China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: This panel examines how the military has shaped modern Chinese cultural production in the twentieth century. As the direct employer of performers, artists, and writers, and the operator of an arts university, the military is not only a major institutional presence in the growth of the arts in modern China, it has played a constitutive role in the development of a nationalized cultural imaginary. Military involvement in cultural production brings to the fore problems of cultural production such as amateurism vs. professionalism, the concept of an artistic "discipline," militarized media environments, and the use of media as a weapon.
Angie Baecker and Dylan Suher explore the affect of social relations within the military: Baecker presents an exhibition of Maoist amateur art by PLA soldiers, works that articulate a civil-military sentimentality through the depiction of PLA engagement in agricultural and industrial production, while Suher examines the militaristic vision of the arts in the novelist Yan Geling's autobiographic "Female Soldier Trilogy," arguing that the professional author of the postsocialist period is the unlikely product of the PLA's regime of artistic production. Belinda Q. He and Lawrence Zi-Qiao Yang reveal the perceptual forms of militarized imaginaries: He argues in her study of 1940s Communist military periodicals and documentaries that wartime cine-photographic encounters were effectively military encounters conducted through an "exposure complex," while Yang reads the nuclear apocalypse and historical memory of air warfare in the Taiwanese film The Chances of Life Under an Atomic Bomb as a militarized sensorium of urban domestic space.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Angie Baecker – The University of Hong Kong
Virtual Paper Presenter: Dylan Suher – The University of Hong Kong
Virtual Paper Presenter: Belinda Qian He – University of Oklahoma
Virtual Paper Presenter: Lawrence Zi-Qiao Yang – National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University