Title Information Fantasies
Subtitle Precarious Mediation in Postsocialist China
Author Xiao Liu
ISBN 9781517902742
List price GBP 23.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 328
Book size 140 x 216 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Minnesota Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Review of the book:

“Xiao Liu’s creative, erudite, and richly researched book entirely reconfigures our understanding of the media landscape in 1980s China. Her dense explorations of how new media emerged, coalesced, and interacted in this crucial period range over multiple formats—forgotten science fiction stories, neglected films, photographs, videotapes, computers, television and teletext, qigong, scientific journals, advertising, and cybernetic theories—to draw science and aesthetics into a charged and illuminating encounter. The result is unquestionably one of the most original works to appear in Chinese cultural studies since the millennium.”

Margaret Hillenbrand, University of Oxford




Although the scale of the information economy and the impact of digital media on social life in China today could pale that of any other country, the story of their emergence in the post-Mao sociopolitical environment remains untold. Information Fantasies offers a revisionist account of the emergence of the “information society,” arguing that it was not determined by the technology of digitization alone but developed out of a set of techno-cultural imaginations and practices that arrived alongside postsocialism.

Anticipating discussions on information surveillance, data collection, and precarious labor conditions today, Xiao Liu goes far beyond the current scholarship on internet and digital culture in China, questioning the limits of current new-media theory and history, while also salvaging postsocialism from the persistent Cold War structure of knowledge production.

Ranging over forgotten science fiction, unjustly neglected films, corporeal practices such as qigong, scientific journals, advertising, and cybernetic theories, Information Fantasies constructs an alternate genealogy of digital and information imaginaries—one that will change how we look at the development of the postsocialist world and the emergence of digital technologies.



Introduction: “Information Pot” and Postsocialist Politics of Mediation

Chapter 1. Extrasensory Powers, Magic Waves, and Information Explosion: Imagining the Digital

Chapter 2. The Curious Case of a Robot Doctor: Rethinking Labor, Expert Systems, and the Interface

Chapter 3. The “Ultrastable System” and the New Cinema

Chapter 4. Affective Form: Advertising, Information Aesthetics, and Experimental Writing in the Market Economy

Chapter 5. Liminal Mediation and the Cinema Redefined

Epilogue: The Virtual Past(s) of the Future(s)




About the Author:

Xiao Liu is assistant professor of East Asian studies at McGill University.

Target Audience:

People interested in the emergence of the “information society” and the emergence of digital technologies in china’s culture studies.


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