China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
The prevailing of digital media in the new millennium challenges the Chinese tradition of writing and literature (wen). Instead of defending “the literary territory” in digital China, this panel takes a historical perspective to explore the entanglements between the script of Chinese writing and other non-literary media artifacts, genres, and protocols throughout the twentieth century. This panel comprises two parts. Part II asks how the intensive interactions between script and performance have shaped political identities and actions, with a focus on the transmedia processes in which words are charged with heightened performative aims for the stage, the page, and the pedestal. This issue is particularly important in today’s China when the public space for political performance continues to shrink.
Man He and Nan Ma study the role of texts in performing arts. Man He probes how Yu Shangyuan’s and Hong Shen’s spoken drama scripts in the 1910s-1920s empower the act of cosmopolitan “seeing” between dramatists and spectators. Nan Ma investigates the tension between language and body in the adaptations of Si fan by Wu Xiaobang and Fujikage Shitsue in the Chinese and Japanese New Dance Movements (1920s-1940s). By contrast, Renren Yang look into the role of performance in textual arts. Renren Yang analyzes the impulse for creative mimetic performance evoked in Zhao Shuli’s 1940s socialist fictions for the sake of fashioning “New People.”