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Lecture by Ying Xiao,“Grass Mud Horse Style”: Voice of the Youth, Social and Media Revolution in the Age of New Digital Globalization

“Grass Mud Horse Style”: Voice of the Youth, Social and Media Revolution in the Age of New Digital Globalization
Ying Xiao (University of Florida)

Since early 2009, an inflammatory posting of “Ten Mythical Creatures” (shida shenshou) originating from Baidu Baike – one of the most popular Chinese portal sites equivalent to Wikipedia – has attracted myriad clicks and has been widely circulated and massively reproduced among millions of Chinese netizens. Of particular interest is Grass Mud Horse (cao ni ma), the central character of these ten virtually created imageries. What makes it intriguing and even contentious is its sardonic undertone and its complex innuendoes referencing blasphemously to much more than just an animal species. Then what does this peculiar term really mean and furthermore signify in the Chinese context? My talk addresses this provocative figure and question of Grass Mud Horse and investigates its linguistic camouflage, visual aesthetic, and social-cultural signification in China’s new digital globalization era. In particular, how does it comment on and poke fun at diverse social issues, ranging from internet censorship, the right of free expression, intellectual property right, to the order of “harmonious society” propagated by the Chinese state when facing a severe challenge of social unrest, political credibility, and ideological crisis in the twenty-first century? Grass Mud Horse provides us a rich angle to explore contemporary China’s socio-historical change, its appeals and discontents, as well as a number of other discourses, for instance, youth subculture, civic society, cyber representation, and media transformation in the new era.

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Ying Xiao is an assistant professor of Sinophone studies and film and media studies at the University of Florida. Her teaching and research interests primarily concentrate on Chinese-language films (mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Chinese in Hollywood, popular music, youth culture, sound studies, theories of globalization and transnationalism, as well as gender representations. She is currently working on a book manuscript on cinema, popular music, and multilingualism in contemporary China.

Contact Information:  yx241@ufl.edu, 212-444-2968
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Florida, P. O. Box 115565, Gainesville, FL 32611-5565

Chinese Calligraphy Class – Lantern-on-the- Lake

On Monday, May 4th, the Chinese Calligraphy class will be making lanterns to distribute on the lake. Creating the lanterns will take place in, Armstrong Building, Room 102. Supplies are first come first serve! If you have any questions, please contact Celia Liu, luic@tcnj.edu Sponsors: World Languages and Cultures and Chinese Student AssociationContinue Reading

Lecture by Dr. Ying Xiao, New Social Media and Chinese Identity

Lecture by Dr. Ying Xiao, New Social Media and Chinese Identity. Dr. Ying Xiao is an assistant professor of Chinese film and media at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University where she finished a dissertation on soundtrack and Chinese cinema. When: Tuesday, May…Continue Reading

Russian Club Decorates Ukrainian Easter Eggs

The Russian club at TCNJ helped teach the students in first-year Russian how to make pysanki (Ukrainian: писанка, plural: pysanki), the Ukrainian Easter egg.  These eggs are decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysanka comes from the Ukrainian verb pysaty, “to write”, (in Russian: ‘pisat’). The designs are…Continue Reading

Congratulations to Mi-Yeon Park!

Congratulations to Mi-Yeon Park, a TCNJ sophomore in Chinese 152 this semester, who was awarded a Boren Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year!  She will study at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.Continue Reading

Congratulations to Erin Grosskurth!

Congratulations to Erin Grosskurth who was accepted into the Masters Program of Education at University of Maryland with certification in teaching Chinese. Erin has a self-designed double major in Chinese language and International Studies. She was also accepted into Masters Program of Education with specialization in Chinese at the University of Iowa, a MA in…Continue Reading

Congratulations to Scott Samuels and Andrew Wallach!

Our last Spanish Section meeting was the presentation of the second annual Excellence Awards to two students of the Spanish minor. We presented the awards respectively to Scott Samuels and Andrew Wallach. In addition to a certificate, each awardee received a gift card. We are proud of them!!    Continue Reading

Chinese Students greet High School Students on Lions Day

Students from the intensive Chinese language programs, Gabriella Bieniasz, Alice Li, Oliver Lee, and professor, Celia Liu, greeted high school students and their family on Lions Day, March 28th at TCNJ in the Brower Student Center. The students who participated in Lions Day were personally invited by Professor Liu and were very enthusiastic in sharing…Continue Reading

Dr. Simona Wright and Alessandra Testa present their paper, “A Politics of the Body as Body Politics”

Dr. Simona Wright and Alessandra Testa presented their paper, “A Politics of the Body as Body Politics” at the American Association of Italian Studies Conference in Boulder, Colorado (March 26-29, 2015). Their paper is a collaborative research project spearheaded by their participation in Prof. Morton Winston’s Justice Seminar. Grounded in a theoretical framework that engages…Continue Reading

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