“Frankenstein in China: A Chinese Diplomat, an Indian Automaton, and the Characterization of China as a ‘Sleeping Lion’”
Ari Larissa Heinrich, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature, Comparative Literature, and Cultural Studies, University of California San Diego
Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Kent Hall, Room 403
This talk explores the history of Frankenstein’s monster—in his lesser-known, extra-diegetic Chinese afterlife. Sketching out a quantitative genealogy of Frankenstein in China, Heinrich develops an alternative history to highlight important shifts in corporeal aesthetics over the last two centuries, teasing out along the way an unexpected relationship between Frankenstein and the well-known late nineteenth-century political characterization of China by Liang Qichao and others as a “sleeping lion.” The talk aims to establish some of the basic conceptual vocabulary for the emergence of a biopolitical aesthetics in China since the nineteenth century, and to contextualize representations of the body and its antagonists—and thus what counts as “real”—in a more biotechnologically sophisticated age.
This event is organized by the Program in Chinese Literature and Culture with the Huang and Lin Fund at Columbia University and is cosponsored by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society