China's Soviet Dream : Propaganda, Culture, and Popular Imagination book cover
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China's Soviet Dream
Propaganda, Culture, and Popular Imagination

By

Yan Li





ISBN 9781138218604
Published September 11, 2017 by Routledge
208 Pages - 19 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

This book examines the introduction of Soviet socialist culture in the People’s Republic of China, with a focus on the period of Sino-Soviet friendship in the 1950s. The vast state initiative to transplant Soviet culture into Chinese soil has conventionally been dismissed as a tool of propaganda and political indoctrination. However, this book demonstrates that this transnational engagement not only facilitated China’s broader transition to socialist modernity but also generated unintended consequences that outlasted the propaganda.

Drawing on archival findings, newspapers, magazines, media productions, and oral interview, the book delves into changes in Chinese popular imagination and everyday aesthetics contingent upon Soviet influence. It proposes a revisionist view of the Soviet impact on China, revealing that Soviet culture offered Chinese people the language and imagery to conceive of their future as a dream about material abundance, self-determination, and the pleasures of leisure and cultural enrichment.

Written with a transnational, interdisciplinary, and thematic approach, this book is aimed at scholars and students in the fields of Sino-Soviet relations, international socialism, modern Chinese history, cultural studies, and mass communication. It will also be of interest to researchers seeking to understand the nature, significance, and repercussions of Sino-Soviet cultural engagement.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: The Avowed Internationalism

Chapter 1: The Propaganda of Friendship

Chapter 2: One World, One Language?

Part II: The New Outlook

Chapter 3: Urban Landscapes and Socialist Architecture

Chapter 4: New Clothes and Socialist Fashion

Part III: The Public and the Private

Chapter 5: Soviet Literature in 1950s China

Chapter 6: Soviet Literature in China’s Cultural Revolution

Afterword

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Author(s)

Biography

Yan Li is Assistant Professor of History at Oakland University, USA. She received her Ph.D. in World History from Northeastern University, with a concentration in Modern China. Her doctoral thesis examined China's cultural interactions with the Soviet Union and the impact of Soviet culture on Maoist China. She is interested in cultural history, women and gender studies, and cinema studies related to the period of modern China. She teaches introductory courses on Chinese history and culture, as well as upper-division courses on Chinese women, the Qing Dynasty, Chinese revolutions, and contemporary China.