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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Scholarship on Chinese modernism differs little from scholarship on any “local” modernism, so long as one understands that the generic modernism to which these local modernisms refer has for some time now been the modernism of a select few national or urban locations in Europe and North America, and of aesthetic attitudes, and objects that express those attitudes, produced between the middle of the nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth century. This article discusses four issues whose consideration ought to precede any discussion of how any such local modernism is thought: modernism and the Western history of the modern; globality and the geography of mimetic desire; global thinking and the intercontamination of the terms; and modernism after European time. To include China among the global modernisms, to discover a global modernism at all, requires abandoning the temporal logic that has until now structured the field.

Keywords: Chinese modernism, local modernism, globality, mimetic desire, China, global modernism

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