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Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in by Sheldon H. Lu

By Sheldon H. Lu

This bold paintings is a multimedia, interdisciplinary learn of chinese language modernity within the context of globalization from the overdue 19th century to the current. Sheldon Lu attracts on chinese language literature, movie, artwork, images, and video to largely map the emergence of contemporary China in terms of the capitalist world-system within the financial, social, and political nation-states. significant to his examine is the research of biopower and physique politics, particularly, the adventure of globalization on a private level.

Lu first outlines the trajectory of the physique in smooth chinese language literature by way of targeting the adventures, pleasures, and sufferings of the male (and lady) physique within the writings of chosen authors. He then turns to avant-garde and function artwork, tackling the actual self extra at once via a attention of labor that takes the physique as its very subject, fabric, and medium. In an exploration of mass visible tradition, Lu analyzes inventive reactions to the a number of, asymmetric results of globalization and modernization on either the actual panorama of China and the internal psyche of its voters. this is often through an inquiry into modern chinese language city area in well known cinema and experimental images and paintings. Examples are provided that catch the day-by-day lives of latest chinese language as they fight to make the transition from the vanishing house of the socialist way of life to the hot capitalist economic climate of commodities. Lu reexamines the heritage and implications of China’s belated integration into the capitalist international approach earlier than remaining with a postscript that lines the family tree of the time period "postsocialism" and issues to the genuine relevance of the assumption for the research of lifestyle in China within the twenty-first century.

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Extra info for Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture

Example text

In retrospect, the Foucualdian theme of biopolitics runs throughout the works of Yu Dafu and Zhang Xianliang. But in my analysis I also return to the prevalent modes of scholarship in the study of modern Chinese literature. I engage the problematic of the self and the ideological discourse of the subject, and enter into a dialogue with a genealogy of literary analysis running from Jaroslav Průšek, through C. T. Hsia, to Leo Ou-fan Lee and beyond. The hope is to contribute to the examination of “subjectivism” in modern Chinese literary studies as well as to the investigation of “subjectivity” in theoretical discourse.

The new focus is on the ideological and discursive constitution of the modern subject in literary texts. The subject, be it a supposed “unitary” self or an aggrandized romantic ego, never exists as an independent entity, but is always situated in a network of discursive and textual relations. It engages and is 40 Lu02 40 . liter ature and biopolitics 4/13/07 11:58:19 AM engaged by various discourses: traditional, modern, nationalist, individualistic, romantic, realist, and so on. ”12 Literary texts are but specific instances of discursive formations.

15 Here Wang places himself firmly in a long tradition of discontented writers who resorted to the strange and the supernatural to convey their imaginations in China’s long literary history: Qu Quan, Zhuangzi, Dongfang Shuo, and Pu Songling. We should be cautious in using such terms as the fantastic, the supernatural, and the marvelous in analyzing Chinese literature, however. Western studies on the genre of the fantastic by Tzvetan Todorov and scholars influenced by him refer to specific moments in the cultural history of the West.

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