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Dr. Meng Xia

Meng Xia

Fellow in the project „Epochal Life Worlds: Man, Nature and Technology in Narratives of Crisis and Change“ (June - August 2023)

Short Biography

Meng Xia completed her doctoral studies and teaches in Chinese Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, on the topic of history, memory and narrative in overseas Chinese migrant fiction. She has lectured at the Communication University of Zhejiang, Hangzhou, China. She conducted an empirical research project on theatre reception at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, US as visiting researcher in 2015. She published journal articles, editorials, book reviews and translations, and presented her research at international conferences on China studies, world literature and comparative literature. Her research interests include Chinese contemporary literature and cultural studies, memory culture studies, diaspora, narratological theories, trauma and affect, and reception theories.


The Narrative of Transcultural Pandemic Memory

In this project, I pinpoint transcultural memory as the essential approach to globally shared experiences, in this case, the pandemic. “Transcultural memory” means connecting local memories with the loci of its transposition and translation, including memories triggered from transnational experiences as well as memories of global context and significance. Specific to pandemic memory, the disruption of routes and routines, the suffering of the disadvantaged and the marginal, and the trauma from loss and fear, accumulate into common memories relatable to people regardless of their origin and residency. In the case of pandemic, transcultural memory binds people in the sense of mutual impact and entangled relations; yet it also widens the gaps, disputes and splits. In this context, my research investigates how narratives of pandemic memory, expose how people recount, represent and interpret their memory with crossings and shared grounds. I propose that the recognition of transcultural memory demonstrates possibilities to reimagine worldmaking amid the post-Covid crises. I argue that the construction of memory does not only reminisce and commemorate casualties but reexamines and envisions choices of worldmaking. Beyond narratives alleged as factual, rational, and realistic, accounts and visuals of memory generate diverse narratives that tap into the depth and complexity of human condition.