Whither China?

Intellectual Politics in Contemporary China

Whither China?

Book Pages: 408 Illustrations: 12 b&w photos, 6 tables Published: March 2002

Subjects
Asian Studies > East Asia, Politics > Political Science

Whither China? presents an in-depth and wide-angled picture of Chinese intellectual life during the last decade of the millennium, as China struggled to move beyond the shadow of the Tiananmen tragedy. Because many cultural and intellectual paradigms of the previous decade were left in ruins by that event, Chinese intellectuals were forced in the early 1990s to search for new analytical and critical frameworks. Soon, however, they found themselves engulfed by tidal waves of globalization, surrounded by a new social landscape marked by unabashed commodification, and stunned by a drastically reconfigured socialist state infrastructure.
The contributors to Whither China? describe how, instead of spearheading the popular-mandated and state-sanctioned project of modernization, intellectuals now find themselves caught amid rapidly changing structures of economic, social, political, and cultural relations that are both global in nature and local in an irreducibly political sense. Individual essays interrogate the space of Chinese intellectual production today, lay out the issues at stake, and cover major debates and discursive interventions from the 1990s. Those who write within the Chinese context are joined by Western observers of contemporary Chinese cultural and intellectual life. Together, these two groups undertake a truly international intellectual struggle not only to interpret but to change the world.

Contributors. Rey Chow, Zhiyuan Cui, Michael Dutton, Gan Yang, Harry Harootunian, Peter Hitchcock, Rebecca Karl, Louisa Schein, Wang Hui, Wang Shaoguang, Xudong Zhang

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Xudong Zhang is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at New York University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface vii

1. The Making of the Post-Tiananmen Intellectual Field: A Critical Overview / Xudong Zhang 1

Part I. Against the Neoliberal Dogma: Four Arguments from China

2. Debating Liberalism and Democracy in China in the 1990s / Gan Yang 79

3. Whither China? The Discourse on Property Rights Reform in China / Zhiyuan Chi 103

4. The Changing Role of Government in China / Shaoguang Wang 123

5. Contemporary Chinese Thought and the Question of Modernity / Wang Hui 161

Post-Tiananmen Art 199

Part II. In the Global Context

6. King Kong in Hong Kong: Watching the "Handover" from the U.S.A. / Rey Chow 211

7. The Burdens of History: Lin Zexu (1959) and the Opium War (1997) / Rebecca E. Karl 229

8. Mao to the Market / Peter Hitchcock 263

9. Chinese Consumerism and the Politics of Envy: Cargo in the 1990s? / Louisa Schein 285

10. Nationalism, Mass Culture, and Intellectual Strategies in Post-Tiananmen China / Xudong Zhang 315

11. Street Scenes of Subalternity: China, Globalization, and Rights / Michael Dutton 349

Appendix. In the Tiger's Lair: Socialist Everydayness Enters the Market Economy in Post-Mao China / Harry D. Harootunian 371

Contributors 383

Index 385
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2648-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2659-5
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