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New Book on Chinese Documentaries

Nov 08, 2013

A new book by professor Gotelind Müller-Saini on historical TV documentaries in the People’s Republic of China is now available. It explores how the government uses documentaries to propagate a certain sanctioned version of history. The book is the concluding publication of project A12 “Framing Visions”.

“Documentary, World History, and National Power in the PRC - Global Rise in Chinese Eyes” examines three recent Chinese documentary television series which present the officially sanctioned view of the rise of the modern West, the reasons for the end of the Soviet Union, and the legitimisation of the present-day Chinese government. With a focus on these documentaries, Gotelind Müller discusses how history is presented on screen, and explores the function of visual history for memory culture and wider society. Further, this book reveals how the presentation of Chinese and foreign history in a global framework impacts on the officially transmitted views on Self and Other, and thus provides a keen insight into how the Chinese themselves regard their ‘global rise’.

“Documentary, World History, and National Power in the PRC - Global Rise in Chinese Eyes” - 252 pages - was published in 2013 by Routledge, London. It is part of Routledge's “Chinese Worlds” series.

The book is the concluding publication of project A12 “Framing Visions”, which was coordinated by Prof. Müller-Saini. The project examined historical television series, especially documentaries in China. In stark contrast to the earlier self-centred preoccupation with Chinese history, there has been an upsurge in interest in foreign history, with a view to illuminating China’s role not only in world history, but also on the global stage today, and in the future. The project’s aim was to follow the shifts in the perception of Self and Other in Chinese society that this new interest brought about.

Prof. Gotelind Müller-Saini is a principal investigator at the Cluster. She coordinated research project A12 “Framing Visions” and now coordinates project A15 “Patriotic Monotheists”. She is Professor of Chinese Studies at Heidelberg University.

Further Information:
Book Announcement by Routledge


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