This article seeks to analyze the contested conditions of modern and contemporary Chinese utopia, as a political treatise, a literary genre, and a social imaginary. It takes a historical perspective from which to describe the rise of utopia in the late Qing era and ponders the contradictions and confluences of its narrative and intellectual paradigms. It proposes that we engage with “dark consciousness,” an idea that deals with the polemics of crisis and contingency ingrained in Chinese thought, in light of modern Chinese literary sources. The last part turns to the scene of the new millennium, observing the dystopian and heterotopian inclinations in fictional practice as opposed to the utopian aspiration in political discourse.

You do not currently have access to this content.