Sports/Soft Power: National Teams and Regional Competitions with panelists Jinxia Dong, John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter, and Andrew Morris. This panel was moderated by Martha Saavedra.
This conference will explore a number of broad threads under the rubric of "soft power." The overarching goal is to examine some of the important ways in which culture, product branding, export projection of national cultures, athletic events, and global NGOs serve to create a more unified (or divided) Asia.
To what extent are cultural and athletic activities used by national governments to project positive images? Do transnational groups such as NGOs operate independently of governments as cross national cultural unifiers? Are cultural products such as films, soap operas, and toys moving more easily across national borders in ways that foster some comprehensive sense of "Asian-ness" or "Asian identity?"- Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley
Jinxia Dong is an Associate Professor at Peking University. Jinxia Dong began judging national and international gymnastic competitions in 1988 and was the coach of the Scottish Women's Gymnastic Team from 1997 to 2001.
Professor Dong is the author of numerous articles and of the book, Women, Sport and Society in the New China (Cass Publisher, London, 2003). Her recent research projects include, "Multi-disciplinary Inquiry into Women's Elite Sport in Contemporary China," "Analysis of the Sociological Factors that Will Affect Chinese Women's Performances at the 2008 Olympic Games," and "Study of the Interactive Relationship between the Beijing Olympic Games, Women's Status and Sport."
John Horne is Reader in Sociology in the School of Education and the Program Coordinator of the MSc Sport and Recreation Business Management at the University of Edinburgh. John Horne's current research focuses on three topics: sport in consumer culture; the development of sport and leisure, including media and communications, in East Asian societies; and the socio-cultural, political and economic significance of hosting major international sports mega-events. His most recent books are Sport in Consumer Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Sports Mega-Events (co-editor, Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).
Wolfram Manzenreiter is Assistant Professor at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, where he lectures on modern Japanese society. His major research interests are concerned with the social and economic implications of sport and popular culture in contemporary Japan.
He is author of several books and articles on popular culture, leisure and sport in Japan. Currently he is working on a new book entitled Sport and Nation in Japan. In addition to the co-edited volumes with John Horne, Football Goes East (2004) and Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup (2002), his recent works include the monographs The Social Construction of Japanese Mountaineering (2000), and Pachinko Monogatari: Japan's Gambling Industry (1998), both published in German.
Andrew Morris is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at California Polytechnic State University. Professor Morris's area of expertise is East Asia with an emphasis on Modern Chinese and Taiwanese history, especially sports and popular culture, nationalism, colonialism and transnational cultural flows.
In his book, Marrow of the Nation: A History of Sport and Physical Culture in Republican China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), Morris uses sports to examine Chinese society, culture and politics.
Martha Saavedra is the Associate Director of the Center for African Studies, an interdisciplinary research center supporting basic research and training of scholars as well as providing resources on Africa to the greater community. Her research has included agrarian politics and ethnic conflict in Sudan, and gender and sports in Senegal and elsewhere in Africa. She has taught at St. Mary's College of California and at UC Berkeley, and her courses have covered a range of topics, including political economy in the third world, women in Africa, women and international development, and gender and sports.
Her publications include articles and chapters on various aspects of gender and sport and on ethnic politics in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. She is currently working on the question of Islam, sport and gender in Africa. She is on the editorial boards of Soccer and Society; Sport in Society; and The Interdisciplinary Journal of Sports in Africa. She serves on the executive board of the West African Research Association.