Urban Music Studies

Scholars Network

Singing in China, theory and fieldwork in music geography – A Shanghai case study and singing during the covid-19 pandemic

Dear colleagues, Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce you my PhD viva voce examination in geography, entitled:

“Singing in China, theory and fieldwork in music geography – A Shanghai case study and singing during the covid-19 pandemic”.
It will be held in French, the 28th of November 2023 from 1:00 PM in Jean-Baptiste Duroselle’s room in La Sorbonne and by videoconference. A videoconference link is now available with Zoom. You generally only have to click on the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125755240?pwd=aWcwQkJpcklyNUkxaHNqakY2ZnpIUT09
The viva will be held in French. To make the organisation easier, please connect from 5 to 10 minutes before the viva’s beginning planned at 1:00 PM.

In China, singing is an activity practiced by a large number of amateurs and professionals in various places. Perceived as a vector of morality, singing has been considered for several centuries as a powerful political tool by government power. The analyses carried out in this thesis aim to highlight the contemporary nature of this political dimension of singing, which is expressed both in urban development and in terms of the supervision of the population, particularly at times for crisis.
Situated within music geography and Urban Music Studies approaches, this thesis considers singing places as geo-indicators of the socio-political organisation and urban production of the Shanghainese metropolis. The study of singing places provides information on the construction of the city as being determined by the local authorities. In particular, singing can be examined within the framework of heritage and gentrification based on cultural reconstruction strategies. This evolution of the social and urban environment of the metropolis works in tandem with urban fabric. In particular, certain singers can be observed to appropriate public spaces, during the time of their activities.
The political dimension of singing appeared more pronounced during the management of covid-19 by the Chinese government. The analysis of the effects of this pandemic on the Chinese social and political space illustrates the persistence of singing as a means of communication and advocacy, mobilised both by the government and by population. The consequences of this crisis were also at the root of a reflection on the data collection primarily online, qualified here as “mediated fieldwork”.

Keywords: singing, music geography, socio-spatial dynamics, urban organisation and production, covid-19 pandemic, “online” fieldwork, political communication.
Best regards,

Doctorante en géographie
UMR 8586 Prodig
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne – UFR 08