Translations and Transformations: China, Modernity and Cultural Transmission

1 May 2008 - 3 May 2008

Kaetsu Centre, New Hall

Deadline for Registration: 29 April 2008 

Convenor: Professor Mary Jacobus (University of Cambridge)

This event is part of the AHRC-funded Network, Translations and Transformations: China, Modernity and Cultural Transmission. Based at CRASSH the network focuses on the oppositions and relations through which Chinese modernity has been shaped and imagined. An age of globalisation makes it more than ever urgent to ask: what processes of transmission mediate literary and cultural exchanges between China and the West? China's complex interactions with its others are key to understanding its relation to modernity. Defining the modern, as Lydia Liu observes, is not only a question of periodisation but also of translatability: 'The problem of translation has become increasingly central to critical reflections on modernity... The fact that one can speak about a varied range of modernities suggests an extraordinary faith in the translatability of modernity and its universal ethos.' (Translingual Practice,1995).

Lydia Liu's 'translingual practice' refers to the translation from one culture into the practice of another: to cultural as well as linguistic translation. At the heart of the problem are specific acts, sites, and theories of translation; relationships between universal and particular; and the limits or possibilities of cultural commensurability. Whether literal translation or at the level of language and culture, or involving concepts, technologies and techniques, the status of translation is at stake in defining the field of Chinese modernism and modernity. The processes of transmission include literary and visual translation, as well as contextualisation and reception, but they also raise issues of translatability in the broadest sense. The Conference will involve scholars of literary and cultural studies in China and the West, including translation theorists, critical theorists, and theorists of visual culture and film.

 


 

Thursday 1 May

 

3.30-4.15

Registration with coffee/tea


4.15-4.30

Welcome from Sir Christopher Hum (Master of Gonville & Caius College, formerly HM Ambassador to China)

Welcome from Professor Hans Van de Ven (Chairman of the  Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies)


4.30-5.30

Plenary Address

Translation as Cultural Mediation
Susan Bassnet (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Warwick University)

6.00-7.00 

Reception and Finger Buffet

 

Friday 2 May

 

9.30-11.00

Translating Modernism
Chair: Haun Saussy
 

Eric Hayot (Penn State University)
The Example-Effect 

Wang Ning (Tsinghua University)
Modernity, Translated Literature and the Formation of Modern
Chinese Literary Tradition

Christopher Bush (Northwestern University)
China, for example . . .  : Talking about China outside of East Asia
Studies  

    11.00-11.30

    Break

    11.30-13.00

    Translating Modernism II
    Chair: Susan Daruvala

    Christopher Rosenmeier (University of Cambridge)
    Turning Against Realism: Tradition and Exoticism in the Popular Fiction of the 1940s

    Jing Tsu (Yale University)
    Bilingual Loyalty: Zhang Ailing, Ha Jin, and the Failure to Address


    Cao Li (Tsinghua University)
    Translating Literature: The Cambridge Critics and Their Significance in China
     

    13.00-14.00

    Lunch

    14.00-15.30 

    Translating Theory
    Chair: Mary Jacobus 

    Brett de Bary (Cornell University)
    Theorizing Translation in Post-Structuralist and Post-Colonial Contexts


    Stephanie Tsai (Tamkang University)
    Translating the Unthinkable - Blanchot in Chinese

    James St. André (University of Manchester)
    Travelling Translation Theory

    15.30-16.00                 

    Break 

    16.00-17.30 

    Translation and Change
    Chair: Cao Li 

    Cosima Bruno (SOAS)
    Translating the Visual in Contemporary Chinese Poetry

    Chen Yongguo (Tsinghua University)
    The Politics of Minor Languages, Or, the Logic of Creation in the Age of
    Deterritorialization of Language

    Sun Yifeng (Lingnan University)
    Translation, Transculturality and Transformational China

    8.30 - 9.45 (in Buckingham Lecture Theatre)

    Illustrated Discussion

    Chris Berry (Goldsmiths, University of London)Real to Reel: China's New Documentary Movement as a Translingual  Practice

     

     

    Saturday 3 May

     

    9.00-10.30

    Translating Culture I
    Chair: Christopher Bush

       
    Yizhong Ning (Beijing Language and Culture)
    The Welcome Other: translation and cultural transplanting

    Steven Yao (Hamilton College)
    'Cathay’ and the languages of modernism

    Timothy Billings (Middlebury College)
    Victor Segalen’s Sigillary Sinography: the Seal of Authority and the Spell of Alterity


    10.30-11.00

    Break


    11.00-12.30

    Translating the Western Canon
    Chair: Hans van de Ven


    Liu Dong (Peking University)
    The first Chinese translation of Mill’s On Liberty

    Wang Hui (Tsinghua University)
    Scientific World View, Cultural Debates and the Reclassification of Knowledge in Twentieth Century China

    Lu Jiande (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):
    For Continuity: Lin Shu and the New Literature Movement


    12.30-13.30

    Lunch 

    13.30 - 15.30

    Translating Modernity
    Chair: Brett de Bary 

    Haun Saussy (Yale University)
    Translation and Transcription: Media Creoles and the Invention of the Delufeng

    Red Chan (University of Warwick)
    The Cult of the Amateur: Internet and Re-configuration of Cross-Cultural Transfer


    C.J. Wan-Ling Wee (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
    We Asians”?: Modernity, Visual-Art Exhibitions, and East Asia

    Julia Lovell (Birkbeck College)
    Modern Chinese Literature in the Global Canon – the Quest for Recognition




    15.30-16.00

    Break

    16.00-16.45

    Round Table Discussion: Directions for the Future
    Chair: Mary Jacobus

    Wang Ning, Haun Saussy, Hans van de Ven 



     

     

    17.30 Fitzwilliam Museum

    Exhibition, short talk and closing reception at Fitzwilliam Museum