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Professor Charlene Makley
Office: 312 Vollum
Office Hours: Tues, Thurs. 4:10-5:30

Course Description (Spring 2011)

Full course for one semester. China's "open door" policies and economic reforms since the death of Mao Zedong and the end of the Cultural Revolution have radically altered the state's ability to control the mass media and popular cultural production. This course examines the implications of this process for national, ethnic and gender identities among diverse citizens of the Chinese state on one hand, and for CCP efforts to maintain its political hegemony on the other. Through readings, film and video clips and discussions, we will explore different genres of cultural production in contemporary China in their sociohistorical contexts and in relation to recent Marxist and feminist debates about the production, interpretation and subversion of dominant ideologies in mass media. This perspective will shed light on the actually complex processes through which "popular" and "elite", "state" and "local" contexts are constructed in China, and allow us to interrogate recent assumptions construing "globalization", "westernization", "sinification" , or "modernization" as inevitably homogenizing and leveling forces.

Reed College • Dept. of Anthropology • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd • Portland • OR • 97202