Dr. Jin Liu’s recently published book is entitled Signifying the Local: Media Productions Rendered in Local Languages in Mainland China in the New Millennium (Brill, 2013). Dr. Liu teaches in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech, and is an associate of the China Research Center.
Signifying the Local examines contemporary cultural productions rendered in local languages and dialects (fangyan) in the fields of television, cinema, music, and literature in Mainland China. Despite the 2001 Chinese national language law that prescribes standard Putonghua Mandarin as the principal language for broadcast radio, television, and movies, the new millennium has witnessed an expanded use of local languages in mass media. This book addresses this unresolved tension and explores the rhetorical use of local language in different media and genres. This research provides an account of the ways in which local-language media have become a platform for the articulation of multivocal, complex, and marginal identities in post-socialist China. Viewed from the uniquely revealing perspective of local languages, the mediascape of China is no longer reducible to a unified, homogeneous, and coherent national culture, and thus renders any monolithic account of the Chinese language, Chineseness, and China impossible.
—An interdisciplinary research on contemporary Chinese popular culture and media culture from the perspective of language, sound, and music
—Comprehensive and extensively detailed, encompassing the production of film, television, music, and literature
— Including case studies such as the sitcoms I Love My Family and Native Husbands and Foreign Wives, dubbed versions of Tom and Jerry, Hangzhou TV’s Aliutou Talks News, Zhao Benshan’s comic sketches, Shanghai Rap, Jia Zhangke’s Hometown Trilogy, and Ning Hao’s Crazy Stone
—Covering musicians, directors, and writers such as Cui Jian, Ziyue, Hu Mage, Xue Cun, Jia Zhangke, Lu Chuan, Jiang Wen, Guan Hu, Feng Xiaogang, Joan Chen, Lü Yue, Dai Sijie, Zhang Wei, Yan Lianke, Mo Yan, and Jia Pingwa
—Contributing to the study of globalization, the study of comedy, and the study of audience