Sensing China Modern Transformations of Sensory Culture
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This book presents the first collection of studies of the senses and sensory experiences in China, filling a gap in sensory research while offering new approaches to Chinese Studies.
Bringing together 12 chapters by literary scholars and historians, this book critically interrogates the deeply rooted meanings that the senses have coded in Chinese culture and society. Built on an exploration of the sensorium in early Chinese thought and late imperial literature, this book reveals the sensory manifestations of societal change and cultural transformation in China from the nineteenth century to the present day. It features in-depth examinations of a variety of concepts, representations, and practices, including aural and visual paradigms in ancient Chinese texts; odours in Ming-Qing literature and Republican Shanghai; the tactility of kissing and the sonic culture of community singing in the Republican era; the socialist sensorium in art, propaganda, memory, and embodied experiences; and contemporary-era multisensory cultural practices.
Engaging with the exciting "sensory turn," this original work makes a unique contribution to the world history of the senses, and will be a valuable resource to scholars and students of Chinese Literature, History, Cultural Studies, and Media.
Shengqing Wu and Xuelei Huang
Part 1: Understanding the Senses in Traditional Culture
2. Aural and Visual Hierarchies in Texts from Early China: Beyond Epistemology of the Senses
3. The Culture of Smells: Taboo and Sublimation from Huchou to Tianxiang
Part 2: Reconfiguring the Senses and Modern Sensibility
4. Smellscapes of Nanjing Road: Cognitive and Affective Mapping
5. The Kiss as an Art of Love: Touch, Sensuality, and Embodied Experience in Modern Chinese Culture
6. Radio, Sound Cinema, and Community Singing: The Making of a New Sonic Culture in Modern China
Part 3: Socialist Corporeality, Sensorium and Memory
7. Making Sense of Labor: Works of Art and Arts of Work in China’s Great Leap Forward
8. Narrating Sweet Bitterness: Tasting and Sensing the Chinese Cultural Revolution
9. The Hot Noise of Open-Air Cinema
Part 4: Senses, Media and Postmodernity
10. Touching Father: Sight, Sound, Touch, and Intermedial Intimacies
11. The Senses in Recent Exhibitionary Practice in Chinese History Museums
12. Epilogue: "And suddenly the memory revealed itself…."—Making Sense of the Senses in History
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