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Maoist Model Theatre: The Semiotics of Gender and Sexuality in the Chinese…

by Rosemary A. Roberts

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Here is a convincing reflection that changes our understanding of gender in Maoist culture, esp. for what critics from the 1990s onwards have termed its 'erasure' of gender and sexuality. In particular the strong heroines of the yangbanxi, or 'model works' which dominated the Cultural Revolution period, have been seen as genderless revolutionaries whose images were damaging to women. Drawing on contemporary theories ranging from literary and cultural studies to sociology, this book challenges that established view through detailed semiotic analysis of theatrical systems of the yangbanxi including costume, props, kinesics, and various audio and linguistic systems. Acknowledging the complex interplay of traditional, modern, Chinese and foreign gender ideologies as manifest in the 'model works', it fundamentally changes our insights into gender in Maoist culture.… (more)
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China (1) cinema (1) film (1) theatre (2)

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Here is a convincing reflection that changes our understanding of gender in Maoist culture, esp. for what critics from the 1990s onwards have termed its 'erasure' of gender and sexuality. In particular the strong heroines of the yangbanxi, or 'model works' which dominated the Cultural Revolution period, have been seen as genderless revolutionaries whose images were damaging to women. Drawing on contemporary theories ranging from literary and cultural studies to sociology, this book challenges that established view through detailed semiotic analysis of theatrical systems of the yangbanxi including costume, props, kinesics, and various audio and linguistic systems. Acknowledging the complex interplay of traditional, modern, Chinese and foreign gender ideologies as manifest in the 'model works', it fundamentally changes our insights into gender in Maoist culture.

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