A photo of Professor Dai Jinhua. She is facing the camera and is wearing glasses.

March 13, 2019 — Dai Jinhua: “The Specter of Post-Revolution”

In this talk, Professor Dai Jinhua addresses the challenges for theorists and activists alike in these post-revolutionary times.  She begins by analyzing the terms “post-revolution” and “specter.” She argues that the “post” in post-revolution does not indicate the end of revolution. Rather, it points to the past and future of revolution and the ways that memories and imaginations of revolution still persist in various forms and haunt the present.  If we refuse the verdict that the revolution is over, if we refuse cynicism and the idea that there is no alternative outside of global capitalism, then how should we proceed?

Professor Dai answers this question by way of considering the novel cultural productions at the intersection of new technologies and new forms of media. She discusses three cultural sequences across different genres and media, such as internet novels, television dramas, films, and internet dramas derived from popular publications.  These cultural series include 1)ancient historical costume dramas; 2) contemporary reconstructions of the monkey king Sun Wukong; and 3) danmei internet novels (novels that narrate intimate romantic relationships between men and whose main readership is almost exclusively women).

In this new context of cultural production, we must reconsider our most basic concepts, such as “the author,” “to write,” “to create,” “originality,” and “ideology.”  In examining these cultural productions, Professor Dai highlights the different approaches to history and the differences in popular consciousness between the revolutionary generation (her own) and the post-revolutionary generation.

Dai Jinhua is an internationally well-known feminist Marxist critic. She is a Professor in the Institute of Comparative Literature and Culture and director of the Center for Film and Cultural Studies, Peking University. Her research interests include popular culture, film studies, and gender studies.


March 13, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Free and open to the public


Humanities Building 1, Room 210
University of California, Santa Cruz

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Emerging Worlds

Posted in Cultural Studies Events.