CFP: A Crisis, or a New Direction?: Reconsidering the Translation of Chinese Philosophy

CFP: A Crisis, or a New Direction?: Reconsidering the Translation of Chinese Philosophy, 16-17 October 2020

We invite paper proposals for a symposium to be held in October 2020 at the International Academy for Chinese Studies (IACS國際漢學家基地) at Peking University. The focus will be on past and contemporary attempts to tackle Chinese philosophy through translation in the Western world, from the Jesuit missionaries to present-day translators working in the academia and beyond. We seek contributions that focus on the cultural impact of translated Chinese philosophical masterworks in the West at different historical periods. This is the fourth symposium in a five-symposium series, which is part of a grander project led by IACS Director Prof. Yuan Xingpei 袁行霈 that covers multiple themes of cultural dialogs between China and the rest of the world.

Examples of potential topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

Translation and Interpretation: The Early Readings of The Book of Changes in Western Languages
The Influence of Early Twentieth-century American Philosophy on Western Zhouyi Scholarship
Scholarly English Translations of the Daode jing and Their “Backward Reception” in China
The Contemporary Relevance of the Mozi Translations
Translation and Religion: Adapting Buddhist and Daoist Classics for a Twenty-first Century Western Audience
Translating for the Anglophone World: Lin Yutang versus D.C. Lau

The papers resulting from the symposium will be published after peer-review in both English- and Chinese-language edited volumes. The possible venues of English publication are the new Brill book series “Chinese Texts in the World” and Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (Duke University Press), for which Professors Yuan Xingpei and Zong-qi Cai are general editors. All English-language chapters will be professionally translated into Chinese by the Commercial Press of Beijing, which will publish the Chinese volume. If desired, articles may be expanded into short booklets and published independently by the Commercial Press, as well.

All costs for transportation (a basic economy class roundtrip air ticket between your place of work and Beijing), accommodation, and meals during the symposium will be borne by the IACS.

Please direct any inquiries to (tel: 852-26167973).

Interested scholars should email a paper proposal of up to 500 words along with a c.v. to symposium organizers Zong-qi Cai ( and Leo Tak Hung Chan ( by January 15, 2020.

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