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.

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Jing Wang

About Jing Wang

Professor Jing Wang, S. C. Fang Professor of Chinese Language and Culture, 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 is also the founder and secretary-general of NGO2.0, a grassroots nonprofit organization based in Beijing and Shenzhen, specializing in ICT (Information Communication Technology) powered activism. Ford Foundation awarded her a ten-year grant (2009-2019) to develop NGO2.0. Wang’s first book The Story of Stone (published in English and Japanese) won her the 1992 Joseph Levenson Prize for the “Best Book on Pre-Modern China,” awarded by the Association of Asian Studies. Her third single-authored book Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture came out in Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese translations. Her fourth single-authored book The Other Digital China: Nonconfrontational Activism on the Social Web is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in December 2019. One of Wang’s 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. Professor Wang is currently working with a colleague in China to edit a volume on entertainment media and the future of content. Wang has received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies of Harvard University, the National Humanities Center, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. Wang’s current research interests include entertainment media in China and the US, advertising and marketing, civic media and communication, social media action research, and nonprofit technology, with an area focus on the People’s Republic of China.

 
 

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