Calvin Hui F'19

Calvin  Hui
Assistant Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures
College of William & Mary

ACLS Fellowship Program 2019
Assistant Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures
College of William & Mary
Useless: Fashion, Media, and Consumer Culture in Contemporary China

This book manuscript draws on film and fashion to track the emergence of consumer culture in China’s encounter with global capitalism. The first part stages an analysis of a commodity chain of fashion involving production, consumption, and disposal. The second part focuses on the representations of fashion and consumption in Chinese cinema in the 1960s (the socialist period), the 1980s (the economic reforms period), and the 2000s (the globalization period). Such portrayals help decipher the symptoms of otherwise imperceptible contradictions of contemporary China. The third part discusses labor and waste as the repressed undersides of consumption. This research demonstrates the relevance of cultural studies, western Marxism, and post-structuralist theory in investigating Chinese visual cultures.