- Inaugural Lecture 15 June 2011
- History of Medicine in Motion
- Medical Texts in Translation
- Potent Substances: On the Boundaries of Food and Medicine
- Festival of Chinese Film and the Body
- Perfect Bodies
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- Festival of Chinese Film and the Body, Film 4
- Chinese New Year celebrations 2013
- Pharmacology in China
- The Benevolent Dragon? An analysis of China's health diplomacy to Africa (1964 – the present)
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- CCHH OPEN DAY
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- Chinese film evening, 29/11: Woman Demon Human 人鬼情
- Chinese film evening, Dragon (Wuxia 武俠, 2011), dir. Peter Chan 陈可辛.
- History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar: Prof. Volker Scheid
- Chinese film evening, 10/01/2017: Mother (Mama 妈妈), dir. Zhang Yuan 张元, 1990.
- Film and the Chinese Medical Humanities
- CCHH alumni news
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- Chinese Film and the Medical Humanities workshop
- China and Freedom of Speech: new systems for the accountability of the press. An evening with John Kampfner
- Imagining Chinese Medicine: Medical illustration from Han tombs to contemporary Comics.
- Twelve Scholars of the Bamboo Grove
- Chinese Visual Festival 2014
- A transnational history of the forensic gaze
- The 'Subtle Body' in the Indo-Tibetan and Chinese traditions
- UK première – Sauna on the Moon (Chang’e 嫦娥), dir. Zou Peng 邹鹏, China 2011
- Come and join the China-Taiwan cross-straits debate!
- #UCLfacesRACE: Eugenics@UCL
- Emetic remedies in Japanese Koiho 古方 medicine
- #UCLfacesRACE, Conversation 2: Why is my curriculum white?
- Daoist Cooking through the Four Seasons
- University of Westminster Contemporary China Centre Seminar
- Administrating Art, History, and Science in the Mongol Empire: Rashid al-Din and Bolad Chengxiang
- Thinking Chinese Conference (31/03–1/04 2015) 思華 · 華思 (UPDATE)
- Thinking Chinese Exhibition (31/03–12/05 2015)
- The Chinese Erhu during the First World War
- 5th Annual Chinese Visual Festival
- Call for Chinese-speaking choral singers!
- Lady Precious Stream
- Film and Discussion: When China Met Africa
- Hot and Numb! 2000 years of Sichuan pepper
- A unique opportunity to learn Chinese Sign Language at UCL!
- Medical Humanities in China – conference
- Isabella Bird (1831–1904): Photographic travels in China
- Thinking Chinese 思華 . 華思
- History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar: Professor Elisabeth Hsu
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- Sense and Sensation Seminar: Sense and Sensuality in Ancient China
- Chinese film evening, 24/01/2017: East Palace, West Palace 东宫西宫 (1996).
- Peking University Yenching scholarship deadline 31 January 2017
- Scholarships to study Chinese in China – deadline 13 Feb, 9am
- CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR!
- Chinese film evening, 31/01/2017: For Fun 找乐 (1993)
- The Doctor-Patient Relationship in Contemporary China
- Chinese film evening, 7/02/2017: In Love We Trust 左右 (2008)
- Dumplings 饺子 (2004)
- Abortion in China
- Institute of Digital Health seminar
Humanoid robots as (indirect) tools for digital health in autism
Time: 20 February, 2:30–3:30pm
Place: Room G01, 66-72 Gower Street
Speaker: Alyssa Alcorn (CRAE) More...
Our New Year bonus film, by Hong Kong iconoclast director Fruit Chan 陈果, is 'a sinister story of diet, deception and death'.
Time: Wednesday 8 February, 7pm
Place: IAS Common Ground, South Wing, Wilkins Building More...
Family drama In love we trust (aka Left Right), directed and scripted by Sixth Generation film maker Wang Xiaoshuai 王小帅, hinges on the conception of a 'saviour sibling' for a child diagnosed with leukaemia. The screening will be followed by a conversation between bioethicist Prof. Cong Yali 丛亚丽 (PKU) and philosopher and ethicist James Wilson (UCL) on the issues raised by the film. More...
China Exchange 中国站 has a great programme of events to welcome in the Year of the Chicken. Highlights include a provocative 'short form debate evening' featuring CCHH's Vivienne Lo (Wed 1 Feb, 6.30pm) plus a documentary film-making challenge in partnership with London Documentary Network', plus a Silk and Bamboo 丝竹报春 concert with pipa virtuoso Chen Yu and flautist Liu Menglin... More...
