From Clean Stove to Rural Vitalization:The Anti-Politics Machine in China

Oct 26 12:00–1:30pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Hong Wei (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and The Center of Science, Technology and Society, Tsinghua University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2018-19)
Chair/discussant: Susan Greenhalgh (Professor of Anthropology and John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society, Harvard University)

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Promoting clean cookstoves in developing countries to improve public health has been a long-term endeavor in the Western world. In recent years, Chinese philanthropists and private foundations were invited to join this environmental campaign. Drawing on visual and textual ethnography produced from September 2017 to May 2018, this talk tells a story about how a clean stove project was carried out in a rural village in Yan’an, and how it has become a nexus of international organizations, private enterprises, local governments and academics. Although this project initially took a technocratic approach, it is gradually intertwined with political sectors at various levels. After the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the utopian dream of improving indoor air quality yielded to the China dream of rural vitalization.