Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

I began this project in the last years of my PhD study at the University of California, Davis (UCD). My intellectual development during the years of research in the United States paralleled the dramatic sociocultural changes in China in the first decade of the new millennium. I wish to thank the Department of Comparative Literature at UCD for the nonresident tuition fellowships in 2001--2008, a block...

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Introduction: China, Uneven Development, and Global Modernity

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pp. 1-10

This project is concerned with literature, film, critical discourses, and intellectual formation in contemporary China. It investigates the cultural problematics of unevenness in China's pursuit of modernity in the postsocialist period.1 I look at literary and cinematic practices in contemporary China from the paradigm of uneven modernity, and examine unevenness and its effects on literature and film...

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Chapter 1. Uneven Modernity in Postsocialist China: A Critical Inquiry

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pp. 11-31

On March 16, 2007, after numerous readings and revisions on large and small scales over fourteen years, the Property Law (Wuquan fa) was finally passed by the People's Congress of the People's Republic of China (PRC). This law, the first such in the judicial history of the PRC, formally and explicitly legitimized the ownership of private property. Before this law took effect, only...

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Chapter 2. Popularization of Traditional Culture in Postsocialist China: A Study of the Yu Qiuyu Phenomenon

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pp. 32-56

For more than two millennia, the prose (sanwen) of traditional literati has played a central role in both culture and politics in China. Over the centuries, such figures as Zhuang Zi, Zuo Qiuming, Sima Qian, Han Yu, Liu Zongyuan, Su Shi, Ouyang Xiu, Li Zhi, Yuan Hongdao, Zhang Dai, Huang Zongxi, Gu Yanwu, and Yao Nai have served to shape a significant part of Chinese culture...

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Chapter 3. Constructing a Neorealist Reality: Petty Urbanites, Mundaneness, and Chi Li's Fiction

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pp. 57-84

In this chapter, I investigate the problematics of neorealism (xin xieshizhuyi) through a case study of Chi Li, a prominent Wuhan-based writer widely regarded as one of the most successful neorealist writers working in China today.1 When rapid commercialization began in the late 1980s, interest in serious...

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Chapter 4. Commerce and the Critical Edge: The Politics of Postsocialist Film and the Case of Feng Xiaogang

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pp. 85-107

In this chapter, I will investigate how the uneven social and cultural conditions in postsocialist China shape the field of commercial filmmaking. Arguably, Feng Xiaogang may appear to be one of the most relevant cases in point, since his filmmaking is regarded as a typical example of Chinese commercial cinema. In studying Feng's filmmaking, I will concentrate more on the internal...

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Chapter 5. Geopolitics in Postsocialist Art Film and Beyond: Reading Wang Xiaoshuai's Films

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pp. 108-132

Among the important members of the controversial group known as the Sixth Generation directors, including Jia Zhangke, Wang Xiaoshuai, Lou Ye, and Zhang Yuan, Wang attracts the least scholarly attention, especially in English. However, his productions register some significant problematics of the art cinema in contemporary China. Textual and contextual problems in Wang's...

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Postscript: Is an "Even Modernity" Possible in China?

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pp. 133-137

In this study, I have undertaken to analyze the condition of unevenness and its many cultural manifestations in a postsocialist China, a condition, that is, of radical and widespread social, economic, and geographical inequality. As we have seen, this unevenness has not only shaped the sociocultural scenes of contemporary China, but also has become a major theme around the world in this period...

Notes

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pp. 139-172

Bibliography

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pp. 173-186

Index

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pp. 187-192