China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

(37) Of Performativity and Parody: Cultural Politics in Contemporary China

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Roosevelt Room 4, Exhibit Level

This four-speaker panel investigates the political ramifications of studying Chinese popular culture as it travels across geographical boundaries and academic disciplines. Through an analysis of four performance genres – online videos, experimental theater, film, and television series – this panel seeks to expand the current understanding of cultural politics in contemporary China.

Taking, as a case study, Papi Jiang, China’s most popular Internet celebrity in 2016, Jie Zhang delineates the ways in which Papi Jiang’s shrewd appropriation of media conventions contributes to the viral dissemination of her self-made videos. Delving into Meng Jinghui’s use of metatheater over a span of two decades, Hongjian Wang provides new analytical angles from which to explicate Meng’s controversial transition from an avant-garde director to one catering to the mainstream market. By analyzing the transmutations of male bodies in the series A Chinese Odyssey (1995-2015), Jun Lei demonstrates how a gendered approach to Stephen Chow’s movies sheds new light on understanding identity politics in Hong Kong. Finally, Shaohua Guo examines Fated to Love You (2008), one of the most popular Taiwanese idol dramas, and argues that the drama’s trans-regional appeal is largely attributable to its calculated endeavor to mediate geopolitical relations among Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.   

All four studies address how performativity and parody are appropriated in diverse media spaces, while highlighting the intricate interplay of media conventions, technological affordances, and collective and individual actors in jointly shaping the cultural dynamics in contemporary China.

 

Presentations:

Shaohua Guo

Carleton College, Minnesota

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Jie Zhang

Trinity University, Texas

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Jie Zhang

Trinity University, Texas

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Hongjian Wang

Purdue University, Illinois

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Jun Lei

Texas A & M University, Texas

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Shaohua Guo

Carleton College, Minnesota

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Ruoyun Bai

University of Toronto, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

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