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Inventing Nana Hsu: Creativity in Academic Writing
November 18, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
In the fall of 1948, a young woman in Shanghai left behind her high school Chinese literature textbook just as Communist forces made their way into the city and the Nationalists beat a hasty retreat to Taiwan. That textbook then moldered on some dank and dingy shelf for more than sixty years, with a mysterious faded phrase on its front cover and the student’s numerous jottings inside. Who was that girl and how did she live and die? Or did she? Can she be merely a figment of our imagination? This talk will engage Nana’s textbook as an object with a life. Or perhaps, in this case, two lives.
Joseph R. Allen is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Literature and Cultural Studies, and Founding Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota.