Cover to Cover: Editing, Authorship, and the Media Making of New Literature in Republican China, 1916 to 1937


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants


Modern Chinese Literature


This dissertation explores the hitherto unspecified role of editing in the modern reconstruction of textual authority and literary authorship. By examining the complex cultural enterprise of editing, I trace the rise of a flourishing design culture during the 1920s, when progressive reformists actively experimented with new media technologies in advancing their claims to literary modernity. Combining methods of social history, literary criticism, and media studies, my project will reconstruct the historical moment of rupture and recalibration of literary practice to argue that a critical reconfiguration of symbolic power took place amongst editors, authors, and publishers, and that literary authorship emerged by the mid-1930s as a dominant and highly marketable form of creative labor.