Chinese Literature Reinvented – Resurgence and Relevance to Pop Culture

Thursday, September 21, 2023 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Zoom Webinar


Classic Chinese stories are constantly being reinvented – not only in literature, and not only in China; these days, they are as likely to turn up in Korean films, Japanese video games, Vietnamese cartoons, or even American graphic novels. What accounts for the constant repurposing of a familiar character like the Monkey King or the White Snake, and what can we learn about a particular cultural moment by seeing how the characteristic uses of such figures changes over time?

Professor Julia Lovell of the Birkbeck University of London, who has translated Journey to the West, as well as many modern works,  and written on subjects ranging from Maoism to the Opium War to the Great Wall, and Professor Liang Luo of the University of Kentucky, a scholar of both avant-garde and popular culture whose book The Global White Snake traces the changing ways in this centuries-old Chinese myth has figured in twentieth and twenty-first-century culture produced across and beyond East Asia, will discuss how – and why – Chinese high culture is being recycled and revitalized through popular media creations.

Join us for this interesting University of Chicago Yuen Campus Hong Kong program to learn more about the role of classic Chinese literature in contemporary popular culture.



Liang Luo
Professor, Chinese Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Kentucky

Julia Lovell
Professor of Modern Chinese History and Literature
School of Historical Studies
Birkbeck University of London



Kenneth Pomeranz
Faculty Director
The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong


About /pɒp/Asia

The UChicago Yuen Campus /pɒp/Asia series will address topics that originate, revolve around and affect the Asia-Pacific Region. From music and anime to tattoos and the exploding interest in crypto currencies, we’ll explore the cultural goings-on in deep corners around the region and how they are influencing the rest of the world. Read more.

The Global White Snake
By Liang Luo

Monkey King: Journey to the West
By Wu Ch'eng-en, Translated by Julia Lovell