16 May 2024 12:30 SR24, Faculty of English



Lanlan Du (Visiting Fellow, CRASSH / Nanjing University)


As one of the major narrative modes of English climate change fiction, post-apocalyptic writing began to flourish in the twenty-first century. It is notable that among them, some post-apocalyptic novels not only engage such crucial elements of the Anthropocene imagination as extinction, epidemics, energy depletion and survival, but also use intermedial forms within the language-based novel. Station Eleven, a post-apocalyptic fiction which won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award by Canadian writer Emily St. John Mandel, is such an ekphrasis text that uses language to represent music, drama and graphic story. What is the efficacy of different cultural forms in conveying the moral messages of the post-apocalyptic imagination? If human civilization collapses, what can be preserved to make people survive? With Liu Cixin’s climate change short story “The Wondering Earth” in mind, this talk uses Station Eleven and the film adaptation of The Wandering Earth (2019) as an example to ponder on the issue of intermedial performativity, i.e. the transformative power of the intertwined relationships among individuals, artifacts, and hybrid cultural forms to highlight the importance of literature and art in keeping people to live on.

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Speaker biography

Lanlan Du is a tenured Professor at Institute of Global Humanities, Nanjing University. Du’s major research interests are in the fields of women’s writing, comparative literature and contemporary speculative fiction. As a Luce East-Asian Fellow of National Humanities Center in the United States, she worked on the project “Affective Dimensions of Precarity in Contemporary Chinese and English Fiction” and is currently working on the research project “World-building and Its Ethical Messages in Twenty-First Century English Speculative Fiction” granted by China National Social Science Fund.

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