Professor Paola Iovene (Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago) - "Toxic Fog in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Media"
April 20, 2015
This talk examines how recent fiction and documentary films have addressed the problem of air pollution in contemporary China. In the literary and visual culture of socialist China, terms and images related to air were often used metaphorically to allude to political situations, human struggles, or shifts in the boundaries of political discourse. It is only in the last few years that air, and especially polluted air, has become a central protagonist of literary and visual works that engage the material transformations of the environment as a way to expose the costs of economic development. The talk focuses on two works: the novel End of Spring in Jiangnan (2011) by Ge Fei, and the documentary film Under the Dome (2015) by Chai Jing, and asks what literature and film can contribute to the debates on environmental degradation in contemporary China.
For more information: eap.einaudi.cornell.edu/ccci-spring-2015