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Jing Tsu – Thinking Small in the Literary Cosmos
March 26, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Speaker: Jing Tsu, Yale University
More than ten years after Sinophone studies, is it breaking up? This talk begins with a recent skirmish over the fraught term and its export. In the attempt to bring faraway and neglected kins into its fold, Sinophone studies is facing open resistance where writers are choosing not to belong or subscribe. Yet, this talk suggests, it is a good thing when literary relations come to an end, because it signals a readiness to be disenchanted with a fixed topic. The plethora of contemporary Chinese literature has far exceeded any of our explanatory frameworks, and its direction is no longer sustained by the diasporic obsession with saying yes or no to Chineseness from any locale, or turning to Sinophone studies. What literary scale, then, are we entering into as the ceiling is being lifted from the China narrative? Is it a technological world beyond worlds, or still an ideological world in a teacup? I discuss the works and engagement of one of the most unexpected literary meterorites of recent times, Liu Cixin, the first Chinese and Asian to win the Victor Hugo Prize for Science Fiction.