Joshua Neves’ Underglobalization: Beijing's Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy (Duke University Press, 2020) examines the interplay of contemporary Chinese media practices with urban space, locating his analysis in political and postcolonial theory. His interdisciplinary approach, as noted in our interview, works to move past the traditional boundaries of Chinese studies and to understand the concatenation of Chinese piratical and official media practices in relation to modes of mediated citizenship as it exists across postcolonial urban spaces. Neves considers urban space in terms of planning and ruin, explores theatrical and televisual screen practices in situ in Chinese cities, and asks us to consider piracy not merely in terms of copied objects like DVDs, but rather in terms of technological intimacies and infrastructures. The book is richly illustrated, complementing Neves analytical argument with evidence of his urban methodology—an ambulatory, photographic mapping of the Beijing which allows us to accompany the scholar through his text. I hope you enjoy our conversation and excuse the faux pas with which I inadvertently opened the podcast!
Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms.