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Red Legacies in China

Red Legacies in China

Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution

Edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang

ISBN 9780674737181

Publication date: 04/25/2016

What has contemporary China inherited from its revolutionary past? How do the realities and memories, aesthetics and practices of the Mao era still reverberate in the post-Mao cultural landscape? The essays in this volume propose red legacies as a new critical framework from which to examine the profusion of cultural productions and afterlives of the communist revolution in order to understand China’s continuities and transformations from socialism to postsocialism. Organized into five parts—red foundations, red icons, red classics, red bodies, and red shadows—the book’s interdisciplinary contributions focus on visual and performing arts, literature and film, language and thought, architecture, museums, and memorials. Mediating at once unfulfilled ideals and unmourned ghosts across generations, red cultural legacies suggest both inheritance and debt, and can be mobilized to support as well as to critique the status quo.


  • Jie Li is Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.
  • Enhua Zhang is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Book Details

  • 424 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Asia Center