Qiu Miaojin conference

Qiu Miaojin: Textuality, Visuality, and Desire in Global Circulation

Qiu Miaojin: Textuality, Visuality, and Desire in Global Circulation
December 4, 2021 (Saturday), 9am-5:30pm (HKT)
On ZOOM: Please register and the ZOOM link will be sent to you prior to the event:


This conference engages with the literary works of Qiu Miaojin, a famous lesbian and queer writer of Taiwan whose premature death in 1995 marks a watershed moment in queer and literary discourses both in and out of Taiwan. Qiu’s queer classic Notes of a Crocodile (1994) centers on a lesbian protagonist who assumes a non-human alter ego of a crocodile in the narration. Showcasing the clever use of irony, sarcasm, and dark humor, Qiu’s first novel instantly became a defining work of lesbian queer fiction in Taiwan. Qiu’s writing career ended too early when she committed suicide at the young age of twenty-six, leaving us with her last work called Last Words from Montmartre (1996). Recently, filmmaker Evans Chan has also completed a full feature film called Love and Death in Montmartre (2019). This conference brings together scholars who are interested in the lifework of Qiu by considering the impact of her works across the fields of film studies, literary studies, affect theory, queer studies, animal studies, and translation theory. It takes the specific case of Qiu’s lifework to investigate how the mobility of queer desire enables a kind of cross-genre, transmedial, and transnational mode of textuality. Presenters will situate the cultural phenomenon of Qiu Miaojin in broader comparative and global perspectives. The conference brings together literary and cultural critics, a filmmaker, and creative writers from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North America, and the UK.

*Film screening: Love and Death in Montmartre 蒙馬特之愛與死 (2019), directed by Evans Chan (Vimeo link will be sent to you prior to the event.)

Qiu Miaojin: Textuality, Visuality, and Desire in Global Circulation

December 4, 2021 (Saturday)

9:00-9:15 am: Welcome and opening remark: Nicole Huang (Professor and Chair of

Comparative Literature); Alvin K. Wong

9:15-10:00 am: Panel 1: Qiu Miaojin and Cinematic Representations

A Discussion of Love and Death in Montmartre 蒙馬特之愛與死 (2019)
Featuring: Gina Marchetti, Mike Ingham, Shi-yan Chao, and Evans Chan

Moderator: Alvin K. Wong

10 Minutes Break

10:10-11:40am: Panel 2: Body, Affect, and Pedagogy

  1. Kate Costello, Teaching Translation to Students of World Literature: Notes of a

Crocodile as a Case Study

  1. Tze-lan Sang, How Far Have We Come?: From Notes of a Crocodile to Small Talk
  2. T.M. Mamos, Emotional Vectors: Intertextuality in Qiu Miaojin’s Novels
  3. Jenn Marie Nunes, The Motif of Writing and Queer Female Agency in 1990s Taiwanese Short Fiction

Moderator: Pei-yin Lin

Lunch: 11:40am-12:45pm

12:45pm-2:00 pm: Panel 3: Queer Literary Publics and Performance

  1. Chi Ta-wei, Literature as a Public: Qiu Miaojin on Mental Disorders
  2. Alvin K. Wong, Queer Minor Transnationalism in Qiu Miaojin and Wong Bik-wan’s Works
  3. Fan-Ting Cheng, Performing Queer Intervulnerability

Moderator: Calvin Hui

*This session will be conducted in Chinese

2:00pm-3:30pm: Panel 4: The Legacy of Qiu Miaojin: Writers in Dialogue

  1. Luo Yijun (駱以軍), “Portraits of the Young Artist” 青年藝術家的畫像
  2. Lolita C.F. Hu (胡晴舫), “Dying Young and Withering” 早夭與凋零, excerpt from


  1. Chi Ta-wei (紀大偉), “What is Love in Montmartre?” 愛是什麼?—看《蒙馬特遺書》
  2. Li Kotomi, (李琴峰), “Situating Qiu Miaojin’s Novels in Japan: Notes on Qiu and Japanese Queer Literature” 邱妙津小說在日本:兼談日本同志文學

Moderator: Nicole Huang

10 Minutes Coffee Break

3:40-4:45pm: Panel 5: Animality, Cultural Translation, and Queer Aesthetics

  1. Yahia Zhengtang Ma, “Desire” as a Verb: Translating Same-Sex Desire in Qiu Miaojin’s

Last Words from Montmartre

  1. Ari Larissa Heinrich, Writing Your Own Obituary: Reception of Last Words from

Montmartre among English-language Readers (interview with Yahia Ma)

  1. Carlos Rojas, Animality and the Limits of Language

Moderator: Grace Ting

4:45-5:30pm: Roundtable

Organized by: Department of Comparative Literature; The Center for the Study of Globalization and Culture (CSGC), HKU

Contact: Dr. Alvin K. Wong (akhwong@hku.hk)

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