Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Between BL and Slash: Danmei Fiction, Transcultural Mediation, and Changing Gender Norms in Contemporary China

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

Danmei is a Chinese umbrella term for original and derivative male–male romance created by and for women and sexual minorities. Since the first locally-produced danmei story was posted on the Internet around 1998, danmei has evolved into a prominent genre of web literature, a key component of Internet-based youth culture and fan culture, and a significant economic and cultural force in China.




In this paper we attempt to join the recent academic discussion on the relationship between Chinese danmei, Japanese boys love (BL), and Western slash fiction. Instead of hastily dumping all three genres into one basket or subsuming danmei under the other two categories, we try to sort out danmei’s complex engagement and negotiation with as well as transformation of the generic features of Japanese BL and Western slash. We argue that the danmei genre itself has functioned as a productive contact zone where BL and slash interact, as Chinese fans have appropriated useful elements from both genres, deliberated their discrepancies, and creatively mixed them to suit the needs of local readers. By investigating danmei’s interaction with BL and slash, we are able to shed light on both the evolution of danmei and the changing gender norms for women in contemporary China.

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Yanrui Xu

Zhejiang University, Ningbo Institute of Technology, China

Presentation(s):

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4 - Between BL and Slash: Danmei Fiction, Transcultural Mediation, and Changing Gender Norms in Contemporary China



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