Crossroad of Culture, Battlefield of Information: The Cultural Exchange and Cultural Warfare in China (1921-1965)

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Crossroad of Culture, Battlefield of Information: The Cultural Exchange and Cultural Warfare in China (1921-1965)
Stream: History
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Mian Chen, Northwestern University, United States (organizer, presenter)
Angie Chau, University of Victoria, Canada (presenter)
Min Qiao, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (presenter)
Bixiao He, Sun Yat-sen University, China (presenter)
Ji Li, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (chair)
Zheng Lin, Sun Yat-sen University, China (discussant)

Abstract:

What happened when different cultures encountered? This panel seeks to understand the collision of culture and information from two perspectives. We firstly aim to show how exchanges of information created new cultural products and cultural imagination. Angie Chau discusses how Chinese artist Chang Yu’s works were influenced by his encounter with French culture. Mian Chen’s study focuses on how music from Hong Kong and Southeast Asia were smuggled into Guangdong Province in 1962-1964 and reshaped the urban soundscape during high socialism. We further examine how political powers participated in cultural exchanges and sought to create their cultural hegemony. Min Qiao’s paper focuses on the cultural competition between CCP and KMT in Republican Shanghai. Bixiao He turns to the culturally hybrid colonial Hong Kong, showing how the CCP managed its cross-border communication network in the colony to fuel the revolution in mainland China. Mian Chen discusses how the CCP sought to curb “capitalist music” in order to ensure the domination of revolutionary culture. The papers in this panel thus situate cultural exchanges not only as a productive process that creates new aesthetics and sensibilities, but also as a contested site that drove different political powers to step in and maneuver.