|"What Is Real in Chinese Science Fiction? Toward a Poetics of the Invisibility"|
Thursday, April 25, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Bunche Hall 10383, UCLA
Talk by Mingwei Song, Wellesley College
The contemporary new wave of Chinese science fiction began to emerge around the turn of the twenty-first century. This lecture explores the cutting-edge literary experiments that characterize the new wave, which evoke sensations ranging from the uncanny to the sublime, from the corporeal to the virtual, and from the post-human to the transcendent. I will discuss several important science fiction novels and stories such as Han Song’s “The Regenerated Bricks” (2011), Subway (2010) and The Hospital Trilogy (2016-18), Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Trilogy (2006-10) and “Micro-Era” (Liu Cixin, 2001), Chi Hui’s “Rainforest” (2007) and 2030: Terminus (2017), as well as Chen Qiufan’s “Balin” (2015) and The Waste Tide (2013).
The new wave has a dark and subversive side that speaks either to the “invisible” dimensions of the reality, or simply the impossibility of representing a certain “reality” dictated by the mainstream realism. Making the “invisible” visible in scientific and political terms has enabled sf to cut sharply into the popular imagination and intellectual thinking of those who are, even faintly, aware of the alterity. On its most radical side, the new wave of Chinese sf has been thriving on an avant-garde cultural spirit that encourages one to think beyond the conventional ways of perceiving reality and challenge the commonly accepted ideas about what constitutes the “real.”
Mingwei Song is an Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Wellesley College. His research interests include modern Chinese literature, cinema studies, youth culture, and science fiction. He served as the jury for numerous major Chinese science fiction awards, and he has been frequently interviewed by newspapers, radio and TV stations from the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, and Germany. He is currently completing a monograph Posthuman China: Poetics and Politics of Science Fiction.
UCLA Center for Chinese Studies
11381 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
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