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Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China?

09 Dec 2020
David Der-wei Wang
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 11:30 AM

Abstract

Taking as a starting point PRC President Xi Jinping’s dictum to “Tell China’s Story Well” (2013), this lecture seeks to observe the multiple attempts to tell the “China story” since the millennial turn. At a time when both “history” and “story” are incorporated into the truth regime of the state, fiction is now, more than ever, a highly contested form in manifesting the power of polyphony. The speaker will discuss three of 'the most exciting' aspects of contemporary fiction in the Chinese and Sinophone world via three related terms: transgression, transmigration, and transillumination; and ponder their political and ethical implications.

 

About the Speaker

David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor in Chinese Literature and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is Director of CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, Changjiang Scholar, and Academician of Academia Sinica and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wang’s specialties are Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Late Qing fiction and drama, and Comparative Literary Theory. Wang received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and has taught at National Taiwan University and Columbia University. Wang’s recent English publications include The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in 20th Century China (2004),Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule (co-ed. with Ping-hui Liao, 2007), Globalizing Chinese Literature (co-ed. with Jin Tsu, 2010),The Lyrical in Epic Time: Modern Chinese Intellectuals and Artists through the 1949 Crisis (2014), Harvard New Literary History of Modern China (ed., 2017). What Fiction Matters in Contemporary China (2020).

 

About the Chair

Hemant Adlakha, PhD, is Professor of Chinese, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He is also an Honorary Fellow with the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. His areas of research include political discourse in the P R China and modern Chinese Literature and Culture. He is a member, International Editorial Committee, International Society for Lu Xun Studies, Seoul (ROK). His articles have appeared in China Report, The Diplomat, Japan Times, Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism, 2nd Edition, Washington etc. His co-translation of Lu Xun’s prose poetry collection from Chinese into Hindi has been published by the NBT in November 2019.

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  • Taking as a starting point PRC President Xi Jinping’s dictum to “Tell China’s Story Well” (2013), this lecture seeks to observe the multiple attempts to tell the “China story” since the millennial turn. At a time when both “history” and “story” are incorporated into the truth regime of the state,

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