Sinophone Utopias: Exploring Futures Beyond the China Dream (Hardcover)

Sinophone Utopias: Exploring Futures Beyond the China Dream By Andrea Riemenschnitter (Editor), Jessica Imbach (Editor), Justyna Jaguscik (Editor) Cover Image
By Andrea Riemenschnitter (Editor), Jessica Imbach (Editor), Justyna Jaguscik (Editor)
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This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Includes images.

The creativity, diversity, and experimental character of aesthetic and literary responses to the sociopolitical transitions in Southeast and East Asia as well as the aesthetic reverberations provoked by, among other factors, the newest wave of utopian thought in mainland China's political discourse have so far not been tackled systematically. Whereas Douwe Fokkema's pathbreaking overview of ancient to modern utopian concepts and narratives in China and the West provides an invaluable source for students and scholars of the early modern forms of transcultural utopian imagination, it does not include the more recent versions of state futurology-in particular Xi Jinping's China Dream narrative and related ideological revaluations. Nor does it engage with the contemporary literary and transmedia explorations of the imagined alternative Chinese worlds that are currently in the process of coming into being. This study thus delves into the vibrant space of Chinese and Sinophone cultural negotiations between state and grassroots utopianist discourses in order to tease out both the declining and emergent visions for the future as embedded in the analyzed literary narratives and visual representations.

Focusing on counternarratives that challenge or undermine the grand nationalist Chinese theme, this book studies the ways Sinophone artists, writers, and other cultural agents reimagine a future (world) society that can be more tolerant of cultural, ecological, ethnic, gender and ideological diversity. It departs from the existing scholarly inquiries into Chinese utopian thought by focusing on its reappearance, in multiple shapes, in contemporary cultural representations (art, performance, literature, film, garden concepts, rural reconstruction projects, etc.) rather than on the philosophical and historical (utopianist) roots of Chinese modernity. Furthermore, this book highlights those reconceptualizations that reflect on flexible blueprints of future community life or, more openly, forms of togetherness, that are suitable for continuous (re)negotiation rather than supporting fixed, top-down enforced models. It demonstrates where, and how, bottom-up engagement for a better future is flourishing in Chinese and Sinophone contexts, and studies in which aesthetically articulated ways the expectations of intellectuals, creative workers, and social activists reach out beyond the currently circulating, state-issued futurologies.

Sinophone Utopias will be a valuable resource for scholars of Chinese and Sinophone studies as well as scholars of adjacent disciplines who are engaged in critical cultural studies and are interested in understanding the emerging cultural and political dynamics of utopianism in East Asia. Each chapter offers readily accessible examples of currently circulating utopian articulations, thus providing valuable insights into the key debates and concepts in Sinophone utopian discourse. As such, this book will also be of great value to instructors and students of modern China as well as to a general audience interested in utopian ideas and their manifold cultural articulations in the Sinosphere. This book offers a preliminary roadmap to the establishment of Sinophone utopia studies as a new supplement to the broader field of Sinophone studies, thus catering to a systematic, transcultural approach to contemporary utopian thought.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781621966463
ISBN-10: 1621966461
Publisher: Cambria Press
Publication Date: February 1st, 2023
Pages: 484
Language: English