Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 5:00 PM EST - 6:15 PM EST

Zoom webinar | Aynne Kokas, Jing Tsu, Yilin Wang

The genre of sci-fi can stretch the collective imagination and introduce new possibilities. In China, industry and political leaders are capitalizing on sci-fi’s unique ability to inspire the public and project a vision of the future that features China as a global innovation leader. With China’s domestic technology goals, such as being the world’s AI leader by 2030, rising to the fore, Chinese science fiction can provide a window into national aspirations and sources of potential conflict as China works to actualize its ambitious plans.

The National Committee’s Young China Professionals (YCP) program held a virtual discussion on January 28, 2021 with Aynne Kokas, Jing Tsu, and Yilin Wang on how this genre is working to both reflect China’s present and shape its future.

The National Committee’s Young China Professionals (YCP) program engages China-focused individuals between the ages of 25 and 45 to increase their knowledge about China on pertinent issues. Through substantive programming, social activities, and interaction with leading China experts, YCP aims to enhance participants’ China interests, foster meaningful connections among participants, and ultimately help prepare the next generation of leaders in the bilateral relationship across various industries. Click here to subscribe for YCP email updates.

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Aynne Kokas

Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and a senior faculty fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Her multiple-award-winning first book, Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the U.S. commercial media industry. Her next book project Data Trafficking: The United States, China, and the Global Battle for Data Security will examine the policy implications of the transfer of consumer data between the United States and China. Kokas’ research has also appeared in Information, Communication, and Society, Journal of Asian Studies, PLOS One, and others. Kokas is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program. Funding agencies including Fulbright, the Library of Congress, the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Abe Fellowship Program and others have supported her research. Kokas’ writing and commentary have appeared in forty-eight countries and eleven languages.

Jing Tsu

Dr. Jing Tsu is a John M. Schiff Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures & Comparative Literature at Yale University. A Guggenheim fellow, Tsu specializes in modern Chinese studies. Her research spans literature and culture, science and technology, nationalism, diaspora and migration, global security and human rights in Asia.  At Yale she offers graduate seminars on sympathy, world Sinophone literature, cultural conflicts and human rights in contemporary China and Asia. She offers a regular interdisciplinary course, “China in the World,” which features six contemporary topics on China in historical, comparative contexts. Tsu has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard), the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), and the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton). Her new book, Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern is appearing with Riverhead, Penguin Random House, in January 2022.

Yilin Wang

Yilin Wang (she/they) is a writer, editor, and Chinese-English translator who lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver, Canada). Her recent work engages with topics such as fantasy fiction, Chinese folklore, martial arts literature (wuxia), diaspora identities, gender expectations, migration, and cultural reclamation. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in ClarkesworldThe Malahat ReviewGrainCV2carte blancheThe Toronto StarThe Tyee, and elsewhere. She has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, a finalist for the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction, and longlisted for the Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award. Her translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Asymptote, PathlightSamovarLiving Hyphen, and the anthology The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories. She has also spoken about martial arts fiction or translation on CBC’s North by Northwest and various podcasts as well as served as a cultural consultant for games such as Hearts of Wulin. Yiilin is a member of the Clarion West Writers Workshop 2020 and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council.

Speaker Book Recommendations

The Three Body Problem” novel by Liu Cixin

A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” short story by Xia Jia

Little Smarty Travels to the Future” comic book by Ye Yonglie

Invisible Planets” anthology translated by Ken Liu

Waste Tide” novel by Chen Qiufan

Folding Beijing” novelette by Hao Jingfang

2066: Red Star Over America” novel by Han Song

Ni Kuang Collection” collection of prose by Ni Kuang