Cogs and Wheels: The material culture of revolutionary China

July 13, 2007

I have returned

Filed under: Blog notices, My research — amyjaneb @ 9:26 am

At least virtually.  I won’t be back in Leicester until next Friday.  Anyway, I’ve done a lot of thinking (and reading) and, of course, I want to complete my PhD.  I’m nothing if not stubborn.  I may decide to take a slightly different direction post-doctorally.  But, I needn’t think about that yet.  I have a thesis to write!

However, WordPress is a nightmare when using a dial-up connection, so I won’t be blogging regularly (at least not here – I’m trying to keep on top of The Attic) until I’m back in Leicester.  Never fear, I have lots and LOTS to talk about.  I’ve got enough ‘material’ to keep me going for weeks!  😉


June 15, 2007

Where have I been?

Filed under: Blog notices, My research — amyjaneb @ 8:28 pm

Okay, I’m not blogging at the moment.  A couple of weeks ago I had a nasty and distressing experience which – coming on top of a family bereavement, and generally stressful year – has left me having a bit of a ‘wobble’.  And I’m not quite sure where I’m going with my PhD from this point forward.  The current lack of a reliable Internet connection also makes it a little difficult to blog regularly.  So, all in all, things are a bit ‘on hold’ at the moment.  I’m hoping that once I’ve got my brain back into gear, the rest of my life – including my research – will fall into place pretty quickly.  Here’s hoping…

April 22, 2007

Asian History Carnival

Filed under: Blog notices, Useful links, Web resources — amyjaneb @ 12:48 pm

I’m really chuffed that the post I wrote about ‘Though I Am Gone’ has been included in the thirteenth Asian History Carnival!  Chuffed and a little guilty, because it’s not like it was a particularly original post, seeing as lots of other blogs had already given the documentary a mention.  But it’s very gratifying to get a little recognition nevertheless.

 There are lots of other really interesting sounding posts flagged up by the Carnival which I’ll be checking out over lunch.

April 9, 2007

Where’s she gone then?

Filed under: Blog notices — amyjaneb @ 9:18 am

Home, to Suffolk to be precise.  On my Easter hols.  Not got much going on in my brain at the moment, so don’t expect anything remotely insightful from me for a little while.  😉

April 2, 2007

Cogs and Wheels is growing

Filed under: Blog notices — amyjaneb @ 10:05 am

According to this Cogs and Wheels was 94th on the list of ‘growing’ WordPress blogs for 1st April – got to be an April Fools.  😉

March 14, 2007

‘The Great Firewall of China’…

Filed under: Blog notices, Censorship, China, Language, Weblinks — amyjaneb @ 9:45 am

…as blog censorship by the Chinese authorities has become known.  Here’s a good overview of the current situation from The Peking Duck.  It seems that all wordpress blogs are currently blocked from China.  Damn!  I was hoping Cogs and Wheels had attracted the specific attentions of the censors.  Last Friday me and a friend and a friend of that friend went to an evening of Beijing Opera at the Richard Attenborough Centre.  The cultural attache (is that the right title?  Not sure) from the Chinese Embassy was in attendance.  I had visions of him having a list of enemies of the State with my name on it.  😉

(I’m addicted to smileys.)

Now my research seminar is done and dusted – as is my Chinese exam (as predicted, went horribly badly) – I’ll soon have more time for research and reading and intellectual business like that.  Just got a small backlog of admin-type tasks to clear first…

March 8, 2007

I’m banned in China!!!

Filed under: Blog notices, China — amyjaneb @ 1:49 pm

I think I shall take that as quite the compliment.  😉

February 19, 2007

My first task…

Filed under: Blog notices, Useful links, Web resources — amyjaneb @ 4:41 pm

…is to consolidate all the useful links and bookmarks I’ve collected over the past eighteen months in one place.  I’m adding them (slowly) to a separate page (‘web resources’ – see right-hand sidebar).  They’re not organised or categorised in any way, at the moment.  Hopefully, if I get time in the near future, I’ll be able to sort them into categories.  At present, I’m just keen to get them all in one place so that I can keep on top of them all.  It’s so easy to lose or forget about really useful web resources and until now they’ve been very unsatisfactorily filed in my (rather chaotic) mind.  This job – though long and tedious – should free up a bit of brain space for philosophising and sounding clever.  😉

And when I’ve done that, my next task will be to beautify my template.  Or, at the very least, ‘red’ theme it!

Cogs and Wheels

Filed under: Blog notices, China, Mao, Material culture/art & design, Quote(s) — amyjaneb @ 3:29 pm

The name of this blog, Cogs and Wheels, comes from a 1942 quote from Mao Zedong, about the central importance of art and design for the revolution:

 In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines.  There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics.  Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine’.

Welcome to…

Filed under: Blog notices, My research, Research blogs — amyjaneb @ 3:16 pm

…my brand new blog.  I’ve been thinking about blogging my research for a while now, and finally decided to take the plunge.  For those that do not already know something about me, I am a second year PhD student of Museum Studies, based in the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester.  My research is looking at how the material culture of the Cultural Revolution has been collected, interpreted and displayed in contemporary British museums, and how this challenges or reflects the wider image of China in the popular consciousness.

Inspired by other research bloggers like Mary Stevens and Lynn Bethke, I intend to use this blog to collect my thoughts, chart my progress and organise useful sources as I find them.  I suspect my approach will be quite rambling at times, and I doubt that I will make any really incisive breakthroughs (and if I do, I probably won’t blog ’em just in case my ideas get nicked!), but this blog is – first and foremost – a tool to facilitate the writing of my thesis, which may – as a happy coincidence – make for interesting reading.

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