Online Lecture Series: Other Epistemologies: Remapping the Literary Field in the Sinosphere (ab FS22)

In a transitional age, globalization, digitalization, and new ways of communication have led to a range of new genres, media, and fields of research in contemporary Chinese Studies. At the same time, mainstream political, cultural, and academic discourse continues to resist efforts to decenter its master narratives in favor of minor histories, discourses, and genres. For researchers in the field of Chinese Studies, the literary and visual articulations of underrepresented social groups and communities can serve as productive epistemic positions from where to uncover alternative subjectivities and world views, which can bring about new possibilities of social, political, and cultural formation.

This online lecture series will focus on alternative approaches to genre, media, cultural activism, and research methodologies, thereby probing into the hitherto hidden spaces of knowledge production. Topics shall include non-official agencies, histories, and discourses across the contemporary Sinosphere. Accordingly, the lectures shall not only cover research on literature, but also other media such as visual art, theater, and cinema. Our goals are 1) to bring together established and young scholars from different geographical locations, 2) to think beyond epistemic, geographical, and medial boundaries, and 3) to explore new theoretical and methodological approaches. In this way, the lecture series will shed light on the emergent cultural agencies, aesthetic genres, media, and theories in the field of Chinese Studies and related disciplines.

In the spring semester 2022, the focus is on “Other” Approaches to (Hi)stories: Literature and Historiography. The lectures in this part shall offer insights into the blurred lines between fact and fiction. The second part of the series in the upcoming autumn semester focuses on “Other” Forms of Worship: Religion and Popular Culture, (re)examining the entanglements of traditional and new forms of worship in the contemporary Sinosphere. We also plan a third part on “Other” Approaches to Gender and Genre: Literature and Women Studies taking place in the spring semester 2023.