Gary Sigley: Cultural Routes and Chinese Modernity: The Ancient Tea Horse Road of Southwest China – The Human Show Podcast 80





Gary Sigley is a scholar of global studies with China as primary focus. His research focuses on cultural and social transformation in a rapidly changing China, with an emphasis at present on China’s southwest region (Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi). He approaches the study of China informed by the knowledge and practice of history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies. Over the last decade his primary focus has been on researching social and cultural change in China’s Yunnan Province through an analysis of the Ancient Tea Horse Road and the status and consumption of Pu’er tea. He also examines the emergence of China’s culture of outdoor and adventure tourism (covering issues such as the ‘return to nature’, ‘associational life’, and ‘environmental impacts of inbound visitors to ecologically and culturally sensitive regions’).

Today we talk to Gary about the topic of his extensive research – the Ancient Tea Horse Road in southern China and learn how much understanding of its origins and formation can tell about today’s China and its unique path to modernity. Gary gives a fascinating historical overview of the topic and shares his research discoveries of tea culture and its invisible great wall unifying ethnic minorities and strengthening China’s imperialism. How has the road helped to transform cultural and physical landscape and brought touristic modernity? Gary untangles the many interconnected aspects through his cross disciplinary approach and tells us about his soon-to-be-published book. Listen to the episode to hear more about it!


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