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RAS China is happy to announce its brand new focus group on architecture and urbanism that will cast a lens not only at various urbanisation phenomenon that shape cities as we know them today but also peripheral themes that are poised to become intrinsic to the future of urbanisation, both in China and around Asia.

Join us for a discussion with Anna Greenspan – philosopher, urbanist and author of Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade – as we revisit some of the main themes presented in her book on the making of modern Shanghai, and discuss what is relevant today and what has changed in the city in the last decade as it fast transforms, constantly recreating what it is to be a "modern" city. Like much of her work, which focuses on various forms of modernity in the Asian context, presenting it as irrefutablely rooted in a historical context that is fiercely its own, rejecting the narrative of "modernity" as something that originates in the West and spreads to or is aped by the East, Anna has mapped the transformation of Shanghai, framing the urban phenomenon leading up to the modernisation of this vast metropolis in its uniquely Chinese context. We discuss some of these urban phenomena and how these may be relevant for citymaking today. This will be a led discusssion, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

About the speaker:

Anna Greenspan is Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Media at NYU Shanghai. She teaches courses in media theory, philosophy of technology and digital humanities in the program for Interactive Media Arts. Anna holds a PhD in Continental philosophy from Warwick University, UK. While at Warwick, Anna was a founding member of the Cybernetic culture research unit(ccru). Her current research interests lies at the intersection of urban Asia and emerging media. Anna was the co-founder of the Shanghai Studies Society and helps run a digital humanities project on street food. Anna is also a founding member of the research hub Hacked Matter, which is dedicated to investigating the process of technological innovation in China. She is currently working on a project on China and the Wireless Wave. Anna's latest book Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

About the convener:

Parul Rewal is an an architect and urbanist who has lived and worked in India, South Africa, Singapore and the UK. She holds a master's degree in Urban Management from City University, Hong Kong. As an architect she has been involved in masterplanning and design of institutional and educational campuses, residential buildings and conservation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. She has been a city-based researcher for NYU Stern and UN Habitat's Urban Expansion Project and the Global Municipal Database. Her research interests are related to urban governance, housing affordability, public space and the urban informal sector. She currently serves as Vice President of the Royal Asiatic Society China and is convener of its newly started Beyond City series.