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Current Projects

Avant-garde Lyric Classicism in the Sinophone Cyberspace

(manuscript in progress)

This monographic project proposes to examine the relation between technological transformation and lyric writing through the case of avant-garde classicism that became a striking literary phenomenon from the late 1990s to the early 2010s, thanks to the unique Chinese internet culture at the time. Works by representative poets like Lizilizilizi, Xutang, Dugu shiroushou, and Tianxuezhai are critically investigated to shed light on issues like the legacy of Maoist revolutionary classicism, the relation between free-style verse and classicist verse, the “ethnic” bookshelf in the World Wide Web, and conservative forces that continue to shape the gender discourse in classicist poetry today.

Sinophone Classicism

A collaborative project spanning across fields like literary, cultural, and media studies. It further attempts to engage practicing writers and artists in an ongoing dialogue on representing Chineseness in a multicultural, multilingual, and increasingly digitalized world. This project has resulted in the following events and publications:

  • Zhiyi Yang, “Sinophone Classicism: Chineseness as Temporal and Mnemonic Experience in the Digital Era,” The Journal of Asian Studies 81.4 (2022): 1–15.
  • Zhiyi Yang and David Der-wei Wang eds., Special Issue “Classicism in Digital Times: Textual Production as Cultural Remembrance in the Sinophone Cyberspace,” Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature (under review).
  • Harvard-Frankfurt-Lingnan Symposium “Classicism in Digital Times: Textual Production as Cultural Remembrance in the Sinophone Cyberspace,” co-organized by Zhiyi Yang and David Der-wei Wang
  • “Sinophone Classicism: Chinese Cultural Memories in a Global Space” lecture series at Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Bad Homburg (2021-25), organized by Zhiyi Yang

You can reach me:


Email: z.yang[at]


Phone: +49(0)69/798-23288



Sinologie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Senckenberganlage 31

D-60325 Frankfurt am Main Germany

l'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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