Transforming Book Culture in China, 1600-2014


Transforming Book Culture in China, 1600-2014


15 September 2014

FINAL PAPERS DUE for publication in Kodex 2016

28 February 2016

We invite the submission of paper proposals (400 words max.) on the topic of Transforming Book Culture in China, 1600-2014 for publication in Kodex 2016 (The Yearbook of the International Society for Book Studies (IBG), edited by Christine Haug and Vincent Kaufmann, Harrassowitz Publishing House, Wiesbaden. Daria Berg will guest edit the Kodex 2016 issue).

The aim of this volume is to bring together up-to-date research exploring the latest trends in China’s book, literary, print and Internet culture to shed new light on the transformation of book culture and the publishing industry in China. While the main focus shall be on reform-era and postsocialist China (1979-present), the volume also invites contributions dealing with the late Ming, Qing, Republican and Mao periods, spanning the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. The volume aims to provide a sense of the historical continuities as well as the more obvious discontinuities characterising this period to show how China’s book and literary culture have developed in print media and on the Internet.

China’s market reforms since 1979, its consumer revolution and the digital revolution have contributed to a rapid transformation of China’s print culture. Twenty-first century China’s print culture appears characterised by radical decentralisation, innovation especially in digital publishing, and a burst of creativity. The privatisation and commercialisation of the publishing industry have terminated the state monopoly on print culture. Yet publishing still needs to negotiate the area of tension between state censorship and market demands. The Internet has broken the blockade imposed on state media while the government pays a heavy political prize for censorship (Zheng 2005). The digital media have opened new avenues for publishing, presenting a new public sphere in postsocialist China while changing the dynamics of the book market and publishing industry.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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