Past Event

Book Talk and Panel Discussion for "The Wuhan Lockdown"

May 21, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM



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Time: May 21, 2022, 9:00AM-10:00AM (Beijing) | May 20, 2022, 9:00PM-10:00PM (New York)

Event language: Chinese

In the blink of an eye, it has been two years since Wuhan was locked down. As we look back on the most challenging days at the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were not only agony and desperation but also countless touching and hopeful stories.

To mark the second anniversary of an unprecedented lockdown in Wuhan in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing and Columbia University Press cordially invite you to attend a virtual book talk and panel discussion for The Wuhan Lockdown, a new book by Professor Guobin Yang of the University of Pennsylvania. This book pays tribute to every ordinary hero who played an extraordinary role in the darkest moment.

Professor Yang will be joined by Professor Fei Yan of Tsinghua University and Zheng Fu, a Ph.D. candidate of Columbia University, to review the past, reflect on the remarkable success, experiences, and lesson-learned, and forge ahead with new spirits.


About the Book

The Wuhan Lockdown

This book tells the dramatic story of the Wuhan lockdown in the voices of the city’s own people. Using a vast archive of more than 6,000 diaries, the sociologist Guobin Yang vividly depicts how the city coped during the crisis. He analyzes how the state managed—or mismanaged—the lockdown and explores how Wuhan’s residents responded by taking on increasingly active roles. Yang demonstrates that citizen engagement—whether public action or the civic inaction of staying at home—was essential in the effort to fight the pandemic. The book features compelling stories of citizens and civic groups in their struggle against COVID-19: physicians, patients, volunteers, government officials, feminist organizers, social media commentators, and even aunties loudly swearing at party officials. These snapshots from the lockdown capture China at a critical moment, revealing the intricacies of politics, citizenship, morality, community, and digital technology. Presenting the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people, The Wuhan Lockdown is an unparalleled account of the first moments of the crisis that would define the age.



Guobin Yang

Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Center on Digital Culture and Society and serves as deputy director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. His previous Columbia University Press books are The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016) and The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009).


Fei Yan

Fei Yan is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Tsinghua University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oxford and completed a postdoc from Stanford University. His research focuses on political sociology, historical sociology, contentious politics, and Chinese societies. His work has appeared in Social Science Research, Urban Studies, Social Movement Studies, Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, Modern China, and The China Review. He has been awarded the Graduate Student Best Paper Prize by the Association for Asian Studies in 2015.



Zheng Fu

Zheng Fu is a Ph.D. student and a Paul F. Lazarsfled Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Her current research projects broadly concern the intersection of political sociology, labor, and economic sociology in authoritarian contexts. Her current projects involve cross-country comparison on nationalism, network analysis on international populism, the dynamics of street-level bureaucracy in the United States, and cross-country comparison of expertise in the time of COVID-19 pandemics. Her latest work on global COVID-19 comparison is forthcoming at Sociological Forum. She graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2018 with an M.Phil degree in Social Science. She also gained an M.A. degree in Sociology from Columbia University in 2020.