Fall 2024


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

CompLit 112X: Reparative Co-Futures in Chinese Sci-Fi

Ursula Deser Friedman

How does modern Sinophone sci-fi reveal the “dark side” of China’s rise to power? How does Sinophone speculative fiction and its transmediated afterlives chart a reparative vision in the face of ongoing ecological and political crises? How do memories of past traumas intersect with future catastrophes in short stories and novels by Sinophone creators? How does speculative fiction produced by women and nonbinary creators forge an alternative path for human-AI collaboration? How do queer, transgressive, and non-human desires coalesce into a flora-fauna-AI symbiosis? How does contemporary Sinophone sci-fi advance inclusive futures for queer, crip, rural, neurodiverse, non-Han, and otherwise disenfranchised individuals in the face of ongoing exploitation? How do translators of Chinese-sci-fi employ a reparative praxis to transmediate trauma for global audiences?

In this course, we encounter an array of sci-fi and speculative fiction authored by Ken Liu, Cixin Liu, Han Song, Regina Kanyu Wang, Hao Jingfang, Xia Jia, Gu Shi, Wang Nuonuo, and Chu Xidao, alongside selections by Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Italo Calvino, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, and Isaac Asimov (reading selections subject to change). We will also examine multimedia adaptations of contemporary Chinese sci-fi, examining the work’s evolution from page to screen to stage. All readings will be available in English and films will be available either dubbed or with English subtitles. By engaging with material through a variety of written, oral, and multimedia responses, you will co-create reparative futures alongside these speculative creators.

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