In 2010 Shanghai hosted the largest, most spectacular and most expensive expo ever. Attracting a staggering 73 million visitors, and costing around US$45 billion dollars, Shanghai Expo broke the records in the history of world's fairs and universal expositions. With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, many of which face uncertain futures, this mega event confronted some of the key challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century, with its theme Better City, Better Life. Just two years after the Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo encapsulated a moment in history defined by China’s rise as a global superpower, and by the multiple challenges associated with developing more sustainable cities.
The thirteen essays here, written by a team of interdisciplinary researchers, offer a uniquely detailed analysis of this globally significant event. Chapters examine displays of futurity and utopia, the limitations of inter-cultural dialogue, and the ways in which this mega-event reflected its geo-political and cultural moment. Shanghai Expo also concentrates on the interplay between declarations towards urban sustainability, and the recent economic, demographic and socio-political trajectories of Shanghai and China more broadly.
It will appeal to students and scholars of sociology, history, politics, international relations, economics, Asian studies, China studies, sustainability, and urban studies.
1. A Forum on the Futures of Cities by Tim Winter Part One: In Context 2. Shanghai 2010, in a Tradition of Mega Events, Nation-building and Modernity by Tim Winter 3. I Wish I Knew: Comprehending China’s Cultural Reform by Hilary Hongjin He 4. Better City, Better Life? Visioning a Sustainable Shanghai by Cameron McAuliffe 5. On Expo’s Hinterlands, Extrastatecraft and Migrant Workers by Brett Neilson 6. The ‘Economic Olympics’? Shanghai 2010 after Beijing 2008 by David Rowe Part Two: Encounter 7. On Display: The State of the World by Ien Ang 8. Ordinary City, Ordinary Life: Off the Expo Map by Willem Paling 9. Cultural Exotica: From the Colonial to Global in World’s Fairs by Tim Winter 10. Culture, Nation and Technology: Immersive Media and the Saudi Arabia Pavilion by Hart Cohen 11. Tracing the Future: Child’s play and the Free Fall of Imagination by Scott East 12. Video Assemblages of Shanghai by Juan Salazar 13. Afterword by Tony Bennett. Bibliography. Index
This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.
We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:
The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.