6/01/2010

Restart...

Time to start blogging again... reading through this, I realized that I really need to do more writing and work on this poor, neglected blog, that has been laying dormant for over half a year now.

Update on what I've been up to lately... spent the last half year reacclimatizing myself to Canada. Worked on my French, didn't really speak Chinese much, took a break from it all. I ran and was elected to the student society's board of directors (fair bit of responsibility as it's a multimillion dollar operation), Chinese helped though, I gave speeches to the Chinese students association and they helped mobilize the international student vote for me. Chinese, not just useful in China.

Currently getting back into the swing of things, Chinese-wise. Listening to podcasts again, reading 南方周末 regularly again, thinking about trying to return to my goal of translating a 南方周末 article a week. Working on my thesis, the topic of which has evolved significantly since I've returned. Writing about the role that minorities are playing in "soft power", as soft power becomes the dominant discourse of Chinese foreign policy-making. I may expound on some of the ideas that are coming up in that process in the weeks to come.

It's interesting looking back over the old posts and remembering the direction my research was taking over a year ago, when I was still in Shanghai and focusing on minority language conflict, specifically Shanghainese. Living in Beijing really effected my interests and I started look at the language of policy in China, and the various intersections of discourse, culture and policy. I'm going to try and follow up soon with a post, that brings my early and current research together, and discuss the idea of the asymmetrical nature of lingua francas.

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