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      History and Memory in the Marketplace : Cultural Representations of Mid-20th Century China 

      Landing on New Grounds: Cultural Revolution–Themed Restaurant and the Cultural Revolution in Cyberspace :

      Peter Lang

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          In the contemporary cultural marketplace, the Cultural Revolution is not only processed and packaged into goods such as books, films, music, and paintings to please the eyes and ears but also served up to satisfy customers’ palatal needs at the dining tables of restaurants. While some entrepreneurs have invited the Cultural Revolution for a home stay in their restaurants, some intellectuals have also found new homes for the Cultural Revolution to reside in adjacent to the seemingly endless pop-up windows of online advertisements. This chapter engages in discussions of some newly emerged CR-themed restaurants and Internet presentations about the Cultural Revolution. Through discussing the values, meanings, as well as problems of these presentations, I argue that the commodification of the CR history in restaurants can be seen in a positive light in that they offer possible channels to make the CR past come back into public discussion in China. While the CR restaurants attract interest in and curiosity about the CR past, the Internet, which is internally operated and supported by capital and trade nowadays, offers “new cyber homes” both inside and outside of China, sustaining continued interest about the CR history. Some US-based websites show the most freedom in making “places” and “spaces” for serious studies of the CR history. In the case of CR studies, it is the freedom of speech endorsed by the capitalist economy (in the United States) that has enabled a critical discourse of the CR to form from outside of China.

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