Why? Radio episode

Episode 43:
"WHY? Goes to China:Confucius and Today's China"
Guest:Daniel Bell

Recorded: May 14, 2012.
Originally broadcat: August 12, 2012




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In May, 2012, WHY? was invited to China to take a look around, interview who we could find, and take a fresh look at a country that seems to be blamed for all of America's problems. The result: a half-dozen shows with guests ranging from Chinese college students to four African musicians trying to make it big in Shanghai. What is it like to be an expatriate living in China and do they have more freedom than Chinese nationals? What can we learn from the principal of an elite Chinese private high school? What is the state of environmentalism in the polluted country and how much hold does Confucius's philosophy have over the country and its politicians? All these questions and more will be answered when WHY? goes to China!

Confucian philosophy plays an important role in the Chinese family, but what role does it play in politics? Chinese is a traditional society, but modern China is built on a break from the past. China holds dearly to its own past, but is experiencing more change than ever before. Join us for a discussion about how tradition works in a changing China and the importance of cities in moral life. This interview was recorded at The American Culture Center at The University of Shanghai for Science and Technology before a live audience.

Daniel A. Bell (贝淡宁)has been teaching political theory in China for sixteen years. He is currently professor at Tsinghua University (Beijing) and Jiaotong University (Shanghai). He has published six books on East Asian politics and philosophy with Princeton University Press. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and other media outlets. His webpage is www.danielabell.com.

WHY?’s trip to China was supported in part by The American Culture Center - Shanghai at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, through a partnership between USST and the University of North Dakota, supported by the US Department of State.

Scroll down for the links to other episodes in the WHY? Goes to China series:

Other episode from Why? Goes to China!

Digital only: “Why? Goes to China: An Interview with Jack Russell Weinstein.”

Bill Thomas, Director of Radio at Prairie Public interviews Jack Russell Weinstein about the WHY? Trip to China in this special episode of Prairie Public radio’s Hear It Now. China is different in many ways that effected these interviews. Listen to behind the scenes details, hear about how the event played-out, and get Jack's personal reactions to the trip, the different culture, and China in general. Click here to listen online.


Monday August 13: 3 p.m.: "Environmentalism Without Protest."

Guests: Lynn King and Irving Steel

In the United States, when we think of environmentalism we thing of Greenpeace, demonstrations, and boycotts. But what would environmentalism look like without protests? How can people be inspired to change their ways without petitions and social pressure, and how do you clean up a massive, industrial, over-polluted nation where food safety is a neglected concern? Join WHY? as we continue our exploration of modern China with guests Lynn King and Irving Steel. This episode was recorded live before an audience at the American Culture Center at the University Shanghai for Science and Technology. Click here to listen online!



Wednesday, August 15, 3 p.m.: "Music Without Borders."

Guests: Noukilla: (Gilbert Kuppusami-vocals & percussion, Alain Couronne-bass, Yan Boodhoo’-drums, Macleen Rangasamy-guitar).

Music crosses cultures, but how about the messages it imparts? How do you get an audience to dance, laugh, or even think, when you sing to them in a different language? And what if the music that one person thinks of as a relaxing party-soundtrack is actually regarded as dangerous and revolutionary? Join WHY? as we talk with the Shanghai band Noukilla and ask how five African musicians are breaking ground new ground in the Chinese world music scene while remaining true to their own roots, experiences, and music. (Listen to their music at http://noukilla.com/) Click here to listen online!


Tuesday August 21, 3 p.m.: "Young, Female, and Upwardly Mobile in Shanghai"

Guests: Catherine Gao and Sheryl Jiang

Catherine and Sheryl are in the early twenties, studying at a major university, and are ready to take on the world. They are two Chinese women with every opportunity in the world, and they, like everyone their age, want to know how to proceed. How does it feel to be the hope of a nation, the first generation to experience economic security and freedom of movement? Join WHY? as we ask what it’s like to grow up amidst the fastest changes in Chinese history. Click here to listen online!


Thursday August 23, 3 p.m.: "The View from a Private High School."

Guest: Yuyan Liu

Is Chinese education a mindless brainwashing free of critical thinking or is it a modern, pragmatic, well-rounded experience preparing world leaders for the future? Is it a single-monolithic entity treating all citizens alike, or is it more like America where people can choose their own way? Join WHY? and our guest Dr. Yuyan Liu, principal of the Camford Royal School in Beijing, China, as we look at Chinese education from the perspective of the reformer. Click here to listen online!

WHY?’s trip to China was supported in part by The American Culture Center - Shanghai at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, through a partnership between USST and the University of North Dakota, supported by the US Department of State.




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