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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


This project aims to map out webs of relations between the fictional tropes, genres, media and institutions involved in a boom in Chinese-language popular fiction in the early 21st century. These relations are transmedia, spanning multiple media forms and industries; transnational, involving the spread of content across countries and regions; and transhistorical, merging premodern, modern and contemporary narrative themes and continuing over extended periods of time. Through a combination of textual analysis and reports from people responsible for producing, disseminating and consuming forms of popular fiction such as online novels, TV dramas, blockbuster films, comics and computer games, this project aims to pioneer research into an area of Chinese-language culture and media of vital economic and cultural importance and increasing global influence. Rather than focusing on specific media or texts, the project seeks to trace the dynamic interactions that occur as narrative tropes are created, appropriated, inherited, remixed and adapted across media by those who participate in Chinese popular fiction. Examples of fictional genres and tropes under examination include Tomb Robbing fiction (daomu xiaoshuo), Time Travel fiction (chuanyue xiaoshuo), Web-Game fiction (wangyou xiaoshuo), Infinite fiction (wuxianliu xiaoshuo) and YY fiction (YY xiaoshuo). 

The project is the recipient of a British Academy Small Grant.

Faculty Researchers