Movies in Motion: Non-Standard Film Exhibition and Spectatorship in China, 1940s-1980s


ACLS Fellowship Program


Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project explores film culture in mainland China from the 1940s through the 1980s, especially conditions of film distribution and exhibition and how the experience of spectatorship follows from those conditions. The project focuses on the non-standard practice of showing and seeing films via mobile projection teams rather than fixed indoor movie theaters. By studying the interaction between the peculiar context of those non-standard practices and the texts of the individual films themselves, this project proposes 1) new ways of understanding Chinese culture and society from the 1940s through the 1980s; and 2) new ways of conceptualizing film spectatorship, even beyond China.