Writing a New Literary History of Modern China


Friday, April 22, 2011, 9:00am to Saturday, April 23, 2011, 5:00pm

The purpose of the workshop “Writing a New Literary History of Modern China” is
to gather together both historians and literary scholars with diverse research
interests to discuss new approaches to modern Chinese literary history. Taking
inspiration from Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors’ A New Literary History of
America (Harvard University Press, 2009), we hope to trace the various roots
and routes of modern China by foregrounding the textuality of historical dates
and events as well as the eventfulness of specific texts. Our goal is to push
the boundaries of the literary and emphasize the contingencies of history by
mapping the ideas and imaginings of modern China through a variety of artifacts
and discourses.

We will hold five panels over the course of two days. Each panel participant
will present a relatively brief 10-12 minute presentation structured a date of
significance (as general as a year or as specific as a moment in time), along
with a text, object, site or artifact that illuminates this date to show how it
constructs or deconstructs the historical significance or eventfulness. Each
presentation should tell a story about what modern China signifies, and
gathered together, we hope this workshop will provide a forum for exploring and
engaging the multiple narrative trajectories that form the matrix of modern
Chinese culture. Since this is a workshop and not a conference, we are
encouraging creative presentations that are provocative, precise, and even
unconventional. The idea is to open up discussion and dialogue.

Our website: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k79325

Location: CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room (S020), 1730 Cambridge St.
Contact: rodekohr@fas.harvard.edu