Future Book-length Projects

“Media Archaeology of the Body”

表示血管构造的立体X射线照相 (X-ray Photo Showing the Structure of Blood Vessels), in 科学的中国 Scientific China, Vol 9, 1937

Perusing materials on the ways people made sense of seeing their body mediated through cine-microscopy, I developed my future research project, “Media Archaeology of the Body.” It studies techno-medical visions produced by cine-microscopy, the X-ray, anatomy images, and forensic photography in modern China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I will trace these visions in the historical contexts of (semi)colonialism, racial encounters, science popularization, and the development of biomedicine, and examine how these optical devices operate as a pedagogy to inculcate in the viewer both a perception of the self and a sense of history.

“Home-making and Nation-building in the Third Front Campaign”

memorabilia at the Third Front Construction museum in Liupanshui, Guizhou province, photos taken by Lu Liu

Growing up in a Third-Front town in Guizhou Province, I was immersed in my grandparents’ fond chit-chats with other adults on their migrations from the eastern side of China to the southwestern hinterland. Three decades apart, the massive migration was still fresh in their memory and daily conversations. (Re)collecting fragments of their past has become my way of remembering my dear grandpa and grandma since their passing. Out of such habitual nostalgia emerged my on-going oral history project on people relocated to Guizhou during the Third Front Campaign. Coupled with my collection of everyday ephemera, these interviews help to reveal the crevices of the national campaign, where home-making overshadowed nation-building. The intersection of individual and collective memories also speak to the rich complexity of post-socialist nostalgia while undercutting its recent return as a cultural industry in cinema.