Found in the web: Review by Barbara Mittler on “China’s New Voices”

Having started off another web browsing search for information on Chinese rock, I came across the Resource Pages of the Ohio State University. Kirk Denton of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures has not only collected numerous bibliographical references on Chinese rock, including Rock in China, but has also archived several reviews and articles on their webpage.

One of these articles is the review of Nimrod Baranovitch’s book “China’s New Voices: Popular Music,Ethnicity, Gender and Politics, 1978-1997”, released in 2003, and reviewed by Barbara Mittler, herself Professor of the Institute of Sinology at the University of Heidelberg, in 2004. I know Prof. Mittler from our cooperation on the Rock in China collection, which is going to be added to the university’s resource pool in near future.

With the words of Barbara Mittler:

This book is a must-read for anyone working in the field of Chinese cultural studies as well as for those specialized in Chinese political culture and Chinese contemporary history and society. The book provides an exciting and insightful account of the popular music scene in the last twenty years of the twentieth century, yet it does much more. By providing comparisons to many cultural and socio-political fields apart from popular music, Nimrod Baranovitch gives an accurate and useful overview of Chinese popular culture during this period. His book contains discussions ranging from Roots Literature (xiangtu wenxue) to fifth generation film, from Obscure Poetry (menglongshi) to cultural manifestations of Chinese nationalism. It also provides much food for thought on issues such as ethnicity, gender, and contemporary cultural politics, by regarding all of these through the prism of popular music that, as the author aptly puts it “both mirrors and shapes society and culture as they change” (3). As Cui Jian put it, “Music will never deceive you.” In spite of its obvious importance in people’s lives, however, music remains a marginal topic in the discipline of Chinese studies. By making the connections to other forms of popular culture explicit, the book confirms once more how important it is to break restrictive boundaries and to integrate the study of Chinese music into the study of Chinese culture and society in general. [Read more …]

We have added an article page about the review on our Rock in China wiki

— Azchael

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