Embodied Modernities: Corporeality and Representation in Chinese Cultures

Fran Martin, Ari Heinrich

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Abstract

    To debate and discuss on the issue of modernity in contemporary China has become an academic fashion in recent years. Scholars often quote such important Western works as Habermas's The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1987), Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition (1980), Giddens's The Consequences of Modernity (1990), Appadurai's Modernity at Large (1993), Calinescu's Five Faces of Modernity (1987), and Jameson's A Singular Modernity (2002), since most of them are available in Chinese. But all of the aforementioned books only deal with a "singular" modernity, or more precisely, a Western modernity, and almost none of them have touched upon the modernity of the "other," or a more specifically Chinese modernity, even though some of these Western scholars are really interested in China and even frequently quoted and discussed in the Chinese context. In this aspect, the publication of Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures edited by Fran Martin and Larissa Heinrich, which has not only deconstructed the "singular" (Western) modernity with metamorphosed Chinese practices but also filled a gap in the study of Chinese modernity or modernities, is timely. The essays in this anthology deal in a substantial way with such cutting-edge issues as those of gender, body and identity—textually as well as visually—by pointing them to ordinary people's daily practices rather than merely elite literature and art. What impresses readers most profoundly is the title, "embodied modernities," which is no longer the modernity discussed in scholars' books or academic conferences theoretically, but rather very concretely, and even corporeally, represented or "embodied" in identity, gender, and body studies. In this aspect, this anthology also plays the role of writing a history of China's body or gender studies by referring to its multiplied "modernities" and identities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCalifornia
    PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press
    Number of pages290
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9780824829636
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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