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Talk: Listening to Late Mao China - Auditory Culture and Daily Practice in 1970s Chinese Cities
Date: 5 November 2010 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures’ Modern China Studies Programme has the pleasure of inviting you to the following talk:

Listening to Late Mao China: Auditory Culture and Daily Practice in 1970s Chinese Cities

Dr. Nicole Huang
Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date: November 5, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Venue: Convocation Room, Room 218, Main Building
Language: English

In the 1970s, the cinematic soundtracks of a handful of films, including model opera films and feature films, were edited specifically for the purpose of radio broadcasting. Coined as “edited film recording,” this made‐for‐radio sonic compilation would retain much of the music and dialogues straight from the original track, complemented by a voice‐over narrator that explains backgrounds, settings, and connections between different scenes. Film literacy could be achieved without an actual access to the film products themselves. The hybridity of the genre created an illusion of more and equal access to the symbolic order of a socialist visual culture. Together with serialized radio novels and radio plays, these edited film recordings were among the most popular forms of mass entertainment throughout the 1970s. The talk will attempt to highlight the sounds behind the images and call into question the sensory predominance of the visual over the aural in our current scholarly paradigms.

About the speaker:
Nicole Huang is Associate Professor of twentieth-century Chinese literature and visual culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has served as Director of the University’s Center for East Asian Studies since 2008. She received a B.A. In Chinese literature from Beijing University and a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literature from UCLA. She is the author of Women, War, Domesticity: Shanghai Literature and Popular Culture of the 1940s (2005) and co-editor of Written on Water: A Collection of Essays by Eileen Chang (2005). Currently, she is working on two related book projects on late Mao China, one on a culture of listening, and the other on the social use of photography.

All are welcome. No registration required.

For enquiries, please contact Prof. Louise Edwards via email at

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