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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Learning About “Cultural Logistics”: A Q&A Session with Dr. Anthony Fung

Dr. Anthony Fung served as the Roberta Buffett Visiting Professor of International Studies at Northwestern University during the Winter 2020 quarter. Dr. Fung is a Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Journalism and Communications. His research focuses on cultural studies and global media, as well as pop culture in China and Hong Kong and, on February 26, Dr. Fung gave a lecture at Northwestern Buffett on “Culture as Logistics: Infrastructure, Power, and China.” A prevalent theme throughout Dr. Fung’s talk was how digital infrastructure influences culture. He pointed to the implementation of telecommunications technology in Tibetan monastic societies, noting how it improves quality of life yet challenges cultural norms. Dr. Fung also pointed to the ways emerging digital platforms such as Taobao and Tiktok provide China with channels for creating infrastructural power with cultural implications and discussed how China’s physical infrastructure—its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, for example—embodies the global transmission of resources through “cultural logistics.”

Learn more about Dr. Fung’s work from his interview with Northwestern Buffett Executive Director, Annelise Riles, here