Events
 

Under Institutional Eyes: The Search for Collectivity in the Postsocialist Transpacific Novel

CGS Brown Bag Series
Apr 22, 2015
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
101 Old Botany

Darwin Tsen, Penn State

This lecture attempts to cover the specific forms of collectivity and institutionality imagined by Mo Yan, China's most high-profile contemporary writer. China's renunciation of socialist practice was one of the biggest stories of the twentieth century: its subsequent reforms affected everyone, especially migrant workers from rural areas, who, severed from the social safety net provided by the agricultural commune, flocked to the cities for opportunities. The collectivity of the socialist commune, once central to the organization of village life, is lost to urban sprawl. Without a project that envisions a collective exceeding the conventional ways humans live in capitalist modernity, institutions now play the largest role in shaping the people's collective life. 

Darwin Tsen is currently a fifth-year, dual-degree Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at Penn State. His current dissertation project, "Under Institutional Eyes: The Search for Collectivity in the Postsocialist Transpacific Novel" examines how collectivity is imagined in the novels of Mo Yan, Luo Yijun, and Karen Tei Yamashita, three authors whose disparate geographical origins are tied together by the recession of Chinese socialism and the rise of neoliberal globalization.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Series which focuses on interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research.

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