Utopia and Modernity in China: Contradictions in Transition
Sat, June 4 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM$3.00 – $11.00
A presentation and discussion with editors David Margolies and Qing Cao
Exploring the conflict between China’s rapid modernization and the west, as well as its own traditional values
The contradictions of modernization run through the whole of modern Chinese history. The abundance of manufactured goods being sold in the west attests to China’s industrial revolution, but this capitalist vision of ‘utopia’ sits uneasily with traditional Chinese values. It is also in conflict with the socialism that has been the bedrock of Chinese society since the foundation of the People’s Republic in 1949. Utopia and Modernity in China examines the conflicts inherent in China’s attempt to achieve a ‘utopia’ by advancing production and technology. Through the lenses of literature, arts, law, the press and the environment, the contributors interrogate the contradictions of modernization in Chinese society and its fundamental challenges.
By unpicking both China’s vision of utopia and its realities and the increasing tension between traditional Chinese values and those of the west, this book offers a unique insight into the cultural forces that are part of reshaping today’s China.
“For a China mired in the past, even by language, to imagine a utopia of a modern future took major reinventions of thought, expression and outlook. This extremely difficult process, unappreciated in the West but probably unparalleled in modern history, is superbly charted in this important collection”
— Stephen Chan OBE, Professor of World Politics, SOAS University of London
David Margolies is Emeritus Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Irrational Endings: The Problem Plays, and edited Culture as Politics: Selected Writings of Christopher Caudwell.
Qing Cao is Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Durham. He is the author of China under Western Gaze, and co-editor of Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China and Brand China in the Media.