EVENT Jan 15
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Call for book chapters on Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed

Categories: Lingustics, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2021-01-15 Abstract Due: 2021-01-15

CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS on Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed

Thanks to an increasing range of streaming platforms, a greater general familiarity with adaptation-driven and transmedial storytelling, and faster rates of communication among invested viewers—among other factors! —audiences today have access to an increasingly transcultural range of popular culture content. The 2019 Chinese web series Chen Qing Ling (English translation: The Untamed) is one such example. While the show is not the first of its various genres or circumstances, it has generated and sustained a wide appeal that is worth exploring.

We are soliciting book chapters for an edited scholarly collection on Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed, its contexts, and its audiences. This will be a multi-disciplinary collection that considers the show's popularity, influences, and effects from a variety of cultural and critical viewpoints.

After episodes began airing on Tencent in June 2019, Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed quickly became one of China's most widely-viewed and highest-earning dramas, attracting millions of views per episode and drawing a large international audience through streaming on additional platforms. Just over a year on, the show continues to release new paratextual materials, support a vibrant transnational and transcultural fan base, and generate wider, ongoing interest in genres such as danmei, xianxia, and Cdramas. Given these effects, this collection aims to assemble a first compilation of interdisciplinary scholarship that begins to contextualize, explore, and evaluate Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed, the works that inspired it, the contexts that impacted it, and the influences it continues to have.

We are interested in chapters that address topics such as:


1.      Genre, Adaptation, Authorship

  • Danmei as genre and/or subject of adaptation
  • Contextualization of danmei among Boys’ Love (BL), yaoi, and slash
  • Contextualization of Modao Zushi within danmei 
  • Jinjiang and reader communities surrounding Modao Zushi
  • Analysis of the live-action show, animated show, audio drama, and/or graphic novels as adaptation(s) of Modao Zushi
  • Contextualization of Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed among recent or forthcoming danmei adaptations (Guardian, Immortality {The Husky and His White Cat Shizun}, etc.)
  • Mo Xiang Tong Xiu as author, and/or Modao Zushi among her other works
  • Studies of Modao Zushi in the context of the xianxia (immortal heroes) and/or xiuzhen (immortality cultivation) genre(s)


2.       Production, Promotion, Distribution

  • Circumstances of production
  • Censorship and distribution
  • Translations, dubs, and subtitles
  • Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed original soundtrack (OST)
  • Performers and performances, including Cpop stars (Xiao Zhan, Wang Yibo, The Untamed Boys [TUB]), promotions, and post-filming concerts
  • Paratextual materials, including "behind the scenes" footage and spin-off films (Shenghun/The Living Dead {2019}, Luanpo/Fatal Journey {2020})
  • Accessibility (including Tencent VIP function and early releases)
  • Streaming and platforms (Tencent Video, WeTV, Viki, ODC, YouTube, Netflix)
  • Tie-ins and merchandise (official and fan-made)


3.      Circulation, Reception, Fandom

  • Critical and popular reception in China
  • Transnational and transcultural reception
  • Fan cultures and participatory networks
  • The data-ization of fandom; forms of fan labour
  • Fan activities and social media (Sina Weibo, Lofter, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.)
  • Transformative works (fanfiction, fanart, fanvids, etc.)  


4.      Sociocultural and Political Perspectives

  • Critical analysis of Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed or Modao Zushi (feminist, queer studies, media studies, and other critical approaches welcome)
  • Gender and sexuality reflected in the show, the novel, and/or their fandoms
  • Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed and real person slash (RPS) fandom, including the Ao3 ban in mainland China
  • Transnational and/or transcultural models of fan activity
  • Tension among models of fan activity; fans and anti-fans of the show or novel; power struggles among fan communities   
  • Conversations about activism, awareness, and appropriation, particularly regarding transcultural fans of Chen Qing Ling/The Untamed

The items above are suggestions and topics that we are especially interested in exploring with this collection. However, we will certainly also consider topics beyond those listed here.

Please send your 300-500 word abstract to the editors at cql.mdzs.collection@gmail.com by January 15, 2021. We also welcome inquiries before this January date.

Acceptances will be sent in February 2021, and full chapters will be due around September 2021. A more detailed timeline will be made available once chapters have been confirmed.   


CQL collection editors