From the SFRA 2021 Conference
Recipient’s Statement for the Support a New Scholar Award 2020
“Unity in wisdom; none shall separate.” This is the motto of the Goodenough College in central London, a student residential college where I have been staying for the past a few years of my PhD. (I know its name sounds unusual, as it is inherited from its founder, the Goodenough family.) People from across the world, regardless of their culture, race, belief, nationality, and academic expertise, are united in this place, all included and welcomed in the same community. Ideas clashing, passions growing, there comes the true wisdom out of an atmosphere of diversity, conviviality, and heteroglossia, where one is all, and all is one.
This is why I feel so delighted, so honoured, and so flattered to be this year’s awardee of the “Support a New Scholar” scheme, to be welcomed into such a fabulous community of science fiction studies, and even more gloriously, to be trusted to make recognised contributions to SFRA. Here I would like to take this chance to thank my supervisors Dr. James Kneale and Dr. LU Xiaoning for their consistent and painstaking academic guidance. They enlightened me not only with the nuances within the domain of science fiction, but also the profound reference to politics, history, economy, and society in these narratives. Science fiction can be politicised, historicised, serving as a line of flight towards alternatives, towards the hope that has not yet to come. This is how I read science fiction in my PhD thesis “The Boom and The Boom: Historical Rupture and Political Economy in Contemporary Chinese and British Science Fiction”, juxtaposing the latest renaissance of science fiction in the two countries—the British SF Boom and the Chinese New Wave. I put these two movements under the broader social-cultural transitions in the post-Thatcher Britain and the post-socialist China, interrogating and amplifying the transgressive nature of science fiction.
I would also like to thank everyone who support me along the way: people of the London Chinese Science Fiction Group which I co-founded with Angela Chan, people of the London Science Fiction Research Community who welcomed me as a co-director, and people of the Science Fiction Research Association who nominated me for this award, who invited me to another wonderful community where I could join the unity of all science fiction scholars, writers, readers, and publishers. Unity in wisdom; none shall separate. I will keep this in mind and stand with all my fellow colleagues in exploring the unlimited line of flight connoted in science fiction, with the broadest definition.