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Jason McGrath

Jason McGrath is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese literature and film in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has published several articles and anthology chapters on contemporary Chinese cinema.

Jason’s new book Postsocialist Modernity: Chinese Cinema, Literature, and Criticism in the Market Age has been published by Stanford University Press (March 2008). Andrew Jones of the University of California - Berkeley has said "This is the most lucid, engaging, and theoretically acute account of contemporary Chinese cultural production to have emerged in recent years from the Western academy." (ALL UThink Blog)

Jason is also the recent recipient of a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship (2008-2010) for his project “Inscribing the Real: Chinese Cinema from the Silent Era to the Twenty-first Century. This is one of the University of Minnesota’s most prestigious awards.



I thoroughly enjoyed Professor McGrath's visit. I think we had many worthwhile discussions on Chinese culture, examining many stereotypes that Americans have about the Chinese people. I really got excited to go to China after his visit, and I was ready to just hop on a plane and go there. He discussed in detail Chinese cuisine, showing us many pictures of his favorite dishes. He even recommended a good restaurant here in Saint Paul where I could get some good Szechwan food -- which I did after class!

Jason McGrath's visit was full of insight into Chinese culture. Through photographs and conversation, we were shown an American's perspective.

The images and conversation with McGrath made the idea of traveling to China seem attainable. With the time he has studied in China, he has many great tips for new travelers. I enjoyed hearing about the variety of topics he presented from the architecture to the absences of road rules!

Although we had the opportunity to hear inside advise from several Chinese nationals in this class, Jason McGrath's presentation was perhaps the most illuminating pertaining to my conceptions and misconceptions of Chinese social life. As an American who has spent considerable time in both mainland China and Taiwan, he was able to key in on the main stereotypes that we westerners have about the culture. His take on our media coverage of Chinese events versus his experiences were a welcome addition to our class.

Prof. McGrath's personal story of having gone to China right after he finished his undergraduate degree in Texas and living there for over a decade afterwards was quite eye opening and inspirational. Even though I had heard of Americans living in China, McGrath really opened my eyes to just how easy it was to backpack through China and much of South East Asia with little money and surviving by teaching english for money when needed then going backpacking again. Prof. McGrath also taught us a lot about the Chinese culture form the perspectie of an outsider who lived there long enough to have gotten "in" to the culture which is very different from what a native Chinese person will tell you about their own culture.

I enjoyed Jason McGrath's talk and slidesow about his experiences in China. He gave us some great tips about Chinese cuisine, and his perspective on contemporary Chinese art and the 798 scene was enlightening.