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Asien-Orient-Institut UFSP Asien und Europa (2006–2017)

Internet Poetry in Chinese: Transgressions and Innovations

Prof. Dr. Michel Hockx, Director SOAS China Institute (SOAS, University of London)

Guest Lecture, October 22, 2014, 18:15–20:00


Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies – Chinese Studies and URPP Asia and Europe


Room ZUB 4-416, Zürichbergstrasse 4, 8032 Zürich


Poetry has outperformed all other modes of online Sinophone writing in terms of variety, experimentation, and critical acclaim. In Chinese-language Internet poetry we see a range of aesthetic programs being developed, from provocative avant-garde and moral transgression to reappropriation of the social functions of classical poetry. There is also lively interaction between poets working inside and those outside the PRC, while Chinese written characters can also be seen to be incorporated into the work of non-Chinese electronic poets. This lecture will discuss examples of such online work, paying special attention to ways in which Internet poets move beyond conventional aesthetic, moral, political, and geographical boundaries.

Michel Hockx is Professor of Chinese at SOAS, University of London, and Director of the SOAS China Institute. He studied modern Chinese language and literature at Leiden University, where he obtained his PhD degree in 1994 for a thesis on modern Chinese poetry. He has been teaching at SOAS, University of London, since 1996. His research focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese literary communities, their norms and conventions, their methods of publication and forms of organization, and their relationship with the state. His latest book, Internet Literature in China, will be available from Columbia University Press in late 2014.