Romancing the Internet

Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance


In Romancing the Internet: Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance, Jin Feng examines the evolution of Chinese popular romance on the Internet. She first provides a brief genealogy of Chinese Web literature and Chinese popular romance, and then investigates how large socio-cultural forces have shaped new writing and reading practices and created new subgenres of popular romance in contemporary China. Integrating ethnographic methods into literary and discursive analyses, Feng offers a gendered, audience-oriented study of Chinese popular culture in the age of the Internet.
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EUR €112.00USD $137.00

Biographical Note

Jin Feng, Ph.D. (2000), from the University of Michigan, is Professor of Chinese at Grinnell College. She has published monographs, translation, and articles in English and Chinese on Chinese culture, including Ginling College (1915-1952): The Making of a Family Saga (SUNY, 2009).

Review Quotes

"Yet, despite the undeniable cultural influence and financial clout of web-based literature, it is only with the 2013 publication of Jin Feng’s Romancing the Internet: Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance, that we have the first English-language book dedicated to a major genre within this hugely significant—as well as simply huge—area of cultural production."
Heather Inwood, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Resource Center Publication (August 2014)

“Romancing the Internet” is an extremely stimulating read for scholars of gender and women’s studies and for those interested in Chinese popular culture in general and internet literature in particular.”
Elisabeth Schleep, University of Freiburg, 1-3

"...Feng undertakes the ambitious but much needed task of examining the immense (and ever-expanding) volume and vibrant culture of Web romance to investigate the ways in which contemporary Chinese women’s reading and writing experiences 'help them to reinvent their gender and cultural identities.' ... this innovative audience-focused literary study adeptly employs various analytical tools, including close reading, linguistic and discourse analysis, sociological data, focus group study, one-on-one interviews, and participant observation." Hui Faye Xiao Asia Pacific Perspectives, Spring/Summer 2014

Table of contents

Introduction: This is Not Your Mother's Qiong Yao
Fan Production
Interdisciplinary Improvisation
Organization of Chapters

1. A Short Genealogy
The Politics and Economics of Web Publishing
The Popular Mind
Stud, Farming, and Magic-Space Fiction: Characteristics and Trends
The Pleasure of Repetition
Romantic Love with Chinese Characteristics

2. Addicted to Beauty
Three Players and the Text
Textual Poaching
Time Travel in Danmei Fiction
The Androgynous Reader

3. "Men Conquer the World and Women Save Mankind"
Clues from Interviews
The Supreme Heroine
Three Princesses

4. Rewriting Classics, Righting Wrongs
Tricks of the Trade
Rewriting Classics
Danmei Fanfic
Anti-Qiong Yao Fanfic

5. How to Make Mr. Right?
Seeking Mr. Right?
The Ideal Hero
Who Is More "Economical and Serviceable"?
Reading Zhifou: Strategies and Negotiations
Making Mr. Right

Coda: What Does Chinese Web Romance Do?
Remaking Popular Romance
Creating the Self in a Crowd
A New Woman Born of the E-Age?

Appendix: Glossary of Chinese and Japanese Characters


All interested in contemporary Chinese culture, gender studies, media studies, fiction, and popular romance.


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