Guan Xinbing “Officials’ Heartache”: Depression, Bureaucracy, and Therapeutic Governance in China
Speaker: Jie Yang, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
Moderator: Nick Bartlett, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society, Barnard College
The talk addresses the Chinese phenomenon of guan xinbing “officials’ heartache,” particularly the media representation of “officials’ suicides” since 2009. Through ethnographic analysis, I demonstrate that, instead of biomedical depression as the default cause of officials’ suicides offered by the government and media, the autocratic bureaucratic culture especially the prevalent practices of qian guize “hidden rules” trigger officials’ depression and suicide. I argue that the management of officials’ suicides involves concatenation of multiple powers: biopolitical, disciplinary, necropolitical, and therapeutic, both sovereign and hegemonic.
Friday, February 17, 2017
International Affairs Building, Room 918
No Registration Required.
Sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.