Public Lecture: This is a Love Song!

Steen's photo.

On the Politics of Sound in 20th Century China

Love songs have a very long history, and we can find them in every culture. In the 20th century, they have become an essential aspect of the recording industry, and mass production increased the potential of their transnational circulation. Under certain circumstances, however, love songs can become invested with multiple meanings and turn into a political weapon.

This presentation will focus on the history of one of China’s most popular love songs, recorded in 1937. Seen as a “classic” and “milestone” today, it not only travelled widely, but has long been a controversial and overdetermined site of memory.


Andreas SteenAndreas Steen is Professor of Modern Chinese History and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark. He received his PhD degree in Sinology at the Free University of Berlin (2003). His fields of research concentrate on modern Chinese history and popular culture, music, the cultural industries, sound and memory studies.

Currently he is working on a book that explores record production during the Maoist era, while co-organizing the Velux-funded project “Sounds of War: The Memory of World War II in Taiwan, East Germany and Denmark, 1945-2015,” together with Prof. Wulf Kansteiner, Aarhus University.

Practical information

Time & Date: 25th November 15:00-16:30

Place: University of Copenhagen, South Campus, Room 12.0.37, Karen Blixens Plads 8 2300 København S

The event is free, but please sign up here.