China and Inner Asia
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the connotations surrounding the concept of “home” have accreted across different societies. How does the envisioning of "home" respond to and/or question the social and cultural transformations in the last century? To address these questions and reflect on the increasing attentiveness to the notion of home in the East Asian context, this panel approaches the theme of “home” from contrasting perspectives and various literary narratives.
Tonglu Li’s study of Shi Tiesheng’s works stresses the significance of spiritual dwelling for a disabled man and explores the possibility of a transcendent home in an increasingly alienating modern society. Alice Yu and Lang Wang investigate how the hardship and trauma inform nostalgia as manifested in the recurring fantasies about “home” in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Hyungji Park reveals the interconnections between home, flanerie, and the topography of Seoul in Kyung-sook Shin’s novel Please Look After Mom. Finally, Chen Qiufan analyzes how various classes of society reflect on the concepts of “nostalgia” and “home” as displayed in his own novel Waste Tide (荒潮). This panel unpacks the myth about roots and origins, negotiates the thresholds between what is remembered and what gets forgotten, and continues to rethink the relationship between our past and future.
Our discussant, Ban Wang, helps us consider the changing notion of “home” in the context of modern East Asia from his perspective as a prominent literary critic and US-trained specialist of East Asian literature, culture, and intellectual history.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Tonglu Li – Iowa State University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Alice Yu – The University of Arizona
Virtual Co-Author: Lang Wang – Beijing Institute of Technology
Virtual Paper Presenter: Qiufan Chen – Independent Scholars of Asia
Virtual Paper Presenter: Hyungji Park – Yonsei University