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Accepted Paper:

‘A Massively Single Number’: Life of Chinese factory peasant-workers, Poetry and Anthropology  
Shuhua Chen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Paper short abstract:

Examining poems as a version of interiority, this paper interweaves contemporary poetry written by Chinese factory peasant-workers with my ethnographic research on rural-urban migration in China, exploring the individual deep feelings that might be shared as universal truth expressed about homing.

Paper long abstract:

Poems such as ‘‘A Massively Single Number’, ‘Going Home on Paper’ are written by Jinniu Guo, a poet and a Chinese factory peasant-worker. In this paper, I read his poems as his inner consciousness that is frozen into words—a version of his interiority. They reveal to us his state of mind, wondering about his fate as well as the fate of the innumerable millions of factory peasant-workers in China. They express an individual’s perception of how the millions of migrants are perceived without individuality but as ‘a massively single number’ and their long trek of homing interiorly. Interwoven with my ethnographic research on rural-urban migration in China—working and living with factory peasant-workers for 14 months in South China, I attempt to explore the individual deep feelings that might be shared as universal truth expressed about homing, a visit to one’s interior world.

Panel Speak03a
Cosmopolitan interiority, cosmopolitan responsibility I
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -