This fall, the Baker Institute Transnational China Project unveils the results of 12 years of research on advertisements in subway stations in China and around the world. As more and more cities, especially in China, become increasingly cosmopolitan, new public spaces are appearing. Every day, hundreds of millions of commuters pass through subway and railway stations and, in doing so, encounter a medium now used by local, national and transnational groups, governments and corporations: advertisements. What are these advertisements promoting? And what do commuters think about the ad presence in these new spaces? Are subways public spaces or private spaces? Do subway stations and their advertisements contribute to civic, national or transnational identity? Or do they isolate the people who pass through them?
Also included in this presentation are the results of a survey taken by commuters in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai, asking them how they value their new public spaces and what they think about the commercial and public service ads appearing in them. Rice University scholars will also discuss a collection of images of these advertisements -- created with the support of the Center for Digital Scholarship at Rice"s Fondren Library and The Henry Luce Foundation of New York. Scholars of subway culture and advertising culture from around the world will also be present to share their own research.