Understanding Webnovels: From Disruptive Publishing to Transcultural Storytelling

Xiang webinar


Date: Thursday, 24 September, 2020

Time: 4.00 - 5.00 pm AEST

Live webinar via ZOOM

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Webnovels are born-digital, serialised user-generated-stories, mostly genre fiction, emerged as a disruptive model for literary publishing since the late 1990s. The past decades saw robust industrialisation and internationalisation of webnovels, as well as wide dissemination of translated Asian webnovels across multiple platforms. In this talk Dr Tony Ren, an expert in digital publishing, will share his research on webnovels and explore the emergent trends of online creative writing, social reading and digital publishing. Dr Ren will present some big data research findings, drawing on over 4,000 webnovel titles translated from Chinese to English and their reading metrics. His presentation will map the transnational flow of popular digital literature, examine key features of webnovel stories, and highlight some communicative and cultural shifts. How writers, transcreators and fans engage in a transcultural and participatory sphere of storytelling and what it means for the Global-China cultural interactions in a digital context will also be discussed.

BiographyXiang colour photo

Dr Xiang (Tony) Ren is Research Fellow in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University. He is also the Academic Course Advisor for the Institute’s flagship postgraduate program Master of Cross-Cultural Relations and PhD supervisor. His research interests include digital publishing, cultural globalisation and Chinese creative industries. He has published widely in leading journals like Information, Communication & Society, Online Information Review, and Media, Culture and Society, and has led and participated in many digital research and innovation projects. Prior to his academic career, he spent more than a decade working in international publishing industries.