Associate Professor and Research Fellow
The creativity discourse in China: four perspectives on social transformation
Associate Prof. Michael Keane is a Centre Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Michael is author of Created in China: the Great New Leap Forward (Routledge 2007) and co-editor with Ying Zhu and Ruoyun Bai of TV Drama in China (HKU Press 2008). Other books include New Television, Globalization and the East Asian Cultural Imagination (with Anthony Fung and Albert Moran, HKU Press 2007), Television across Asia: Television Industries, Programme Formats and Globalisation (ed. Moran and Keane, Routledge 2004), and Media in China: Consumption Content and Crisis (ed. Donald, Keane and Yin 2002).
In late 2004, the concept of the creative industries arrived in China. It was warmly welcomed in Shanghai then subsequently adopted with some degree of caution in Beijing. In the years since, officials, scholars, practitioners, entrepreneurs and developers have exploited of the idea of creative industries, and a range of associated terms, to construct an alternative vision of an emerging China. In 2009, Li Wuwei, the Director of the Shanghai Creative Industries Association, himself a leading player in national political reform, released a book titled Creativity is Changing China (Chuangyi gaibian Zhongguo), subsequently translated as Creative Industries Are Changing China in English. Michael’s talk investigates the uptake of the creative industries in China and asks: can they really change China, or are they just rearranging the cultural landscape in some cities?