The Cult of Happiness: Nianhua, Art, and History in Rural North China by James A. FlathThe Cult of Happiness: Nianhua, Art, and History in Rural North China by James A. Flath

The Cult of Happiness: Nianhua, Art, and History in Rural North China

byJames A. Flath

Hardcover | March 15, 2004

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History and art come together in this definitive discussion of the Chinese woodblock print form of nianhua, literally “New Year pictures.” By analyzing the role of nianhua first in the home and later in commercial and political theatres, James Flath relates these artworks to the social, cultural, and political milieu of North China as it was between the late Qing dynasty and the early 1950s. Among the first studies in any field to treat folk art and folk print as historical text, The Cult of Happiness offers original insight into popular conceptions of domesticity, morality, gender, society, modernity, and the transformation of the genre as a propaganda tool under communism. An extraordinary account of the cultural life of rural North China over the period.
James A. Flath teaches in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario.
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Title:The Cult of Happiness: Nianhua, Art, and History in Rural North ChinaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.3 × 6.29 × 0.85 inPublished:March 15, 2004Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774810343

ISBN - 13:9780774810340

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 The Production of Print Culture in North China

2 Home and Domesticity

3 State and Society

4 Retelling History through the Narrative Print

5 Print and the Cosmopolitan Mystique

6 The Politics of the Popular

7 Exorcising Modernity

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

History and art come together in this definitive discussion of the Chinese woodblock print form of nianhua, literally “New Year pictures.” James Flath analyzes the role of nianhua in the home and later in the theatre and relates these artworks to the social, cultural, and political milieu of North China as it was between the late Qing dynasty and the early 1950s. Among the first studies in any field to treat folk art as historical text, this extraordinary account offers original insight into popular conceptions of domesticity, morality, gender, society, modernity, and the transformation of the genre as a propaganda tool under communism.A fascinating and ambitious interdisciplinary study of popular and print culture in 19th and 20th century China. The Cult of Happiness is a pioneering Western-language work. It is one of only a handful of books worldwide on this important topic. - Christopher A. Reed, author of Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876-1937