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Dai Jinhua: Seminar on Still Life, directed by Jia Zhangke

April 22, 2014 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 202


Dai Jinhua at UCSC April 18-April 24


We are pleased to announce the visit of Beijing University Professor Dai Jinhua, who will be on campus for a series of events, detailed below. Professor Dai is one of China’s foremost cultural critics, and her writing on cinema, feminism, Marxism, revolutionary movements of the sixties, class, and intellectual politics have been enormously influential in China and internationally. Self-described as a communist, a feminist, and an internationalist, she provides original critical perspectives on current configurations of contemporary capitalism–in the cultural, gender, political, social, and economic spheres–and its possible alternatives. Her work has been translated into many languages, and has been published in journals such as Positions, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Social Text. An English translation of an essay collection–Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua–was published in 2002 at Verso. A second collection of translated essays is in preparation.

Seminar Readings (English)Seminar Readings (Chinese)


I. Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism Conference, April 18 and 19
Professor Dai is a panelist on “China and the Future of Global Capitalism”, Friday April 18, 2:30 to 5:00 PM, and is also a panelist on the closing roundtable discussion, “Ending Capitalism: Speculations and Prospects”, Saturday April 19, 3:45-6:00 PM.

II. Public screening of Still Life
Monday, April 21, at 7PM, in Humanities I, room 210.
There will be no lecture/discussion at the screening. All are welcome.

III. Seminar on Still Life, directed by Jia Zhangke.
Tuesday, April 22, 4:00-6:00 PM, Humanities I, room 202. Refreshments will be served.
Still Life is one of the most important films to come out of China in years, and Professor Dai’s analysis treats recent mutations in subjectivity, spatiality, and socio-economic change, both in the Chinese context and in relation to international cinema. Prior to the seminar, participants should view Still Life and read Professor Dai’s essay, “Temporality, Nature Morte, and the Filmmaker: A Reconsideration of Still Life“, either in the original Chinese or in English translation.

IV. Lecture: After the Post-Cold War
Thursday, April 24, 4:00PM, Humanities I, room 210.
Where in time is China, now that the Cold War is over and China seems to have joined a unified “world history”? How does China stand in relation to possible futures, including a post-capitalist future? What place does the legacy of the Chinese revolution have in these figurations and imaginings? Dai Jinhua’s analysis makes clear that the question of the future of China is a central question for all of our futures.

Professor Dai’s visit is made possible primarily by funds from the Siegfried B. and Elisabeth M. Puknat Literary Studies Endowment , the Department of Literature, and the IHR. Additional support comes from the Departments of Anthropology and History. Principle Organizers: Christopher Connery, Literature; Lisa Rofel, Anthropology; Gail Hershatter, History, Asad Haider, History of Consciousness.


April 22, 2014
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm