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  • "In this important and complex work, Ari Larissa Heinrich continues his interrogation with the politics of the body through a systematic examination of various representations of the medically commodified body in contemporary Chinese and transnational literature, media, art, visual culture, and popular science. Incorporating both political economy and aesthetics, this examination opens up new ways to thinking about the interrelationship and interpenetration between science, medicine, commodity, and the arts in modern and contemporary environments." — Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Professor, University of Chicago

    Chinese Surplus is a timely, deeply moving, and consequential work, one that is both intellectually and affectively engaging. It significantly advances contemporary debates about the international division of humanity, affective and immaterial labor, biopolitics and biopower, imperial legacies, and globalization. A model of interdisciplinary scholarship, its ambitious originality will become a yardstick against which future studies will be measured.” — Lisa Lowe, author of, The Intimacies of Four Continents

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  • Description

    What happens when the body becomes art in the age of biotechnological reproduction? In Chinese Surplus Ari Larissa Heinrich examines transnational Chinese aesthetic production to demonstrate how representations of the medically commodified body can illuminate the effects of biopolitical violence and postcolonialism in contemporary life. From the earliest appearance of Frankenstein in China to the more recent phenomenon of "cadaver art," he shows how vivid images of a blood transfusion as performance art or a plastinated corpse without its skin—however upsetting to witness—constitute the new "realism" of our times. Adapting Foucauldian biopolitics to better account for race, Heinrich provides a means to theorize the relationship between the development of new medical technologies and the representation of the human body as a site of annexation, extraction, art, and meaning-making.

    About The Author(s)

    Ari Larissa Heinrich teaches in the Literature Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of The Afterlife of Images: Translating the Pathological Body between China and the West, also published by Duke University Press, and coeditor of Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures.
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