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Roundtable ‘Communicative Knowledge and Mobilisational Concepts: Taking “Suspension” as an Example’ was successfully held online



The roundtable ‘Communicative Knowledge and Mobilisational Concepts: Taking “Suspension” as an Example’ co-organised by China and Global Development Network, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology was successfully held online on 14th and 15th February 2022.

The aim of this roundtable is to evoke a new theoretical, epistemological, and methodological stance in knowledge production through the case of “suspension.” The speakers at roundtable include: Prof. Biao Xiang (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Dr. Wei Yang (Nanyang Technological University), Dr. Jiazhi Fengjiang (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Leya Mathew (Ahmedabad University), Dr. Miriam Driessen (University of Oxford), Dr. Willy Sier, (Utrecht University), Dr. Carwyn Morris (The University of Manchester), Prof. Raivo Vetik (Tallinn University), Dr. Sjoukje van der Meulen (Utrecht University), Dr. Tzu-Chi Ou (National Chengchi University), Ms Yueran Tian (Bielefeld University), Ms Ziyue Wang (The founder of Capsule Mall), Dr. Yang Zhan (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University). Speakers discussed the empirical contours of “suspension” and explore how a notion like it can shed light on the deep contradictions in present-day China, and how it transcends the Chinese context to acquire theoretical potentials during the roundtable. The roundtable encompasses four important sessions: “Suspension” and Agency: Reconceptualising Ambivalent Experiences in and beyond China; “Suspension,” Structural Stagnation and the Paradoxes of Mobility: Reconceptualising; The Conceptual Map of “Suspension”: Theories, Boundaries, and Themes within Academia; Public Engagements: “Suspension” as Communicative Knowledge.


More than 120 participants attended the roundtable and engaged in the discussion. During the Q & A session, participants expressed their resonance with speakers in terms of the engagement with the concept ‘suspension’. Moreover, participants raised questions relevant with how to develop a new ecology of knowledge production and dissemination as an alternative to the hegemonic order, in which the common-sense knowledge in Global South is arbitrarily interpreted by theoretical frameworks in Global North. Question ‘how scholars could turn to general public as source of inspiration and the primary audiences rather than staying in tower of ivory’ has been reflexively discussed between participants and speakers.