The Imagined City: Literary, Cinematic, and Visual Shanghai, 1927-1937

The Imagined City: Literary, Cinematic, and Visual Shanghai, 1927-1937 (in Chinese).  Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2009. ISBN:9787309064124

Book Cover of "The Imagined City"

Book Cover of "The Imagined City"

This Chinese book is based on the author’s English dissertation submitted to USC. It is a study of the city of Shanghai’s semi-colonial culture during the years of 1927 to 1937, the first decade of Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nanjing Government. Drawing upon a wide variety of literary, cultural, and film theories, the author investigates various genres and types of “Shanghai narratives” that have been largely neglected or rarely researched: fiction, film, architecture, advertising, and fashion. The author further contends that, with the advent and flourishing of various models of interpretation that tried to “make sense” of the metropolis, Shanghai quickly transformed from a “natural landscape” to a deeply-layered “cultural landscape.” The investigation of the competing discourses of the constructive and destructive potential of the metropolis, therefore, is more of an attempt to explore how the urban landscape of Shanghai was culturally imagined in ideological and gender terms than of an endeavor to document an already vanished past.

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