Postmodern Theories and Texts

  • What is postmodernism? 
  • Examples for discussion 
  • Why do we want to study it here? 
    Go to a Chinese Introduction
    I. A Distinction of the terms: Postmodernism and Postmodernity

    Generally, Postmodernity refers to the socio-political conditions of postwar/contemporary period ("new forms of social, political and economic arrangement; new mode of thinking" Connor) and postmodernism refers to the cultures produced under those conditions.  Just as the two terms are controversial and variously defined, the relations between the two also vary from one cultural field (e.g. music industry and literature) to another (See examples of definitions).

    II. General Characteristics of Postmodernism

    III. Different Stages and Different Fields

    (H. Bertens  on postmodernisms from his "Introduction")

    (S. Connor) IV. The Postmodern Debate
    Events related to Chinese/Taiwanese Modernity and Postmodernit: An Unfinished Chronicle
    What makes Taiwan's postmodernism different from the U.S.'s? China/Taiwan's "modernization": interrupted by wars and dominated by the issues of national movements (even till now).
    U.S. and the World
    1914 -
    1st World War
    Rep. of China  
    May 4 movement--Anti-Tradition
    the civil wars 
    Japanese occupation
    2nd World War
    1945--the explosion of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima in Japan
    the 50's
  • U.S. 50's--postwar prosperity and conservatism; the US as the world power

  • 1960 The U.S. GNP 33% of the world's, and Japan, 3%
    1949 KMT came to Taiwan
    1950 Martial Law
    1955 American Army in Taiwan.
    American Force Network Taiwan 美軍電台 (re-named International Community Radio Taipei in 1979--ICRT) 
  • the cold war between the U.S. and Russia
  • fear of nuclear annihilation culminating in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962
    Taiwanese Modernization and Postmodernization
     U.S. U.S.
    Taiwan: National Events
    Cultural Events
    the 60's 
    idealism and various kinds of rebellion
    the 70's 
    70's and 80's--gradual return to conservatism  
     --the rise of minorities' voices 
  • -the civil rights movement
  • the assassination of JFK (Nov, 1963)
  • The Feminist Mystique 1963
  • 360s computer (3rd generation computer) by IBM 1965
  • the assassination of Robert K. and Martin Luther King(1968)

  • Vietnam war (1965-1975?)  
  • the killing of four students by the National Guard at Kent State Univ. (1970)
  • the resignation of Nixon (1974) 

    1960 橫貫公路通車
    1963  工業生產總額超過農業
    1964  The first highway (北基)

    1971  退出聯合國;釣魚台事件
    1973  Ten Major Constructions

      I. Western (U.S.) popular music 
    • 1965 Two radio programs:  

    • Popular Music 熱門音樂Songs of Youth青春之歌 
      • Dominant: Shanghaiese songs in the 50's, and Taiwanese love songs since mid 60's  
      • Subculture:Japanese_Taiwanese songs since 50's,
      • 1962 Emerging: Taiwan TV company 
      • 1963  瓊瑤《窗外》

      II. Literary movements 
    • 1953 Modern Poetry Club現代詩社; 
    • 1960 Modern Literature magazine 現代文學雜誌;
    • 1964 吳濁流 Wu Chuo-liou's Taiwanese Literature magazine, 台灣文藝 
    • 1970's realist/nativist novels鄉土文學

    •  1975  Yang Hsuan: Modern Chinese Folksong Concert, making songs with the poet Yu Kwang-chung's poems as lyrics(楊弦中國現代民歌)
    • 1976 Li Shuang-tse's question, "Where are our songs?" in Western Folksong Concert in Tamkang Univ.
    • 1976 Folk painter Hong Tong's 1st exhibit  洪通
    • 1975 Photocopying machine started to be popular.
    1975  The Fall of Saigon President Chiang Kai-shek died
    Twelve Major Constructions started.  12大建設
    • The debate on "Native Taiwanese Literature" 鄉土文學論戰
  • The U.S. government established diplomatic relationship with mainland China
  • 1st test-tube baby
  • economic growth rate 14%; Export growth rate 35.7%
  • Chiang Ching-huo elected president.
    • Separated monthly and yearly top-10 charts for Taiwanese song from those of Western pop music in radio program "Popular Music" (熱門音樂) 
    • Folk Wind album (1978-1981)民謠風
  • 7-eleven introduced to Taiwan.
  • Beautiful Island Event.美麗島事件
  • The U.S./ Taiwan broke diplomatic relationship.
    • Sing Our Own SongConcert 唱我們的歌演唱會
    • "The Descendants of the Dragon"龍的傳人 got popular
    • "Beautiful Island" & "Youth China" did not pass Information Bureau's censorship.
    • New Taiwanese Song Chart (a larger scale) 
    • Taiwan New Cinema
    Reagan administration 
  • Chiang re-elected chair of KMT
  • The mysterious death of Chen wen-cheng.
    • Golden Melody Award Stopped. (1977-1981)
    • Personal computer started to be popular.
    Taiwan became a supplier of computers.
    • Singer Ho Te-chien 侯德健  went to mainland China 
    • Two singers (Lo Ta-yu and Su Rui) successfully put forth albums which had a thematic unity.
    "We Are the World" album Taiwan:  
    • the investment of MacDonald's 
    • Music videos started to be popular.
    • The first AIDS patient in Taiwan. 
    • "Tomorrow Will Be Better" 明天會更好album, which sold 100,000 copies in a week.
    • Anti-pirating committee 
    • Imitation was prevalent, when the music industry ran short of producers and composers.
    • 夏宇 《備忘錄》
  • Service Industry population: Industry =

  • 41.5% 41.47  
  • KMT launched Six Reformation 六大改革
    • The introduction of Hong Kongese singers.
    • 舊情綿綿咖啡廳
    • 《暗戀。桃花源》
    • The rise and fall of stocks in stock market.
  • the lifting of Martial Law (7/15) 
  • the lifting of newspaper restrictions 報禁
  • Cross-strait relative visit 探親allowed.
    • Another voice: Anti-pirating concert 

    • 反盜錄演唱會
    • Hassan and Jameson came to Taiwan.
  • the death of Chiang Ching-kuo
  • Lo Ta-yu 羅大佑 establish Music Factory in Hong Kong.  

    Tina Turner's & Stevie Wonder's concerts. 

  • Taiwan: The film City of Sadness won Cannes' Golden Lion.
    • Campus folksongs were renewed and sung again.
    • Taiwanese rock band, Black List Workshop.
    • Little Tiger, the first teenagers' idol singers.小虎隊
    • Mainland Chinese Singer Cui Chien's 崔健 album was published in Taiwan, which lead to more musical exchanges across the strait.
    The unification of East and West Germany
  • Taiwan: Marx's work was legally published in Taiwan.
    • KTV started to be popular. 
    • Information Bureau stopped censoring music broadcast in media.
    • Tower Records in Taiwan.
    • The promotion of idol singers. 
    • Hakka band, New Formosa band. 新寶島康樂隊
    • Chinese-American band, L.A. Boyz.
    • Saliva Songs (renewed old songs) takes greater percentage in the yearly production.口水歌 
    • Taiwanese rapper, Pig's Head's first album.  豬頭皮
    • The 20th year of Taiwanese Folksong: concert, seminars, election of the 200 folksongs.

    II. Why do we want to study it here?