Reading Questions for Session 2

Please be prepared to discuss these questions in class.

1. Based on the readings, how would you characterize Shanghai in the first half of the twentieth century? How do the authors of the readings differ in their descriptions of the city?

2. The readings refer repeatedly to notions of "modernity" and "colonial modernity"—what do you think is meant by those terms?

3. What does Buck Clayton's account of his experiences tell us about colonial hierarchies of race, nationality, and class in Shanghai?

4. In one or two sentences, how would you describe the music being referred to as "Shanghai jazz" or "shidaiqu" ("songs of the times")? What kinds of themes do Shanghai jazz songs explore?