High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Deng’s China

Jing Wang offers the first overview of the feverish decade of the 1980s in China, from early reexaminations of Maoism through the crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Wang’s energetic, creative, and highly intelligent take on Chinese culture provides a broad portrait of the post-revolutionary era and a provocative inquiry into the nature of Chinese modernity.

In seven linked essays, the author examines the cultural dynamics that have given rise to the epochal discourse. She traces the Chinese Marxists’ short debate over “socialist alienation” and examines the various schools of thought–Li Zehou and the Marxist Reconstruction of Confucianism, the neo-Confucian Revivalists, and the Enlightenment School–that came into play in the Culture Fever. She also critiques the controversial mini-series Yellow River Elegy. In mapping out China’s post-revolutionary aesthetics, Wang introduces the debate over “pseudo-modernism,” refutes the pseudo-proposition of “Chinese postmodernism,” and looks at the dawning of popular culture in the 1990s.
This book delivers a ten-year intertwined history of Chinese intellectuals, writers, literary critics, and cultural critics that gives us a deeper understanding of the China of the 1980s, the 1990s, and beyond.

For sale at Amazon.com.

Jing Wang

About Jing Wang

Professor Jing Wang is the founder and director of MIT New Media Action Lab and serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for Creative Commons China. She holds a joint appointment in Global Studies & Languages and Comparative Media Studies/Writing. Her first book The Story of Stone won her the 1992 Joseph Levenson Prize for the “Best Book on Pre-Modern China.” Her third single-authored book Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture came out in Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese translations. Her edited volume (with Winnie Wong) "Reconsidering the 2006 MIT Visualizing Cultures Controversy" won the Council of Editors of Learned Journal's "Best Special Issue Award" in 2015. She is currently working on a book manuscript "Activism 2.0 and Nonconfrontational Politics in China." In spring 2009, she launched NGO 2.0, a nonprofit organization that specializes in ICT powered activism. Ford Foundation awarded her an eight-year grant (2009-2017) to develop NGO2.0. A new book INTERNET PLUS PUBLIC GOOD: PLAYING WITH NEW MEDIA was published in 2016. Wang’s current research interests include advertising and marketing, civic media and communication, social media action research, popular culture, and nonprofit technology, with an area focus on the People’s Republic of China.