Dai Jinhua

b. 1959, Beijing
Film and culture critic
Dai Jinhua is a leading Marxist feminist scholar of Chinese literature, film and popular culture. She graduated from Peking University in 1982 and has since taught at the Beijing Film Academy and Peking University. Dai Jinhua’s research and writing is informed by various Western theories of literature and culture. During the 1980s, while teaching at the Beijing Film Academy, she was the first to study Western literary theory, structuralism and feminism in particular, and apply them to her analysis of Chinese cinema. This made her a pioneer in both feminist and film studies. In addition to setting up the first countrywide major in film theory in 1986, she was also instrumental in the establishment of various research institutes for popular and comparative culture.
Prompted by the widespread social and cultural changes during the 1990s, Dai increasingly focused her research on issues of popular culture. Her representative writings address such topics as cultural research and criticism, feminism, urban culture, modernity, Orientalism, popular and independent film, the role of television and advertising, the representation of the Chinese Diaspora, and cultural implications of consumerism, capitalism and globalization. Her innovative experiments with different critical approaches and the feminist perspective with which she re-examined dominant theories of literature, film and popular culture, introduced a new way of critical analysis far beyond her field in China. The development of her own dynamic cultural critique also addressed a growing audience in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the West.
See also: film criticism
Dai, Jinhua (1995). ‘Invisible Women: Contemporary Chinese Cinema and Women’s Film’. positions: east asia cultures critique 3.1 (Winter): 255–80.
——(1996). ‘Redemption and Consumption: Depicting Culture in the 1990s’. positions: east asia cultures critique 4. 1 (Spring): 127–43.
——(1999). ‘Invisible Writing: The Politics of Chinese Mass Culture in the 1990s’. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 11.1 (Spring): 31–60.
Wang, J. and Barlow, T. (eds) (2001). Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua. Verso Press. [Reviewed by Gina Marchetti (2003). ‘Chinese Feminist Film Criticism’. Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 46 (Summer).]
BIRGIT LINDER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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