Queerly imagining "Super Girl" in an alternate world: The fannish worlding in FSCN femslash romance


  • Jing (Jamie) Zhao Chinese University of Hong Kong




Chinese femslash, Fan fiction, Lesbianism


A globally formatted, Idol-style, reality singing contest produced by a Chinese provincial TV station, Super Girl (SG; Hunan Satellite TV, 2004–2006) received staggeringly huge commercial success nationwide. It only allowed female participants and featured a large number of gender-defying finalists. This article explores femslash fan fiction published and circulated on feise chaonü (FSCN), one of the most popular Mainland Chinese femslash fandoms of 2006 SG participants. The lesbian romance depicted in FSCN fan fiction is inspired by and further articulates the intentionally "queered" content of SG. However, these lesbian stories are often narrated within culturally distant, fictional settings, such as Western, futuristic, or historical backdrops. My reading of FSCN femslash fan fiction explores how and why this prevailing, yet self-contradictory, femslash writing strategy helps the fans to queerly construct an "alternate world" that enacts, facilitates, or legitimizes Chinese lesbianism. I reveal the underlying ways in which this FSCN worlding practice ambiguously appropriates and ridicules contemporary Chinese female gender- and sexuality-related norms and ideals. Ultimately, I argue that the "worlded" contexts and plotlines of queer fantasy in FSCN femslash can be construed as active fannish responses to and negotiations with the realities and histories of Chinese lesbian-related public cultures.

Author Biography

Jing (Jamie) Zhao, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jamie is a PhD Candidate in Gender and Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on Chinese queer fandom and entertainment TV.