Thoralf Klein (Loughborough)
In the summer of 1900, at the height of the Boxer War, news media in Europe and North America spread stories about an all-out massacre of ‘Westerners’ in Beijing. In my paper, I will look at the triangular relationship between rumour, imperialist attitudes and the telegraphy-based network through which information could be communicated with the speed of light. I will show that on one level, rumour filled gaps during what Roger Thompson has called a ‘communications crisis’ caused by the dysfunctionality of media technology. On another level, however, the connection between rumour and telegraphy was a lot more complex, as news media sought to authenticate and confirm incoming information. Debates about events in China were inevitably framed by a discourse of imperial crisis, drawing on a global reference system of both historical precedents and fictional examples.
Prior to joining the Department and the History team at Loughborough in 2010, Thoralf Klein spent ten years teaching in Germany. He specializes in the social and cultural history of modern China (including Taiwan) and especially on its entanglement with the world at large from about 1800 to the present. His work has mainly focused on the history of imperialism/colonialism and religion (especially Christianity and forms of political religion).
26.01.2017 | 18:00
Raum -1.2009, Holzlaube (Fabeckstr. 23-25)