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  • Red Culture

    Séagh Kehoe, Gerda Wielander

    Chapter from the book: Kehoe S. & Wielander G. 2022. Cultural China 2021: The Contemporary China Centre Review.


    This chapter considers the production, afterlives and pedagogical values of propaganda posters, books and other forms of material culture from the Mao era and early reform years. Using a recipe book for train staff published in 1978, Howlett explores how material culture provides as an entryway to explore the history of the short-lived Hua Guofeng era (1976-1978). Focusing on book covers after the founding of the PRC, Matten discusses the significance of graphic design and aesthetics, and how they might offer new insights in cultural life, especially for the 1960s and 1970s. Steven F. Jackson explores some of the core ideas that emerge across the University of Westminster’s China Visual Arts Project’s propaganda poster collection and reflects on their pedagogical value in the classroom. Ruichen Zhang looks at how propaganda posters from the Mao era have been variously repackaged as memes across Chinese social media in a wide range of contexts, with a particular focus on the Covid era.

    Chapter Contents:

    6.1 Recipes for Reform: Smashing the Gang of Four in the Dining Carriage Under Chairman Hua Guofeng
    Jon Howlett
    6.2 The Art of the Propagandist: Visual Approaches to Understanding Revolutionary China
    Steven F. Jackson
    6.3 At First Sight – Book Covers of the Mao Era
    Marc Matten
    6.4 From Propaganda Posters to Covid Memes: Repackaging Chinese Posters in the Digital Age
    Ruichen Zhang

    Chapter Metrics:

    How to cite this chapter
    Kehoe S. & Wielander G. 2022. Red Culture. In: Kehoe S. & Wielander G (eds.), Cultural China 2021. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book69.g

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Dec. 15, 2022