SOAS University of London

Centres and Institutes Office

Conference: Documenting the Beijing Olympics

Documenting the Beijing Olympics Poster Image
The list of speakers is detailed below

Date: 12 September 2008Time: 12:00 AM

Finishes: 13 September 2008Time: All Day

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

This conference, scheduled to take place within weeks of the Olympics, aims to bring together academics, film-makers and writers from the all over the world to have the one of the most immediate discussions of the 2008 Olympics. Alongside the immediate, the conference will also attempt to locate the Beijing Games within Olympic history and to explore the challenges that lie ahead for the movement before the Games move to London in 2012.

The focus of the two day workshop in SOAS will be on the processes of documenting the Beijing Olympics – ranging from the visual (television and film), to radio and the written word – and the meanings generated by such representations. 

  • What were the ‘key’ stories and how were they chosen? 
  • What was dramatised? Who were the heroes? 
  • Which ‘clashes’ were highlighted and how? 
  • What sorts of stories did the notion of ‘human interest’ generate? 
  • Did politics take a backseat or was the topic highlighted repeatedly? 

Thus, the focus will not be on the success or failure of this event, but on the ways in which the Olympics Games as international and historic events are memorialised by its observers.

The proceedings of the conference will be published as a special issue of Sport in Society (Routledge) and subsequently as a book in the sport in their Sport in the Global Society.

Panel of Speakers

Friday, 12 September 2008

10.00              Introduction
Professor Graham Furniss (Pro-Director, SOAS)Welcome
Terry Mitchell (Chapman and Mitchell Covers)Presentation of First Day Cover Stamp
10.15-13.15 Panel 1: The Torch Relay
Panel MemberTalk
Chair: Dr Lola Martinez (SOAS) 
Han-Teng Liao (Oxford University)How the Two Chinese Online Encyclopaedias Document Olympic Flame Relay
Dr Yih-jye Hwang (Aberystwyth) (Leiden University, Netherlands)A Discursive Constitution of ‘Human Rights’ as Universal Values in the Torch Relay of 2008 Olympics in Beijing
Dr Boria Majumdar (University of Toronto Consultant, Indian Olympic Association)When Sport Mattered the Most- Delhi and the Olympic Flame Relay
Professor John Horne (University of Central Lancashire)The ‘caged torch procession’: celebrities, terrorists and the 2008 Olympic torch relay
13.15-14.30Lunch Break
14.30-17.45 Panel 2: Representing the State [a two part session]
Panel MemberTalk
Chair: Dr Kevin Latham (SOAS) 
Limin Liang (Northwestern University)Framing China and the world through the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, 1992-2004
Jialing Luo (University of Cambridge)‘Betwixt and Between’ Rethinking Ritual Aspects of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics
Christopher J. Finlay and Xin Xin (University of Pennsylvania)Soft Power and the Management of Nationalism at the Beijing Games
Chen Weixing (Communication University of China)The Communication Gesture of the Beijing Olympic Games
18.00              Keynote Speech
Professor Bruce Kidd (University of Toronto)Olympics and Human Rights in the context of Beijing

Saturday, 13 September 2008

10.45-13.00 Panel 3: China, media and the Olympics [a two part session]
Panel MemberTalk
Chair: Professor Michael Palmer (SOAS) 
Dr Kevin Latham (SOAS)China’s media landscape viewed through the Olympics
Huang Yaohua (Guangdong Television)A study of Guangdong Television's Olympics coverage strategy
Liu Jun (Fuzhou University)Effect of Use of Mobile Media on Olympic Games Knowledge among Migrant Workers -- Results of a Pilot Study in Fuzhou
13.00-14.15Lunch Break
Charles R Bladen (University of Greenwich Business School)The representation of volunteering at the Olympics
15.00-16.45 Panel 4: Looking Back [A Keynote Session]
Panel MemberTalk
Chair: John Rowett (former Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities) 
Professor Ren Hai (Beijing Sports University)Olympics Games and their Impact on Social Values in China
Professor John Hughson (University of Lancashire)The cultural Legacy of Olympic Posters
17.00  Looking Forward: Open Discussion on Lessons For London 2012
Panel MemberTalk
Chair: Dr Boria Majumdar (University of Toronto Consultant, Indian Olympic Association)Closing Comments

The event is free.  To register contact Jane Savoy on or +44 (0)20 7898 4892

Documenting the Beijing-Olympics conference participants
Documenting the Beijing-Olympics conference participants


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Sponsor: Routledge