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Third World Internationalism: Films and Operas in the Chinese Cultural Revolution

  • Ban Wang
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)

Abstract

“Eight hundred million people watching eight shows” is a cruel joke about the barrenness of culture during the Cultural Revolution. But in recent years, scholars such as Paul Clark and Barbara Mittler, among others, have demonstrated that there was life—and much of it quite interesting and vibrant—in the proverbial cultural desert. In his book The Chinese Cultural Revolution, Clark offers insights into cultural innovations and professional perfectionism beyond the conventional narratives of elite power games in high places. Listening attentively beneath the loud noise of propaganda to the muffled music of artistic experiment and innovation, Clark shows that an undercurrent of cultural life was still going on, and creating a new aesthetics.1 Taking a long view of China’s revolutionary history, Barbara Mittler, in her A Continuous Revolution, decries the myth that the Cultural Revolution is something radically new and disruptive.

Keywords

Cultural Revolution World Internationalism Metropolitan Center Chinese Foreign Policy Chinese Revolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Paul Clark, The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barbara Mittler, A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense of Cultural Revolution Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012), 64–78.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Wang Hui, “Depoliticized Politics: From East to West,” New Left 41 (2006): 31.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    For an excellent discussion of these issues, see Maurice Meisner, Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, 3rd ed. (New York: Free Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  5. Cao Tianyue, ed., Modernization, Globalization and China’s Path of Development (Xiandaihua, quan-qiuhua yu Zhongguo daolu) (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2003).Google Scholar
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    For an excellent discussion of China’s nationalism and foreign policy, see Tianbiao Zhu, “Nationalism and Chinese Foreign Policy,” The China Review 1(1) (2001): 1–27.Google Scholar
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  13. 18.
    Amin argues that the loss of the revolutionary vocation through the welfare state and Fordism makes revolution impossible in the West. See Amin, Delinking, 12. Giovanni Arrighi makes a similar point in his monumental The Long Twentieth Century (London: Verso, 1994), 320–321.Google Scholar
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    Vicky Randall, “Using and Abusing the Concept of the Third World: Geopolitics and the Comparative Political Study of Development and Underdevelopment,” Third World Quarterly 25(1) (2004): 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    For a reliable source of information and history, see Aidan Foster-Carter, “North Korea: Development and Self-Reliance: A Critical Appraisal,” in Korea: North and South: The Deepening Crisis, edited by Gavan McCormack and Mark Selden (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978), 115–149.Google Scholar

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© Ban Wang 2016

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  • Ban Wang

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