China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
The Chinese government is updating its propaganda strategies to promote patriotism in the era of rapid commercialization. By analyzing patriotic messages in contemporary Chinese literature, films, TV dramas, documentaries and animation, this panel explores a new kind of Chinese nationalism which blurs the boundary between state-sponsored narratives and popular narratives. It examines how the CCP fosters patriotic sentiment through mass media and how patriotism is consumed in popular culture.
Focusing on contemporary military blockbuster films such as Wolf Warrior 2 (2017), Katherine Chu demonstrates how these films create a new space for constructing national identity in China. Lien Fan Shen examines the state-sponsored animated series Year Hare Affair (2015-2017), and argues that by adopting Japanese kawaii culture, this series simultaneously promotes Chinese nationalism and deconstructs the official narratives of Chinese history. Gotelind Mueller-Saini analyses the popular documentary series The Rise of the Great Powers (2006) and demonstrates how documentary as a specific genre is exploited to generate patriotic emotion. Through examining the contemporary revisions and adaptations of the red classic novel Red Crag, Xian Wang argues that the representations of female revolutionaries changed from a tendency towards desexualization to oversexualization for the sake of promoting patriotism.
This panel contributes to expanding the understanding of Chinese patriotism, which encompasses state-sponsored nationalism, commercial interests and entertainment. Through examining the interplay between the state, market and audience, we argue that the CCP attempts to deliver political messages through depoliticized products, showing how the cultural and political boundaries have been redrawn in contemporary China.