Ecomedia Events in China: From Yellow Eco-Peril to Media Materialism
This chapter explores ecomedia events such as the Kunshan and Tianjin chemical explosions in 2014–15 to offer a counter-politics to the discourse of Yellow Eco-peril, which depicts China’s environmental crisis through a racialized Eco-Otherness. Proposing a methodological shift to media materialism by turning attention to time, body, matter, and the social life of things and objects, we aim to critically reconnect China to the very systems of globalized production and consumption—the deep earth mining, the factory work, the digital consumption practices—that have propelled and intensified China’s stupendous development and its ecological challenges. Linking “old” forms of resource extraction to new lives of digital dependency, media materialism presents new critical possibilities for environmental humanities in China, across Asia, and globally.
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