2016 Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture
Dr. Yuezhi Zhao: Dallas Smythe and China: An Unfinished Dialogue
The pioneering Canadian communication scholar Dallas Smythe, to whose memory this annual lecture is dedicated, made two study trips to China during that country’s pivotal transitional decade of the 1970s, posing a seemingly simple yet also profound developmental question: “After Bicycles, what?” Although post-Mao China has responded with a thunderous “Cars, of course!”, China’s developmental path is by no means settled. Focusing on communication and cultural politics, this lecture highlights ongoing struggles over the future of China at both elite and popular levels, within domestic and global arenas. Dallas Smythe, I argue, may still receive a different answer, and the global ramifications of an alternative “China path” are tremendous.
Dr. Yuezhi Zhao is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Global Communication at the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University. The author of many books and a recipient of both the C. Edwin Baker and Dallas Smythe awards for her research on media and democratic communication, Dr. Zhao’s current research centers communication, culture and global power shifts.