History in Images: Pictures and Public Space in Modern China

Book Cover


Henriot, Christian and Wen-hsin Yeh, eds.
China Research Monograph 66
2012. 277 pp.
ISBNs 978-1-55729-101-1 and 1-55729-101-2

"This is an extremely interesting and useful collection of essays presenting totally new interpretations of images in photography and cinema in twentiethcentury China. Essays herein demonstrate how, with proper analysis, significant information about material culture can be obtained from visual images. These essays in particular validate the notion that visual images are discrete sources of information and should not be relegated to mere illustrations to a written text."
              —Ellen Johnston Laing, University of Michigan

"As I read the manuscript, I thought, 'If a picture is worth a thousands words, these words about pictures are also highly illuminating. Bringing attention to the visual within history and as a means of thinking about history adds a fresh and artful dimension to the study of Republican China.' Indeed, there is much to learn and to think with in the chapters that make up this volume."
              —Timothy B. Weston, University of Colorado at Boulder

"This volume raises an important question that has not been addressed systematically by scholars: how can historians utilize more productively visual images produced through modern technologies, specifically, photographs and movies? Many chapters in this volume make laudable efforts to examine the nature of such materials and their benefits and limitations for historical research; their reflections on the methodologies historians can adopt to utilize such materials will be helpful to many in the field."
              —Madeleine Yue Dong, University of Washington


1. Introduction – 1
Christian Henriot and Wen-hsin Yeh

2. Wartime Shanghai Refugees: Chaos, Exclusion, and Indignity. Do Images Make up for the Absence of Memory? – 12
Christian Henriot

3. Sha Fei, the Jin-Cha-Ji Pictorial, and the Documentary Style of Chinese Wartime Photojournalism – 55
Shana J. Brown

4. China, a Man in the Guise of an Upright Female: Photography, the Art of the Hands, and Mei Lanfang's 1930 Visit to the United States – 81
Catherine Yeh

5. The Sound of Images: Peddlers’ Calls and Tunes in Republican Peking – 111
Feng Yi

6. Never-Ending Controversies: The Case of Chun jiang yi hen and Occupation-Era Chinese Filmmaking – 143
Paul G. Pickowicz

7. "The Enemy Is Coming": The 28 January 1932 Attack on Shanghai in Chinese Cinema – 163
Anne Kerlan

8. Two Stars on the Silver Screen: The Metafilm as Chinese Modern – 191
Kristine Harris

9. Alternative History, Alternative Memory: Cinematic Representation of the Three Gorges in the Shadow of the Dam – 245
Sheldon H. Lu

Index – 259

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