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Fear of Seeing: A Poetics of Chinese Science Fiction


Modern East Asian Literature Research Cluster presents

Emerging Research on Modern East Asian Literature


Fear of Seeing: A Poetics of Chinese Science Fiction


Speaker: Mingwei Song

Professor of Chinese Literature | Wellesley College


Moderator: Pei-yin Lin

Associate Professor | School of Chinese | The University of Hong Kong


DATE: 7 MAR 2024 (THU) 4:30 pm–6:00 pm





“Fear of seeing” constitutes the converting point of my thinking about the poetics of science fiction. Overcoming the “fear of seeing” to represent the invisible energizes this genre. Science fiction is an imaginary realm that opens up infinite new possibilities and inspiring new ways of telling stories about China and the world. Through analyzing representative works of the major authors of the new wave, I explore how the representation of the invisible creates political meaning and poetic resonance that has led to larger changes in the contemporary literary paradigm.


Mingwei Song is a Professor of Chinese Literature at Wellesley College. He is the author of “Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959” (Harvard, 2015) and “Fear of Seeing: The Poetics and Politics of Chinese Science Fiction” (Columbia, 2023). He is the co-editor of “The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First Century Chinese Science Fiction” (Columbia, 2018). His Chinese-language publications includeNew Wave in Chinese Science Fiction: History, Text, Poetics” (2020), “Criticism and Imagination: Collected Critical Essays” (2013), and “Sorrows of a Floating World: A Biography of Eileen Chang” (1996; second edition, 1998).


The series is coordinated by Prof. Su Yun Kim (, Prof. Pei-yin Lin (, and Prof. Alvin Wong (, and is supported by the School of Chinese, School of Humanities, and School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


For registration of the seminar, go to or This event organized with the support of the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong.