Performing an 'Absent' China: Cultural Propaganda in anti-Communist Taiwan in the 1950's and 1960's
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Taiwan was liberated from its fifty year Japanese colonization in 1945. In 1949, an estimated 1.5 million Chinese migrants retreated to Taiwan along with Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government, due to the defeat to the Chinese Communists. During the subsequent two decades, the Nationalist government utilized cultural propaganda to assist the political anti-Communist campaigns to retake Mainland China. Thus, scholars in Taiwan and abroad have long regarded these anti-Communist pieces as nothing more than political manipulation. This dissertation offers a social and cultural study of anti-Communist propaganda during the 1950's and 1960's. In this dissertation, I examine visual and verbal representations of propaganda--plays, films, comic strips, documentaries, and textbook illustrations. These representations were intended to generate hatred toward Communist enemies, and alleviate the nostalgia of Chinese migrants. I propose that anti-Communist propaganda helped the Nationalist government to craft a China in concepts of `nation, leader, gender, class and ethnicity.' It was an 'absent' China that had never existed in Taiwan.
- Drama