• Review of Margaret Hillenbrand. Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China. Chinese Literature Today 9.2 (2020): 89-90

    Author(s):
    Alexa Alice Joubin (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    GS Drama and Performance, LLC East Asian, LLC Modern and Contemporary Chinese, MS Screen Arts and Culture
    Subject(s):
    Censorship, China, Fiction
    Item Type:
    Book review
    Tag(s):
    massacre, Visual culture, Public humanities
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/gmfr-3x67
    Abstract:
    Western observers often attribute Chinese suppression of undesirable information to state crackdowns on dissidents, pervasive censorship apparatus, and even self-censorship. For contemporary Chinese citizens under a certain age, Tiananmen Square protests allegedly did not happen. The PRC leadership’s private lives are shrouded in secrecies, mythologizing their larger-than-life images. The Cultural Revolution and the Nanjing Massacre are re-membered only in grand, jingoistic narratives endorsed by the state. In this thought-provocative book on photography, Margaret Hillenbrand argues that “public secrecy”—collective knowledge of what not to know—is a more powerful force than censorship. Public secrecy structures and sustains permissible histories of China. The paradox here lies in the shared nature of this knowledge. It is widely known—but not spoken of—among contemporary Chinese that these versions of China’s recent history are distorted—in the form of “public secrecy” (7), and that knowledge is important for survival.
    Notes:
    https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/uclt20/current?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-aGCBhCwARIsAHDl5x9c1fI2Vr60xDXKza7E_pyDP3_mkMVo04yNnYdAp2i90o2rC58Dr3oaAkWiEALw_wcB
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book review    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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