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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | Early Modern Forms of Chinese Literary Play: Database, Interface, and Iconography in Shuihuzhuan/Suikoden

Paize Keulemans, Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
If you would like to attend via Zoom, please register at

This talk examines one of the most popular remediations of the 16th-century Chinese novel “Outlaws of the Marsh” by comparing it to the popular Japanese video-game series “Suikoden.” In doing so, this talk will question some of the central tensions in the contemporary iteration of this classic, the tension between material and digital as card and video-game, between the desire for completion (crucial to collecting) and repetition (essential to play), as well as the visual/haptic pleasure of holding/viewing your favorite character in isolation versus recognizing the same character as part of an “assembly” when part of a narrative/game. By juxtaposing the contemporary Japanese video-game with the earlier, literary classic, this talk will ask whether principles of contemporary play can serve to question some of our assumptions about the premodern text indeed the genre of the “novel” itself.

Paize Keulemans is an Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. His research interests are focused on the interaction between late-imperial Chinese literature and different media, a theme he explored in terms of the interaction between sound and text in his first book, "Sound Rising from the Paper: Martial Arts Fiction and the Chinese Acoustic Imagination" (Harvard University Asia Center Press, 2015) and as the tension between news, gossip, and literature in his second book (“Idle Chatter: The Productive Uses of Rumor in Early Modern Chinese Literature,” under review at Harvard University Asia Center Press).His latest project, tentatively entitled “Old Novels, New Games: The Concept of Play in Late Ming and Late Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture,” focuses on the remediation of China’s great Ming-Dynasty novels as contemporary video Games.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), Asian Languages and Cultures