Zoom talk by Haun Saussy on Thursday, March 30, 5-6:30pm ET

The Chinese Studies Program at Fordham University is hosting on online Winter Colloquium Series featuring prominent scholars in the field. Our second guest is Haun Saussy, Professor of  East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, who will give a talk on his newly published book, The Making of Barbarians: Chinese Literature and Multilingual Asia (Princeton University Press 2022), on Thursday, March 30, 5-6:30pm EDT, via Zoom. Please register with this link:
Registered guests will receive the Zoom link before the event.

Here is a summary of Prof. Saussy’s book from Princeton University Press:

Debates on the canon, multiculturalism, and world literature often take Eurocentrism as the target of their critique. But literature is a universe with many centers, and one of them is China. The Making of Barbarians offers an account of world literature in which China, as center, produces its own margins. Here Sinologist and comparatist Haun Saussy investigates the meanings of literary translation, adaptation, and appropriation on the boundaries of China long before it came into sustained contact with the West.

When scholars talk about comparative literature in Asia, they tend to focus on translation between European languages and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, as practiced since about 1900. In contrast, Saussy focuses on the period before 1850, when the translation of foreign works into Chinese was rare because Chinese literary tradition overshadowed those around it.

The Making of Barbarians looks closely at literary works that were translated into Chinese from foreign languages or resulted from contact with alien peoples. The book explores why translation was such an undervalued practice in premodern China, and how this vast and prestigious culture dealt with those outside it before a new group of foreigners—Europeans—appeared on the horizon.

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