Research Project


Fate and Freedom in Chinese Film, TV Drama and Popular Culture

Prof. Dr. Kwok-kan Tam

The project is a continuation of the International Workshop on "Fate and Prognostication in Chinese Literature, Film and Folktale" which was held at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities in September 2016. While the paper presenters at the International Workshop have submitted their revised manuscripts, we the editors including Professor Michael Lackner are working on the editorial work. My stay in Erlangen will involve two specific tasks: one is to complete the editorial work of the book manuscript by turning the papers into a book with a coherent critical focus; the other is to start a new project which will investigate how the concept of fate is revived in China today, as reflected in popular Chinese film, TV and media.
My visit to Erlangen will give me time and also inspiration for writing a substantial paper on "fate, freedom and popular culture in Chinese media." I believe the paper will shed light on ideological changes in today's postsocialist China when people resort to fate as an explanation of mishaps in life which are beyond people's imagination or understanding according to materialist principles. In this research, I will probe the ideological underpinnings in social change in China.

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