Pre-internet Fandom, Transmediality & Eco-SF with Hua Li

In this episode, Hua Li relates how modern Chinese SF was popularized as a transmedial practice in the 1980s. She explains the key role played by a kind of graphic novel format known as lianhuanhua 连环画 and gives examples from the illustrated works of Ye Yonglie 叶永烈. We then move on to fan culture before the internet age and end by discussing how early environmental SF from the 1950s presents a different perspective from today’s writings on the Anthropocene.

Learn more about lianhuanhua from the Association for Chinese Animation Studies or visit the collection at Princeton University.

You can read Hua Li’s fascinating article “Chinese Science Fiction and Environmental Criticism: From the Anthropocentric to the Cosmocentric” at the SFRA Review – it’s open access!

Lianhuanhua 连环画

Transmedial Guest: Hua Li is Professor of Chinese and the coordinator of Chinese program at Montana State University. Her primary research field is modern and contemporary Chinese literature. She has published two monographs, Contemporary Chinese Fiction by Su Tong and Yu Hua: Coming of Age in Troubled Times (Brill, 2011), and Chinese Science Fiction During the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw (University of Toronto Press, 2021). She has also authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on various topics in contemporary Chinese literature, cinema, and science fiction.

Host Fan: Astrid Møller-Olsen is international research fellow with the Universities of Lund, Stavanger, and Oxford, funded by the Swedish Research Council. She has just published her first monograph Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction (Cambria Press, 2022). Other publications include analyses of fictional dictionaries, oneiric soundscapes, digital chronotopes in SF, ecocritical temporalities, and sensory urban spacetime. Her current research is a cross-generic study of plant-human relationships in contemporary Sinophone literature from science fiction to surrealism: https://xiaoshuo.blog/

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