Fiery Cinema: The Emergence Of An Affective Medium In China, 1915-1945 by Weihong BaoFiery Cinema: The Emergence Of An Affective Medium In China, 1915-1945 by Weihong Bao

Fiery Cinema: The Emergence Of An Affective Medium In China, 1915-1945

byWeihong Bao

Paperback | March 15, 2015

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What was cinema in modern China? It was, this book tells us, a dynamic entity, not strictly tied to one media technology, one mode of operation, or one system of aesthetic code. It was, in Weihong Bao’s term, an affective medium, a distinct notion of the medium as mediating environment with the power to stir passions, frame perception, and mold experience. In Fiery Cinema, Bao traces the permutations of this affective medium from the early through the mid-twentieth century, exploring its role in aesthetics, politics, and social institutions.

Mapping the changing identity of cinema in China in relation to Republican-era print media, theatrical performance, radio broadcasting, television, and architecture, Bao has created an archaeology of Chinese media culture. Within this context, she grounds the question of spectatorial affect and media technology in China’s experience of mechanized warfare, colonial modernity, and the shaping of the public into consumers, national citizens, and a revolutionary collective subject. Carrying on a close conversation with transnational media theory and history, she teases out the tension and affinity between vernacular, political modernist, and propagandistic articulations of mass culture in China’s varied participation in modernity.

Fiery Cinema advances a radical rethinking of affect and medium as a key insight into the relationship of cinema to the public sphere and the making of the masses. By centering media politics in her inquiry of the forgotten future of cinema, Bao makes a major intervention into the theory and history of media.

Weihong Bao is assistant professor of film and media and Chinese studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Title:Fiery Cinema: The Emergence Of An Affective Medium In China, 1915-1945Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.3 inPublished:March 15, 2015Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816681341

ISBN - 13:9780816681341


Table of Contents


Part I. Resonance
1. Fiery Action: Toward an Aesthetics of New Heroism
2. A Culture of Resonance: Hypnotism, Wireless Cinema, and the Invention of Intermedial Spectatorship
Part II. Transparency
3. Dances of Fire: Mediating Affective Immediacy
4. Transparent Shanghai: Cinema, Architecture, and a Left-Wing Culture of Glass
Part III. Agitation
5. “A Vibrating Art in the Air”: The Infinite Cinema and the Media Ensemble of Propaganda
6. Baptism by Fire: Atmospheric War, Agitation, and a Tale of Three Cities

Editorial Reviews

"A deeply ambitious, richly detailed book,  Fiery Cinema. . . is a landmark study for understanding Chinese cinema. . . Essential."—CHOICE"Fiery Cinema demands multiple encounters and readings, and its insights will reverberate in the field of Chinese film and media studies for years to come."—Modern Chinese Literature and Culture"Bao’s thinking is characterized by a peripatetic vitality that ceaselessly draws surprising and persuasive connections between seemingly unlikely but always conceptually illuminating terms and contexts."—452°F"Fiery Cinema is a diligently researched and persuasively argued monograph that fundamentally changes the paradigm of the studies of Chinese cinema and media. . . undoubtedly one of the most important books published on Chinese cinema and media in recent years."—China Quarterly"Fiery Cinema is undoubtedly a groundbreaking work in Chinese cinema and media studies in recent years. With extremely rich archival materials and compelling arguments driven by self-conscious theoretical explorations, the book is a must read for scholars and students interested in Chinese cinema, film and media theory, and political theory in general."—Frontiers of Literary Studies in China"Weihong Bao’s Fiery Cinema stands as an impressive study that is destined to become required reading for scholars working in the fields of film and media studies and modern Chinese cultural studies. In a sea of formulaic academic monographs this is one of those rare books that changes the formula and breaks the mold."—Pacific Affairs"Weihong Bao’s Fiery Cinema offers an account of the cinema as a medium of energy and action, incendiary light and political protest"—Critical Inquiry"This book makes an important contribution not only to the history of early Chinese cinema, but also to our appreciation of the role of cinema in defining modernity."—China Review International