CfP: Time and Temporality / Special Issue “Frontiers of Literary Studies in China” (FLSC)


Time and Temporality

A proposed special issue of

Frontiers of Literary Studies in China (FLSC)

Edited by Carlos Rojas

Although considerable attention has been given to the ways in which Chinese literature has used the past to critique the present, there has been comparatively less discussion of literature’s engagement with issues of futurity or with the nature of temporality itself. This special issue of Frontiers will examine shifting understandings of temporality in Chinese literature, including notions of historicity and futurity, as well as how discursive shifts and technological innovations have helped transform phenomenological perceptions of time itself. Of equal interest are the ways in which temporal relations are represented through narrative conventions, including the use of foreshadowing, flashbacks, synchronous narration, and so forth. In other words, how does literature reflect thematically on questions of temporality, and how are certain understandings of temporality embedded within the narrative form itself?

Submissions examining either modern or premodern texts are equally welcome, as are essays looking at works from mainland China, Greater China, or the global Chinese diaspora. Indeed, one objective of this special issue will be to use a focus on issues of temporality to help reassess conventional taxonomical divisions based on perceived historical or territorial partitions. Approaches may include, but are not limited to, Marxian and psychoanalytical ones (e.g., David Harvey on space-time compression, Freudian notions of trauma and repetition compulsion), as well as phenomenological, narratological, new historical, and queer theoretical approaches.

Potential topics include:

  • The relationship between discourses of historical cyclicity and tropes of reincarnation.
  • The fascination with the “new” in early twentieth century China.
  • The contemporary genre of “time-travel” fiction and its implications.
  • The relationship between subjective or phenomenological time and different forms of “objective” or external time.
  • Utopian and dystopian narratives.
  • The thematization of periods of interregnum or states of exception.
  • Themes of commemoration and anticipation.

The submission deadline is May 1, 2015 (for a projected publication date of Winter 2015).

Please adhere to FLSC STYLE SHEET GUIDELINES. Send electronic submissions to both guest editor Carlos Rojas ( and FLSC managing editor Chun Zhang (