CFP: Dialectics of History, Nostalgia and Futurabilities among China’s Others

Dialectics of History, Nostalgia and Futurabilities among China’s Others

The panel will be held as part of On Time: The Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society to be held in Helsinki, Finland on August 29-30, 2019.


Suvi Rautio

Jay Schutte

Xiao Ke


Andrew Graan



This panel explores the dialectics of historicity and the plurality of spatiotemporal epistemologies at play in contemporary Sino-Other encounters. We locate the pragmatic, metaphorical, and material emergence of history, nostalgia, and futurability among contemporary Chinese subjects in their increasingly diverse encounters with local and foreign ‘others’ as well as intimate ‘selves’. In doing so, we try to understand the shifting grounds of these socio-temporal resources and their social, political, and cultural meanings in the context of China today.

With China experiencing a tightening grip over social remembering and forgetting, characterized by a ‘historical nihilism’ at its core, this panel seeks to critically explore the continuation of and construction of nostalgia and futurability through which historical narratives’ relationship or contiguity to the political is motivated or elided. We invite papers that study these relationships or contiguities as they unfold in an array of ethnographic contexts and encounters among ‘China’s Others’.

We refer to ‘China’s Others’ as a way highlighting the diversity of social constructions and tensions that complicate monolithic imaginaries of China that frequently render it a culturally, ethnically, and politically homogeneous ethnographic region. In doing so, we also take seriously China’s changing relationship to the worlds within and beyond it – a relationship where the stakes Chinese constructions of alterity and sameness, concerning both ‘selves’ and ‘others’, are becoming increasingly explicit.


Please provide a 250 word abstract proposal by April 1st, 2019 and the name of the panel (Dialectics of History, Nostalgia and Futurabilities among China’s Others) to both the conference organizers at and the panel organizers at,, and

A notice of acceptance will be sent to presenters by mid-April. Accepted applicants will be asked to pre-circulate papers by August 11th, 2019.


For more information about the conference, you can visit the conference website at