Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2011 - 7/31/2011

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Representations of Labor Migration in Post-Mao China

FAIN: FT-58516-11

Amy Dorothea Dooling
Connecticut College (New London, CT 06320-4125)

The proposed project contributes to a book-length study on the relationship between internal labor migration and contemporary cultural production in post-Mao China. The study reveals the intense struggle rural migrants face in their pursuit of "opportunity" and the powerful creative impulse to give voice to these experiences by foregrounding and analyzing the diverse literary and artistic output of rural labor migrants in urban areas, from poetry and fiction published in self-funded magazines and online forums, to public performances of drama and music, to grassroots cultural festivals and exhibitions within migrant communities. The multifaceted and often political narratives of mobility, low-wage labor, and temporary urban existence expressed in migrant art are read as assertions of self-definition which, among other factors, challenge popular constructs of migrant naïveté and victimization circulating in mainstream Chinese and international media.