Solitude and Community in Contemporary Chinese Culture

Workshop: Solitude and Community in Contemporary Chinese Culture

The relationship between solitude and community resonates across the making of culture: creativity is often seeded in the tranquility of solitude; but it also blooms in spaces of community. In the aftermath of China’s strict Zero-COVID, policy, when millions of people were confined to their homes for months in states of isolation, questions about this intersection between being alone and being together are more pertinent than ever. This workshop focusses in particular on the insights their relationship offers into the ways in which seemingly disparate makers of culture navigate uncertainty in China and Hong Kong today. Placing the loneliness of the prison cell alongside solitary spectatorship of censored documentaries; linking online communities of transnational authors to the network of world-cities in which they live; and exploring the overlapping tensions between being singular and plural in contemporary poetry, this workshop shows how community and solitude, as multi-media and multi-scalar concepts, illuminate the bonds of sociality in uncertain times.

Federico Picerni (University of Bologna) ‘Solitude and Community, Singular and Plural, Poet and Class: Overlaps in Workers’ Poetry’
Margaret Hillenbrand (University of Oxford) ‘Digital Documentaries, Solitary Spectatorship’
Pang Laikwan (Chinese University of Hong Kong) ‘Writing Behind Bars: The Fandom That Queers Our Political Subjectivity’
Carwyn Morris (Leiden University) ‘In the Shadow of the World City: City Identity and Community in China’
Huang Qian (University of Groningen) ‘Chinese Female Transnational-Romance Content Creators’ Cautious Labor in Daily Production and Community Management’

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