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Title: Spectacular Death: Sheng Xuanhuai's Funeral Procession in 1917
Authors: Prof. HE Qiliang 
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Twentieth-Century China, April 2016, vol. 41 (2), pp. 135-68
Journal: Twentieth-Century China 
Abstract: This article focuses on the extravagant funeral procession of Sheng Xuanhuai (1844–1916) in November 1917. This mile-long procession attracted over a million spectators and, thereby, lent the residents and sojourners in Shanghai of the day a unique visual sensibility of the modern urban milieu. Various parties to the funeral procession—namely the colonial authorities, the bereaved family, businessmen, and lower-class spectators—developed various tactics to manipulate the spectacle of the procession for political control, commercial gains, and visual pleasure. The author argues that the spectacularization of daily life, as exemplified by the 1917 funeral procession, and a collective will to look and to be looked at in early twentieth-century China, contributed to binding together otherwise segregated people, thus restructuring interpersonal relationships in the modernized city of Shanghai.
Type: Peer Reviewed Journal Article
DOI: 10.1080/15215385.2016.1155286
Appears in Collections:History - Publication

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