China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

(29) Regional Identity in Modern Chinese Literature

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Washington Room 1, Exhibit Level

Sponsored By CHINOPERL

How do writers, performers, poets, and filmmakers mediate between particular localities, neighboring regions, and broader notions of “Chineseness” in their representations of Chinese regional identities? And how do the emerging conversations shed light on changing relationships between region and capital, the local and national, and North and South China? Looking at poems, ballads, novels, films, and TV dramas from diverse regions across China and beyond in light of recent studies of regional representation, poetics, eco-literature, and the role of language and dialect in identity formation, this panel explores insider and outsider views of place and what happens when regions transgress borders. The panelists examine how nineteenth century drum ballads formed a “literary geography” of North China that shifted from a sense of belonging in a unified world of empire to an emphasis on the local, how borderland poets from southwest China and North-East India use imagery and themes of cultural and ecological change to convey new senses of being, place, and identity, how educated urban narrators in interactions between Putonghua-speaking sent-down youth and dialect-speaking locals negotiate local languages in contemporary film and fiction, and how gendered representations of northern Shaanxi men and women in recent novels and TV dramas serve as discursive sites for broader discussions of cultural exchange and rebirth in China. In each case, the changing depictions of the familiar and unfamiliar suggest evolving senses of place and identity during China’s recent history.

Presentations:

Levi S. Gibbs

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

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Levi S. Gibbs

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

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Margaret B. Wan

University of Utah, Utah

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Mark Bender

Ohio State University, Ohio

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Jin Liu

Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia

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Levi S. Gibbs

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

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Jonathan C. Stalling

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma

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