This essay takes Fredric Jameson and Chinese Jamesonism as a case in point to illustrate the Chinese anxiety of influence with Western theory and the battle between (Western) universalism and Chinese exceptionalism. Chinese Jamesonism shows how an eclectic American neo-Marxist academic discourse has been invented in China on selected themes of postmodernism and Third World “national allegory.” However, as a “shadowy but central presence” in Jameson and other Western left theories, Maoism is nearly absent from China’s appropriation of Western theories. A vigorous critique of the relationship between Maoism and Western left theories sheds light on the issues of politics and ideology underlying the Chinese anxiety of influence.

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