Rachel and Kenneth DeWoskin Talk China’s Public Sphere at Paulson Institute


On March 20, the Institute hosted Rachel and Kenneth DeWoskin as part of its Contemporary China Speakers Series at the University of Chicago. The series brings experts from across professions, perspectives, and disciplines—including from academia, government, think tanks, journalism, and industry—to the University’s Hyde Park campus for stimulating talks and discussions on contemporary China.


Rachel DeWoskin is an author and actress. Her most recent novel, Big Girl Small, (FSG 2011) received the 2012 American Library Association’s Alex Award and was named one of the top 3 books of 2011 by Newsday. DeWoskin’s memoir, Foreign Babes in Beijing (WW Norton 2005), chronicles the years she spent in China as the unlikely star of a Chinese soap opera; it was later developed as a television series by HBO, and DeWoskin co-wrote the pilot episode. Her fourth book, Blind, will be published by Penguin in August.


Kenneth DeWoskin serves as a senior advisor to Deloitte China and Chairman of Deloitte’s China Research and Insight Center (CRIC). He is Senior Advisor to The Conference Board and The Conference Board China Center for Business and Economics. A former professor of international business and chairman and professor of Asian Cultures at the University of Michigan, DeWoskin has been involved with China for over 48 years, having lived and worked extensively in both China and in Japan.

Their talk, “On-Line Party: Culture and Communication in China’s New Public Sphere,” highlighted the dichotomies of messaging and communication in China. The lecture brought a unique cultural perspective to the lecture series, touching on social media, viral videos, and cultural transmission.