China Review International: Vol. 16, No. 3, 2009 Alexander Des Forges. Mediasphere Shanghai: The Aesthetics of Cultural Production. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2007. xi, 278 pp. Hardcover $57.00, isbn 978-0-8248-3081-6. Alexander Des Forges's Mediasphere Shanghai offers a dense and highly engaging study of cultural production from and about Shanghai of the late Qing dynasty and the Republican period. Des Forges concerns himself with the question of how Shanghai came to be associated with the multitude of images that the name of the city has evoked, and still evokes, in China and abroad. Drawing on a variety of textual and visual sources, Des Forges focuses in particular on the genre of Shanghai installment fiction from the 1890s to the 1930s. Central to Des Forges's inquiry into the various cultural products through which Shanghai has come to manifest itself and which simultaneously have shaped the way the city is perceived is the idea of the mediasphere, a complex interplay of various social, cultural, and industrial agents that forms the conceptual framework against which the seven chapters of his study are arranged. His concept of mediasphere, the theoretical framework of which Des Forges borrows from the work of Régis Debray,
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 6, 2009
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