Book Chapter




Fleming D & Harrison S (2020) Introduction. In: Chinese Urban Shi-nema: Cinematicity, Society and Millennial China. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

First paragraph: Chinese Urban Shi-nema dives into what has aptly been named the mise-en-scene of Capitalism’s Second Coming in China (Li 2016) to explore what becomes of Chinese societies, cities, and subjectivities during an unprecedented period of urban and economic generation and transformation. Situating itself in the historical aftermath of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo, we offer up a series of grounded case studies from within the processual city of Ningbo as it transitioned from being a second tier city to a ‘new first tier city’; to generate a mosaic picture of how contemporary urban life in China is undergoing a series of radical changes, transformations and reorganisations (including ‘genes, memes, norms and routines’ (see e.g. Delanda 2000, p.212)) as new forms of consumer culture bed in. Harnessing a pars pro toto approach, we explore four very different architectural assemblages, or technostructural arrangements—including luxury real estate showrooms, a Pritzker prize winning history museum, China’s ‘first and best’ Sino-foreign university campus, and a series of gamified urban non-spaces (such as shopping malls and building sites) that channel the frenzied logic of so-called Casino Capitalism—that help cast light upon the broader picture sweeping up greater China during the most radical and rapid period of urban development and change the planet has ever witnessed.

Output Status: Forthcoming

StatusIn Press
Publication date online23/12/2020
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationLondon

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Dr David Fleming
Dr David Fleming

Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture