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The Image Culture as Vernacular Modernism

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DOI: 10.25236/ieesasm.2020.114


Li Ke

Corresponding Author

Li Ke


The Vernacular Modernism proposed by Miriam Hansen has exerted a great influence on film research, but the definition of this concept itself in film research is not accurate. This paper attempts to explore Hansen’s complex reflections on the modernity of cinema, the integration of film theory and film history from Hansen's two papers which have built the theoretical system of Vernacular Modernism ,”The Mass Production of the Senses:Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism” and “Fallen Women, Rising Stars, New Horizons: Shanghai Silent Film as Vernacular Modernism”. Furthermore, with the help of Hansen's empirical research on classic Hollywood films and early Shanghai films in two papers, the basic meaning of Vernacular Modernism and its representation of non-identity are determined, and the possibility of dissolving this non-identity is analyzed. Finally, this paper analyzes the relationship between Vernacular Modernism and Critical Theory through the understanding of the book, Cinema and Experience, thus to rethink and reexamine Hansen’s Vernacular Modernism, explain the inherent Critical Theory hidden under the non-identical appearance of vernacular modernism, and reveal the sociological significance of the concept of Vernacular Modernism.


Vernacular modernism, The image culture, Non-identity, Critical theory, Miriam hansen