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Lu, Xiaoning (2015) 'Villain Stardom in Socialist China: Chen Qiang and the Cultural Politics of Affect.' Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 9 (3). pp. 223-238.

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Despite playing various kinds of roles across genres from 1949 to 1965, Chen Qiang acquired stardom mainly due to his remarkable screen performance as villainous landlords in socialist China. His villain stardom is an aberrant case, compared to the majority of film stars in Chinese socialist cinema who encouraged identification and emulation and helped propagate socialist ideology to reform Chinese citizens. Paying special attention to socio-historically specific film exhibition practices and the actor's own reflections on his villain performance, this article argues that Chen's stardom functioned as an important affective technology within a wider and complex Communist propaganda enterprise in that it helped cultivate class hatred necessary for the Communist revolution and socialist land reform campaigns. Through this case study, the article suggests that close engagement with both cultural–historical specificities of cinema and recent critical theories of affect open up a space for researching the diversified star phenomena in contemporary China.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
ISSN: 17508061
Copyright Statement: ©2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Chinese Cinemas on 28 May 2015, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 08:55

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