Dr. He Publishes Book Exploring Lives of Artists and Storytellers Under the Chinese Communist Party

September 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Dr. Qiliang He, assistant professor of history, published Gilded Voices: Economics, Politics, and Storytelling in the Yangzi Delta since 1949 in July 2012. In this book, Dr. He pieces together published, archival, and oral history sources to explore the role of the cultural market in mediating between the state and artists in the PRC era. By focusing on pingtan, a storytelling art using the Suzhou dialect, the book documents both the state’s efforts to police artists and their repertoire and storytellers’ collaboration with, as well as resistance to, state supervision and intervention. The book thereby challenges long-held scholarly assumptions about the Chinese Communist Party’s success in politicizing popular culture, patronizing artists, abolishing the cultural market, and enforcing rigid censorship in Mao’s times. The book was published by the academic publisher, Brill, and more details are available on the publisher’s web site.