Digital China
Digital China
Creativity and Community in the Sinocybersphere
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Asian Studies
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List of Figures
Introduction: Locating digital China - by Jessica Imbach
1 Re-inventing tianxia: Coming-of-age in xuanhuan fantasy fiction - by Cui Qian
2 An online world of their own: Rethinking danmei fiction through a reading of A Tale of Jujube Valley - by Jin Sujie
3 Hong Kong’s digital literary field: Serialization, adaptation, and readership - by Helena Wu
4 Virtual conciliation: (Un-)Coding the split between tradition and modernity in Chinese artificial intelligence poetry - by Joanna Krenz
5 Poetry as meme: The Xiangpi ..literature project, online replicators, and printed “archives” - by Paula Teodorescu
6 Cooking authenticity: Li Ziqi, affective labour, and China’s influencer culture - by Rui Kunze
7 Affective labour on Kuaishou: Sister Zhao and her cyber karaoke bar - by He Mengyun
8 Network fantasies: Liu Cixin’s China 2185, digital Futurism, and history as computer code - by Jessica Imbach
9 Cyborg resistance: Chen Qiufan’s The Waste Tide, dirty computers and the afterlives of digital things - by Zoe Goldstein
10 Virtual art in times of crisis: curatorial practices during the Covid-19 pandemic in China and Malaysia - by Helen Hess and Diyi Mergenthaler
11 Viral text: Translation, censorship, community - by Elvin Meng
List of Contributors

Jessica Imbach (ed.)

Digital China

Creativity and Community in the Sinocybersphere

Over the past decade, digital technologies have profoundly reshaped the Chinese cultural landscape. With a focus on the creative agency of new media and online communities, this volume examines this development through the notion of the Sinocybersphere - the networked spaces across the globe that not only operate on the Chinese script, but also imaginatively negotiate the meanings of Chinese culture in the digital age. Instead of asking what makes the internet or new media “Chinese,” the chapters situate contemporary entanglements of cultural and digital practices within specific historical, social, and discursive contexts. Covering topics as diverse as live-streaming, AI poetry, online literature, poetry memes, cyberpunk fiction, virtual art exhibitions, cooking videos, censorship, and viral translations, the collection as a whole not only engages with a wide range of Chinese new media phenomena, but also demonstrates their relevance to our understanding of contemporary digital culture.

Jessica Imbach

Jessica Imbach is Junior Professor of Sinology/contemporary China at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. She is the author of Not Afraid of Ghosts: Stories of the Spectral in Modern Chinese Fiction (University of Zurich, 2017) and co-editor of Sinophone Utopias: Exploring Futures Beyond the China Dream (Cambria Press, 2023). In 2023, she was awarded the FAN Award for early career researchers of the University of Zurich for her ongoing research project, Chinese Literature of the Future: Technology and Nation in Science Fiction and New Media.