Political Cartoons in Contemporary China

By Yingchi Chu.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This pilot paper addresses the emerging phenomenon of the political cartoon in the Chinese social media. The central claim made is that as a bottom-up, critical voice these cartoons have now entered the fledgling Chinese public sphere by having attracted the attention of netizens and so begun to play an important role in the emergence of critical discourse in China. The paper argues its case as follows. The Introduction embeds the argument on political cartoons in my ongoing research. In the main body of the paper I supplement a working definition of political cartoons with an emphasis on their enunciative modalities. A brief historical overview then leads to the discussion of a series of current bottom-up, critical cartoons in today's China. The main surfaces of emergence of this type of cartoon are argued to be the social media, especially the Internet and weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. By way of conclusion I identify a number of salient features reiterating the paper's central calims.

Keywords: Chinese political cartoons, Social media, Critical discourse, Weibo, China

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 8, Issue 1, June 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.453KB).

Dr. Yingchi Chu

Research Fellow, School of Governance and Management, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Dr Yingchi Chu teaches media at Murdoch University. She is also a Fellow of the University's Asia Research Centre. She has published articles and book chapters on the Chinese media and is the author of Hong Kong Cinema: Colonizer, Motherland and Self (RoutledgeCurzon 2003, 2009) and Chinese Documentaries: From Dogma to Polyphony (Routledge 2007, 2009). Her current research focuses on the emergence of a critical discourse in China.