China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: This panel gathers and supports life-writing projects aimed at a broad readership: each presenter focuses on a compelling personage whose life can be read in ways that advance undergraduate and general readers’ understanding of topics and issues central to modern Chinese cultural history. Lang Wang’s study of the late Qing activist and writer Qiu Jin emphasizes Qiu’s forms of feminism and offers a comparative analysis with more well-known male thinkers like Liang Qichao. Da Zheng explores playwright Shih-I Hsiung’s interventions in 1930s cultural exchange through his creation and promotion of a widely successful English-language play based on a Beijing opera. Karen S. Kingsbury investigates various techniques for crafting a critical biography of Eileen Chang for an Anglophone audience (narrative sequencing, framing of claims and suspense, representations of bilinguality, etc.). Finally, Van T. Phan examines the life trajectory and the formation of thinking of the Vietnamese patriot and writer, Phan Boi Chau, to reveal the plurality of intellectual landscape of Vietnam in the early twentieth century.
Our discussant, Tonglu Li, helps us consider the interests of students and general readers in and beyond U.S., by bringing to the discussion his perspective as a former instructor of literature and culture in China and a US-trained specialist of Chinese intellectual history, religion, and literature.
Paper Presenter: Lang Wang – Purdue University
Paper Presenter: Da Zheng – Suffolk University
Paper Presenter: Karen S. Kingsbury – Chatham University
Paper Presenter: Van Thu Phan – Ho Chi Minh City University of Education