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Title: From Wu Xun to Lu Xun: Film, Stardom, and Subjectivity in Mao’s China (1949–1976)
Authors: Prof. HE Qiliang 
Wang, Meng 
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Modern China, 2022, vol. 48(3), pp. 650–675.
Journal: Modern China 
Abstract: This article focuses on Zhao Dan’s (1915–1980) career in film after 1949 to investigate a specific type of stardom unique to Mao Zedong’s China (1949–1976). We argue that this new stardom was similar to what conventionally defines stardom, but with an added political dimension: Zhao Dan’s acquisition of high political standing in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). To arrive at a fuller understanding of the state–artist relationship in the PRC, this article challenges the paradigm of accommodation and resistance between the tyrannical state and subordinated artists, which presupposes a subjectivity or selfhood on the part of artists that pre-existed and was maintained against the intrusive hegemonic ideologies of the state. Instead, we underscore that the making of Zhao Dan’s subjectivity in the PRC—his subjectivity-in-stardom in this case—was a dynamic process, a “becoming.” Zhao Dan’s checkered career indicates that he not only acclimated himself to the ever-changing political atmosphere of Mao-era China but also sought to benefit from it.
Type: Peer Reviewed Journal Article
DOI: 10.1177/00977004211002752
Appears in Collections:History - Publication

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