The first film in 6th generation director Ning Ying's wryly humorous Beijing Trilogy, For Fun (Zhao le 找乐) tells the story of a group of retired Beijingers who set up a Peking Opera Group. More...
China and Freedom of Speech: new systems for the accountability of the press. An evening with John Kampfner
14 March 2014
6th March 2014, panel discussion hosted by UCL’s China Centre for Health and Humanity and Centre for Transnational History and sponsored by UCL Grand Challenges (ii) and the UCL Institute for Human Rights.
Read all about it: Report by Dylan Brethour, PG History student.
Beware of Security, Responsibility, and Stability: Fighting for Freedom of Expression in China and Beyond
by Dylan Brethour
'Freedom of expression is a fundamental, universal and transnational right, only to be restricted in extremis.'
So began John Kampfner’s portion of 'China and Freedom of Speech: new systems for the accountability of the press. Kampfner, a journalist and former Chief Executive of the Index on Censorship, set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Organised by UCL’s China Centre for Health and Humanity and Centre for Transnational History, the event was introduced by Professor Axel Körner and Dr Vivienne Lo and included presentations and a subsequent discussion by Professor Zhengxiao Guo, Dr Lily Chang, and Mr Stephen Perry.
Despite some differences among the panellists, there was a common sense that no country can afford the luxury of indifference in the maintenance of something so essential as freedom of expression.
While China was the locus of the discussion, all of the participants touched on broader global threats to freedom of expression. Kampfner discussed some of the methods governments use to disguise restrictive measures.
There was the disheartening general reminder that people’s fears about international security and stability can be exploited to justify invasive laws. As an example of this, Kampfner spoke of the pornography filter debate in the UK.
Ostensibly designed in the name of child protection, the filter controls access to an extent that allows authorities to carry out other activities under the auspices of its original ‘intent’. This is, in Kampfner’s words, an ‘unarguable proposition’ – one might disagree with invasive internet control, but not with protecting children.
There was also some question as to whether social media are helping or hindering freedom of expression. In recent years there has been an enormous amount of optimism surrounding the potential of the internet and social media to increase freedoms in China.
Kampfner was more circumspect about the possible utility of social media, arguing that political movements are not created online. More optimistically, he suggested that where a political movement already exists, social media can help it spread.
Kampfner also considered the differences between old and new media. Reading the newspaper, he argued, exposes people to a greater variety of views. In contrast, because information online is self-selected, it has the potential to reinforce existing prejudices and worldviews.
There is also the possibility that when functioning as a political outlet, social media have the effect of displacing activity in the real world. The internet also benefits the state by providing a context for mass surveillance.
The revelations about data collection by the NSA and GCHQ were dramatic demonstrations that democratic countries are not exempt from government intrusion.
This raises the question, why don’t we respond to the erosion of something so fundamental? Steven Perry suggested that Chinese people simply don’t care about political measures restricting freedom of speech.
He argued that something similar is happening in the UK, where people are indifferent to control over the media by political and corporate interests. During the debate after the speeches, Kampfner expressed some scepticism about this point, arguing that people do care when they are affected by political restrictions.
Rather than assume that the population is indifferent or lazy, it seems more useful to ask what network of rights and obligations we are collectively trying to balance. Lily Chang introduced the concept of spheres of freedom.
Rather than addressing freedom as a comprehensive whole, she asked how different aspects of society interact. The demands of political, economic and media freedoms may be very different and even potentially at odds. She noted the elasticity of these relationships, which change according to requirement and context.
This concept of elasticity continued throughout the remainder of the discussion. There was a general question as to whether the complexity of social requirements entailed the sacrifice of certain freedoms.
All of the panellists acknowledged in some sense the number of demanding and potentially competing interests at play here. What remained clear, however, was the strong utilitarian benefits that freedom of expression provides.
Kampfner in particular argued that an ‘open, critical, fearless society’ will lead to better political outcomes. In a similar vein, Professor Guo spoke of the 'nutrients' that are needed for a strong, healthy society. The development of constructive state practice is evidently contingent on free and vital public discourse.
By the end of the evening, there were still no obvious answers as to what the ideal conditions are to preserve freedom of expression.
Unsurprisingly, given the topic at hand, there was a strong agreement about people bearing an individual responsibility to consider what kind of society provides the greatest benefits.
Rather than offering a vision for the future, the event posed the questions: what are our obligations as global citizens and, ultimately, what will the consequences be of our neglect?
See also: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/events/2014/03/18/fighting-for-freedom-of-expression-in-china-and-beyond/
Page last modified on 14 mar 14 14:31 by Penelope Barrett