Postmodernism and China

Postmodernism and China

Book Pages: 464 Illustrations: 16 illustrations Published: October 2000

Asian Studies > East Asia, Cultural Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

Few countries have been so transformed in recent decades as China. With a dynamically growing economy and a rapidly changing social structure, China challenges the West to understand the nature of its modernization. Using postmodernism as both a global frame of periodization and a way to break free from the rigid ideology of westernization as modernity, this volume’s diverse group of contributors argues that the Chinese experience is crucial for understanding postmodernism.
Collectively, these essays question the implications of specific phenomena, like literature, architecture, rock music, and film, in a postsocialist society. Some essays address China’s complicity in—as well as its resistance to—the culture of global capitalism. Others evaluate the impact of efforts to redefine national culture in terms of enhanced freedoms and expressions of the imagination in everyday life. Still others discuss the general relaxation of political society in post-Mao China, the emergence of the market and its consumer mass culture, and the fashion and discourse of nostalgia. The contributors make a clear case for both the historical uniqueness of Chinese postmodernism and the need to understand its specificity in order to fully grasp the condition of postmodernity worldwide. Although the focus is on mainland China, the volume also includes important observations on social and cultural realities in Hong Kong and Taiwan, whose postmodernity has so far been confined—in both Chinese and English-speaking worlds—to their economic and consumer activities instead of their political and cultural dynamism.
First published as a special issue of boundary 2, Postmodernism and China includes seven new essays. By juxtaposing postmodernism with postsocialism and by analyzing China as a producer and not merely a consumer of the culture of the postmodern, it will contribute to critical discourses on globalism, modernity, and political economics, as well as to cultural and Asian studies.

Contributors. Evans Chan, Arif Dirlik, Dai Jinhua, Liu Kang, Anthony D. King, Jeroen de Kloet, Abidin Kusno, Wendy Larson, Chaoyang Liao, Ping-hui Liao, Sebastian Hsien-hao Liao, Sheldon Hsiao-peng Lu, Wang Ning, Xiaobing Tang, Xiaoying Wang, Chen Xiaoming, Xiaobin Yang, Zhang Yiwu, Xudong Zhang



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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Arif Dirlik is Professor of History at Duke University.

Xudong Zhang is Assistant Professor of Comparative and Chinese Literature at New York University. He is the author of Chinese Modernism in the Era of Reforms, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Postmodernism and China / Arif Dirlik and Xudong Zhang 1

I. Mapping the Postmodern

1. The Mapping of Chinese Postmodernity / Wang Ning 21

2. On Be(ij)ing in the World: "Postmodernism," "Globalization," and the Making of Transnational Space in China / Anthony D. King and Abidin Kusno 41

3. Postmodern Literary Discourse and Contemporary Public Culture in Taiwan / Ping-hiu Liao 68

4. Hong Kong, China, and the Question of Postcoloniality / Xiaoying Wang 89

II. Cultural Politics

5. Popular Culture and the Culture of the Masses in Contemporary China / Liu Kang 123

6. Global POSTmoderniIZATION: The Intellectual, the Artist, and China's Condition / Sheldon Hsiao-peng Lu 145

7. Becoming Cyborgian: Postmodernism and Nationalism in Contemporary Taiwan / Sebastian Hsien-hao Liao 175

III. Cultural Studies

8. Imagined Nostalgia / Dai Jinhua 205

9. The Mysterious Other: Postpolitics in Chinese Film / Chen Xiaoming 222

10. "Let Him Fucking See the Green Smoke Beneath My Groin": The Mythology of Chinese Rock / Jeroen de Kloet 239

11. Borrowed Modernity: History and the Subject in A Borrowed Life / Chao-yang Liao 275

12. Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema / Evans Chan 294

IV. Literary Interventions

13. Postmodernism and Chinese Novels of the Nineties / Zhang Yiwu 325

14. Women and the Discourse of Desire in Postrevolutionary China: The Awkward Postmodernism of Chen Ran / Wendy Larson 337

15. Melancholy against the Grain: Approaching Postmodernity in Wang Anyi's Tales of Sorrow / Xiaobing Tang 358

16. Whence and Whither the Postmodern/Post-Mao-Deng: Historical Subjectivity and Literary Subjectivity in Modern China / Xiaobin Yang 379

Epilogue: Postmodernism and Postsocialist Society—Historicizing the Present / Xudong Zhang 399

Selected Glossary of Terms and Titles 443

Contributors 445

Index 447
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2544-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2506-2
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