LRP#14: Muzzling the Academy: Policemen, Spooks, and Vanishing Archives

Beijing’s failed attempt to force Cambridge University Press to censor its own catalogue is just one prong in an escalating campaign to tighten control over China’s recent historical record. Western scholars of China are struggling to function in an environment with little access to historical records and increasingly sophisticated censorship of electronic archives, as well as more overt surveillance of their activities and pressure on their Chinese research partners. With censorship and intimidation reaching ever-greater levels of intensity, some are even drawing comparisons with Emperor Qianlong’s literary inquisition of the eighteenth century. Louisa and Graeme are joined by Glenn Tiffert from the Hoover Institution, Dayton Lekner from the University of Melbourne, and Timothy Cheek and Morgan Rocks from the University of British Columbia to discuss their recent experiences researching China.

Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim
Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim
graemelouisa@chinoiresie.info

Graeme Smith is a China studies academic at large. Louisa Lim is a former China correspondent for the BBC and NPR, now with the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne University. Follow them @limlouisa and @GraemeKSmith.