Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures

Dr Kevin Carrico

Dr Kevin Carrico

Dr Kevin Carrico
Lecturer, Chinese Studies
Macquarie University
North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia



Kevin Carrico teaches contemporary Chinese society and modern Chinese history in the Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures, Macquarie University. His research examines nationalism, identity, and imaginings of the past in contemporary China.

His Ph.D. research focused upon the grassroots majority nationalist group known as the Han Clothing Movement (Hanfu yundong). This movement, which first originated on the Internet and has associations in most major Chinese cities, is dedicated to revitalizing traditional culture, from clothing to Confucian ritual to classical education, towards an explicitly Han-centric vision of China. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork with members of this group in locations across the country, Kevin's research examines the gaps between idealizations of traditional China and banal experiences in contemporary city life to interpret the lacks and desires leading regular citizens to this conservative movement and its grandiose vision of a traditional land of rites and etiquette (liyi zhi bang). Alongside this anthropology of everyday urban life, this project also examines rising nostalgia and popular Han-based nationalism, as well as their implications for China as an officially multi-ethnic country.

Kevin has also written on the recent rise of self-immolation as a form of political protest in Tibet, seeking to understand how the spread of this dramatic method of protest, which is without precedent in Tibetan culture, has become the primary means of resistance to Chinese rule following the protests of 2008. Toward these goals, Kevin has contributed to a special online issue of Cultural Anthropology on the rise of self-immolation in Tibet, written a survey of the scholarship on self-immolation in Tibet for the Oxford Handbook of Religions, and has translated Tsering Woeser's volume Immolation au Tibet- la honte du monde (Tibet on Fire: Self-Immolations against Chinese Rule, Verso, 2016).

Kevin is pursuing two research projects at the moment. The first, an ethnographic study of localist anti-PRC movements in Hong Kong, builds upon his work on ethnic relations to trace the emergence of the idea of a Hong Kong nationality and the corresponding ideal of a Hong Kong nation. The second, building upon his studies of nostalgia in contemporary China, is a critique of China's "New Left," as well as a sociological analysis of its promotion in Western academia.

Kevin studied Chinese language, history, and society at Bard College and the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology in 2013 at Cornell University.

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Book cover: Tibet on FireTsering Woeser. Translated by Kevin Carrico. 2016. Tibet on Fire: Self-Immolations against Chinese Rule (Original Title: Immolations au Tibet: la honte du monde). London: Verso Press.





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Book Chapters

Carrico, K. (2016). "Producing Purity: Inside a Neo-Traditionalist Ladies' Academy in Contemporary Urban China," in Tiantian Zheng (ed). Cultural Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Asia. Honlulu: University of Hawaii Press, 41-56.

Carrico, K. (2012). "Re-Centering China: The Cantonese In and Beyond the Han," in Thomas Mullaney, James Liebold, Stephane Gros, and Eric Vanden Busche (eds). Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation, and Identity of China's Majority. Berkeley: University of California Press, 23-44.

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Journal Articles

Carrico, K. "The Pedagogy of Controversy in the Field of China Studies: Teaching the Cultural Revolution," Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 7.2 (2014), 28-57. 

Carrico, K. "State Media Representations of Tibetan Protest." Cultural Anthropology. Special issue "Self-immolation as Political Protest in Tibet," edited by Carole McGranahan and Ralph Litzinger (2012).

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Reference Articles

Carrico, K. (2016). "Chinese Nationalism." Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science, edited by Sandy Maisel.

Carrico, K. (2015). "Tibetan Buddhist Self-Immolation." Oxford Handbook of Religion, edited by Mark Jurgensmeyer.

Carrico, K. (2011) "Ritual." A curated collection for Cultural Anthropology, edited by Kevin Carrico.

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Carrico, K. (2015). Review of Naktsang Nulo's My Tibetan Childhood: When Ice Turned to Stone. Modern Chinese Language and Culture Resource Center.

Carrico, K. (2010). Review of Matthew Johnson's "Wartime Origins of the Propaganda State." China History Dissertation Reviews.

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Carrico, K. (2016). "Why are Tibetans Setting Themselves on Fire?" (Excerpt from Tsering Woeser's Tibet on Fire). New York Review of Books, January 2016.

Carrico, K. (2016). "Tibet's Epidemic of Suicides by Fire." (Excerpt from Tsering Woeser's Tibet on Fire). New Republic, February 2016.

Carrico, K. (2013). "Towards an Anthropology of Taxation," Anthropology News, Debt Series, May 2013 (print edition: September 2013).

Carrico, K. (2012). "Celebration and Security: The Olympics as a National-Affective Movement," Anthropology News, July 2012.

Carrico, K. (2012). "Defenders of the 'Chinese Way' are off the mark," Christian Science Monitor, September 5, 2012.

Carrico, K. (2010). "China's Nobel Puzzlement Prize," Taipei Times, October 10th, 2010.

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