Remembrance and Rumination: The 1.5 Generation of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Author: 

Yuhan Huang

PhD defended at: 

Purdue University

Summary: 

Remembrance and Rumination probes how public discourses about Chinese socialist memory change over time, particularly how popular and artistic representations of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) evolve and serve as sites of continuous contest and negotiation in which cultural memories of the recent past are re-interpreted and re-configured. In exploring this issue, this study focuses on the works by writers, filmmakers, and artists of the 1.5 Generation of the Cultural Revolution, namely, those who grew up during and after the tumultuous decade but were too young to participate in the political campaigns or to understand the events taken place during the decade. The study establishes memory as a discursive space for contest and change as well as a process of recollection and rumination. This dissertation complements existing scholarship on memories and afterlives of the Cultural Revolution in two ways. Firstly, through rigorous textual analysis and close-reading of the highly-constructed narratives on memory and history, it provides fresh readings of selected works and broadens the understanding of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Secondly, it offers an interdisciplinary perspective to understand the 1.5 Generation of writers, filmmakers, and artists as a distinctive cohort.

Defended: 

2018