Culture and Politics in the People's Republic of China: New Approaches


This course inquires into the political, ideological, and social frameworks that shaped the cultural production and consumption in the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the realm of literature, film, architecture, and material culture and everyday life, this course pays a close attention to the contestation and negotiation between policy makers, cultural producers, censors, and consumers. Understanding the specific contour of how this process unfolded in China allows us to trace the interplay between culture and politics in the formative years of revolutionary China (1949-1966), high socialism (1966-1978), the reform era (1978-1992), and post-socialist China (1992 to present). The course examines new scholarship in fields of social and cultural history, literary studies, and gender studies; and it explores the ways in which new empirical sources, theoretical frameworks, and research methods reinvestigate and challenge conventional knowledge of the PRC that have been shaped by the rise and fall of Cold War politics, the development of area studies in the U.S., and the evolving U.S.-China relations. Prerequisites: Advanced undergraduate students must have taken no fewer than two China-related courses at the 300-level or higher. Graduate students should be proficient in scholarly Chinese, as they are expected to read scholarly publications and primary materials in Chinese.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM