Dai Jinhua interrogates history, memory, and the future of China as a global economic power in relation to its Cold War past to show how the recent erasure of the country's socialist history signifies socialism's failure and forecloses the imagining of a future beyond that of globalized capitalism.
In After the Post-Cold War eminent Chinese cultural critic Dai Jinhua interrogates history, memory, and the future of China as a global economic power in relation to its socialist past, profoundly shaped by the Cold War. Drawing on Marxism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory, Dai examines recent Chinese films that erase the country's socialist history to show how such erasure re-signifies socialism's past as failure and thus forecloses the imagining of a future beyond that of globalized capitalism. She outlines the tension between China's embrace of the free market and a regime dependent on a socialist imprimatur. She also offers a genealogy of China's transformation from a source of revolutionary power into a fountainhead of globalized modernity. This narrative, Dai contends, leaves little hope of moving from the capitalist degradation of the present into a radical future that might offer a more socially just world.
Dai Jinhua is Professor of Chinese Literature and Language at Peking University and the author of Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua, as well as numerous other books in Chinese. Lisa Rofel is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and coauthor of Fabricating Transnational Capitalism: A Collaborative Ethnography of Italian-Chinese Global Fashion, also published by Duke University Press.