Lecture -- Shadows, Ruins, Landscape: Writing, Photography, & Shanghai's Projected Past
A lecture by William Schaefer (Univ. of Minnesota) in the series New Approaches to Chinese Studies
Thursday, April 03, 2003
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
243 Royce Hall
Verbal and visual modernism in Shanghai during the 1920s-1930s were driven by an unease regarding modern China’s cultural identity, the colonialist reconfiguration of global space, the presence of remainders of the past, and above all the expansion of new visual technologies such as photography and illustrated magazines. Such technologies both transformed relationships between texts and images, and were themselves implicated in the globalizing culture through which the transmission of China’s own cultural past now appeared to be mediated. This lecture shows how the modernist writer Shi Zhecun engages with the problem of representing the presence of the past in modern Shanghai through composing his story, “Demon’s Way” (Mo Dao), out of popular images of the past’s dislocation and return as manifest in descriptions of architecture; a craze for archaeology, Egypt, and mummies; and a vogue for photography that transformed fragments of the present and past into shadow.
William Schaefer (Ph.D., Chicago, 2000) is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Minnesota. His most recent publication is “Shanghai Savage” in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique (2003); he has also published on contemporary Chinese documentary photography and Shanghai literary modernism. He is at work on a book manuscript on modernism and the cultural meanings of the interplay of photography and writing in Republican Shanghai.
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The series New Approaches to Chinese Studies presents lectures and seminars by scholars, primarily recent Ph.D.s, who are doing cutting-edge research which may not yet have seen the light of day through publication. Speakers, who are on campus at UCLA for two consecutive days, present their research both in the form of a one-hour public lecture and of an afternoon seminar.
For more information please contact
Tel: 310 825-8683
Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies