U2Read More
Inspired by my father, and by my forthcoming book on Chinese rock scenes, I take a trip down memory lane, recalling my favorite albums from a misspent youth in Massachusetts. Artists featured in this blog include The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, The English Beat, Polyrock, The Stranglers, Ultravox, Talking Heads, Snakefinger, R.E.M., and Thomas Dolby.Read More
A list of my favorite reads in the year 2016, not necessarily published in that year but mostly recent publications, including books on music, history, Shanghai, and autobiographies of two British gents.Read More
In the days leading up to our 25th reunion of the Class of 1991, I remember fondly our president Dr. James O. Freedman, who tried hard to create a more intellectual climate for the campus, encountering much opposition along the way.Read More
A blog about an event sponsored by the Shanghai American School that brought three pre-1949 alumni to talk about their memories of the 1940s. And a weekend tour of Shanghai with Duke Kunshan faculty.Read More
As I gear up for the 25th reunion of our class of 1991, I recall with great fondness the choral group known as the Chamber Singers, which was one of my best experiences at Dartmouth.Read More
Fellow Shanghai Nightscapes author James Farrer and I did a Skype interview about our book with Carla Nappi for her podcast on East Asian booksRead More
More talks and interviews about our new book Shanghai NightscapesRead More
James Farrer and I will be holding a series of book talks in the coming week. We are especially looking forward to our talk for the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai. For more info on this talk, please see this website.
Finally, nearly twenty years after this project was first conceived in the Hithouse Bar near Fudan University, over a couple of soggy, warm beers and the bleery-eyed environment of a student-populated disco bar, our book Shanghai Nightscapes is now being launched into the world. Special thanks goes out to Doug Mitchell and the rest of the team at U Chicago Press, as well as to our various editors and compilers. James Farrer, my coauthor, was the driving force behind this project's completion, and definitely deserves top billing. I hope that those who read the book will find something of themselves reflected in its contents.
My publisher just sent me the link to this article about my book on Mu Shiying published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Thanks to the reviewer, Huiwen Shi, for writing such a positive and insightful yet also critical review.
An account of a workshop on habitable cities held at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and organized by British China scholar and urban historian Toby LincolnRead More
Coco Zhao has been a fixture of the jazz scene since the late 1990s, and he sings regularly at the JZ Club with his group the Possicobilities.Read More
Catching up with the rock scene in Beijing and re interviewing Michael Pettis and Yang Haisong, seeing SUBS perform at Temple and also seeing Chui Wan, a fairly new band, at Yugong Yishan.Read More
I have long been fascinated by the life story and the writings of Walter Benjamin. Benjamin's life and works have taken on mythical powers over the past decades. This book combines a painstakingly detailed account of his life with deep critical analyses of his works, richly contextualized within the framework of his life story. It is a stunning work of scholarship, which reconstructs his life through his own letters and other documents as well as those of his friends and others in the circles in which he traveled.Read More
At risk of sounding narcissistic, I was just googling my own name to see what comes up (at least I don't post selfies on facebook!) and on the Frommers website I found this excellent listing of books and films about Shanghai history. Can't recommend it highly enough to those interested in learning about our fair city (and not just because my book Shanghai's Dancing World is on the list--and if you made this list, please update it to include my book on Mu Shiying!)
I usually give talks on the jazz age cabaret and ballroom culture of 1920s-30s Shanghai, but this was a rare chance to focus on Shanghai's most famous ballroom from that era: the Paramount.Read More
I just received news of a very favorable review by Frederik H. Green of my book, Mu Shiying: China's Lost Modernist, for the e-journal MCLC. The review may be found on this web page.
Time to celebrate with a night on the town, once I've recovered from this head cold I caught whilst on a company retreat in Moganshan. James Farrer is in town now, and we have some more follow-up research to do for our upcoming book, Shanghai Nightscapes!