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This lecture introduces the history, development, and widespread popularity of Internet Literature (wangluo wenxue 网络文学) in the People's Republic of China. The speakers will deal in turn deal with two discrete aspects of the phenomenon, namely the rise of online popular fiction and its impact on other media, and the significance of online practices for the more marginal genre of poetry.

Michel Hockx is Professor of Chinese at SOAS, University of London. Born and raised in The Netherlands, he obtained his PhD in 1994 from Leiden University for a thesis on modern Chinese poetry. His later work has dealt with various aspects of the sociology of modern Chinese literature, including the study of early modern literary societies and literary magazines and, more recently, the study of Internet Literature. His monograph Internet Literature in China is forthcoming with Columbia University Press.

David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications, and Co-Director of the Communications and Media Research Institute, at the University of Westminster. His teaching and research concerns people’s use of media in their everyday lives, with a particular focus on creative uses of digital media. He is the author of several books, including Creative Explorations (2007) and Making is Connecting: The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (2011). He has made several popular YouTube videos, and produces the website about media and identities, Theory.org.uk. He has conducted collaborative research with a number of the world’s leading creative organisations, including the BBC, Lego, and Tate.

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