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Old Poems Repurposed: Traditions of the Chinese Literary Elite and WWI Trench Art 古為今用:中國文人文化傳統與歐戰戰壕工藝


School of Chinese Seminar


Old Poems Repurposed: Traditions of the Chinese Literary Elite and WWI Trench Art



Speaker: Professor Ding Xiang Warner丁香教授


Date: 12 July, 2023 (Wednesday)

Time: 16:30-18:00 (HKT, GMT+8)

Venue: Rm730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English and Putonghua


Abstract 摘要

The usual procedures of the scholar of Chinese poetry, when asking the question “What is the meaning of this Chinese poem?,” are familiar and generally reliable. Whether we ask the question about a poem’s “original meaning,” a meaning intended by its author, or about the meanings that accrued to the poem in its reception by readers over time, the meanings for which the poem earned a “place” in Chinese literary tradition, there are rich scholarly resources and time-tested methodological tools that help us to work out answers, even if tentatively. How, though, is the task of the literary historian complicated, how are the meanings of a Chinese poem affected, when it and its Chinese readers are “uprooted” from their native land, transported out of their cultural milieu into another? This seminar talk takes up these questions by way of an examination of Chinese poems that were transcribed in Europe during or just after World War I by anonymous members of the Chinese Labour Corps serving the Allied war effort.




Bio 簡介

Professor Ding Xiang Warner received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and is currently teaching in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University. Her research focuses on Chinese literature and literary thought from Han dynasty through the early Song, early and medieval Chinese intellectual history, and the study of textual production and text culture in pre-modern China. She was honored with a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society.




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