Literature in 21st Century China – Harvard Professor David Der-wei Wang (Video Interview)

Memo #70 (Scroll below to see 4 Video Clips, 1 to 2 min each)

David Der-wei Wang – dwang [at] fas.harvard.edu

What is the status of literature in 21st century China? Harvard professor David Der-wei Wang analyzes this question in a brief video interview. He discusses the impact of the internet, which has become an important medium for the dissemination of politically sensitive works. He mentions that there has been a resurgence of genres such as science fantasy to a prominence not seen since the late Qing dynasty. He talks about the new concept of “Sinophone literature,” which redefines “Chinese literature” as a field determined by language rather than purely by geography. He further touches on important new works, such as Hu Fayun’s novel, “Ruyan@SARS.com,” which was first serialized on the Internet but banned upon its print publication.

Professor Wang’s visit to UBC was hosted by the Department of Asian Studies and sponsored by the Wat Endowment. For an in-depth and engaging overview of significant works of contemporary Chinese fiction, see the following video recording of Professor Wang’s recent lecture at UBC, “Writing History After Post-History: On Contemporary Chinese Fiction.”

David Der-wei Wang – Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University.

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Part 1 – How important is literature in China today?

Part 2 – Modern Chinese literature in the Internet age

Part 3 – Trends in contemporary Chinese fiction

Part 4 – Modern Chinese literature in China vs. overseas

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Asia Pacific Memo is published by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at The University of British Columbia. Distributed weekly, we feature 350 word essays or video interviews on contemporary Asia.