1 May 2008 - 3 May 2008 All day 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.




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