Reading for Pleasure: Chinese Popular Literature and the Cold War

Collaborative Group

Professor Shuang Shen


Comparative Literature and Asian Studies


State College, PA


Reading and discussing Chinese-language popular literature published and circulated in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s, we explore the mass appeal of these texts in different Chinese societies and the complex processes by which popular literature disseminated political and ideological messages, cultivated desire for and mediated connections with the other side of the Cold War binary. We will also investigate different conceptualizations of the “popular” across the Cold War divide and study the circulation routes and industrial structures of popular literary production.