Chu Tien-wen, Taiwan New Cinema, and Taiwan Literature


Intermedial Translation as Circulation Chu Tien-wen, Taiwan New Cinema, and Taiwan Literature

Jessica Siu-yin Yeung, SOAS University of London

Date & Time

Mar 15, 2021 11:30 AM Prague Bratislava


Trainee Centre Online


We generally believe that literature first circulates nationally and then scales up through translation and reception at an international level. In contrast, I argue that Taiwan literature first attained international acclaim through intermedial translation during the New Cinema period (1982–90) and was only then subsequently recognised nationally. These intermedial translations included not only adaptations of literature for film, but also collaborations between authors who acted as screenwriters and filmmakers. The films resulting from these collaborations repositioned Taiwan as a multilingual, multicultural and democratic nation. These shifts in media facilitated the circulation of these new narratives. Filmmakers could circumvent censorship at home and reach international audiences at Western film festivals. The international success ensured the wide circulation of these narratives in Taiwan.


Jessica Siu-yin Yeung is a final year PhD Candidate in the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies at SOAS University of London. Her current research focuses on the intersections of semiotics, allegory, and homosexual representations in Taiwanese and Hong Kong novels and films between 1983 and 1997. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of World Literature, Humans at Work in the Digital Age (Routledge), Cultural Conflict in Hong Kong (Palgrave Macmillan), a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and Virginia Woolf Miscellany.