Professor Laughlin presented a lecture on October 30, 2017 at Piedmont Valley Community College titled "Science Fiction and Futuristic Reality: China in the 21st Century and the Role of Fiction and Film."

China’s geopolitical re-emergence and its experience of globalization have pushed literature to the margins of public discourse. But there are still those who yearn to speak to social and historical tensions in China and its place in the world. Two of the most distinctive developments are the rise of independent documentary film since the turn of the 21st century, and the the subsequent explosion of science fiction, most prominently Liu Cixin for his epic trilogy The Three Body Problem. This talk will explore how the intense reality of independent documentary (represented by Wang Jiuliang’s Beijing Beseiged by Waste) and the extreme imagination of science fiction (shown in Hugo Award-winning Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing”) merge to portray contemporary China as a shockingly “brave new world.”

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