The Thief Who Stole My Story: Self-Narration and Metafiction in Sinophone Literature from Thailand

Speaker: Rebecca Ehrenwirth
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2021-4-27 | 19:00-20:30 (Shanghai)
2021-4-27 | 7:00-8:30 (New York)
2021-4-27 | 15:00-16:30 (Abu Dhabi)

When Sinophone-Thai authors Sima Gong and Zeng Xin were born in the 1930s in Bangkok, they were not Sinophone writers yet. They did not even learn to speak Chinese until they were children, respectively teenagers. However, nowadays they count among the most prolific and popular Sino-Thai authors despite their rather high age. So when did they become Sinophone writers in Thailand and why?

In this talk I will discuss the importance of narrative self-making and metafiction in Sinophone literature in Thailand. I will mostly focus on flash fiction and poems by the two mentioned authors to exemplify not only how Sinophone writers try to (de-)construct their identities as Sinophone, Thai and as writers in Thailand but also how they struggle with their multiple identities in every day life.

Rebecca Ehrenwirth is an Assistant Professor of Translation (Chinese-German) at the University of Applied Sciences/SDI Munich and teaches at Jilin International Studies University in Changchun. She received her Ph.D. in Sinology from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Her research focuses on Sinophone literature (mainly in Southeast Asia), postcolonial studies, Queer film studies, contemporary Chinese art and film, as well as creative teaching techniques. Her book on Contemporary Sinophone Literature in Thailand was published in 2018 with Harrassowitz in Germany; a journal article on Intertextuality in Sino-Thai literature has just been published in the latest issue of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. She is currently working on an article on the Shanghai Queer Film Festival and co-editing a book on Contemporary German-Chinese Cultures in Dialogue which will be published in 2023 with Springer.

Introduction by Celina Hung, Assistant Professor of Literature, Interim Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.

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