Time and progress across postsocialist China’s northeastern borders
|Dates:||2 October 2023|
|Times:||16:00 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Ed Pulford (University of Manchester): Time and progress across postsocialist China’s northeastern borders.
Crossing borders between states often involves a sense of temporal shift, with varied atmospheres of ‘advancement’, ‘backwardness’ or ‘development' inseparable from migrants’ or travellers' experiences of new places. While in many contexts this may reflect the everyday embeddedness of Enlightenment notions of progress and nationhood which became globally hegemonic under European empire, for people crossing borders among (post)socialist states such temporalising visions have a distinctive valence. This is particularly evident at the three-way geographical convergence of China, North Korea and Russia, a site - in non-pandemic times - of constant cross-border encounter and exchange among populations with starkly different experiences of high socialist linear ‘progress' and its more ambivalent aftermaths. Drawing on fieldwork around this triple border, this paper shows how day-to-day temporal experiences interface with grandiose visions from Maoist, Soviet and Kimist socialisms to the Soviet collapse and ‘rise’ of China, and explores how established anthropological thinking around ‘coevalness’ might be made an ethnographic as well as an analytical concern.
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