New York University, Shanghai
Lena Scheen is Assistant Professor of Global China Studies at NYU Shanghai. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, she taught at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. She holds a PhD from Leiden University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the International Institute for Asian Studies. Scheen is a member of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA).
Scheen’s research explores the social and cultural impact of China’s fast urbanization, focusing on Shanghai. Her publications include Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation (Amsterdam University Press, 2015) and the edited volume Spectacle and the City: Chinese Urbanities in Popular Culture and Art (AUP, 2013).
“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them,” Hannah Arendt (1958, 1967, 1968) famously quoted Isak Dinensen. My research explores how the act of storytelling has become an important means through which Shanghai residents cope with, make sense of, or even resist and protest the rapid disappearance of their living environment. Most residents of Shanghai have been affected by the city’s large-scale demolition and relocation 拆迁process. This paper will discuss the stories told by people protesting the upcoming demolition of Shanhai Li 山海里, a shikumen neighborhood locate
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