Chinese Literature across the Borderlands

Chinese Literature across the Borderlands
13 November 2020; 13:00-15:00 EST
Convened by David Wang (Harvard), Kyle Shernuk (Yale), and Miya Qiong Xie (Dartmouth)
To register and receive a Zoom link, please click here.

This workshop aims to explore the shifting definitions of the borderland as a territorial gateway, a geopolitical space, a contact zone, a liminal terrain, and an imaginary portal. To this end, participants will explore the intersection of ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and ecological dynamics that inform the cartography of the Chinese borderland, from the Northeast to the Southwest, from Inner Mongolia to Tibet, and from Nanyang to Nanmei. We will reflect on the recent, interdisciplinary growth in understanding the characteristics of borders and frontiers, including migration and settlement, cultural hybridity, and transnationalism, as well as take issues with the boundaries of literature as it manifests itself in multiple forms of media and mediation. This workshop is organized around a forthcoming special issue of Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature.


13:00-14:00: Panelist Positions Papers (3-5 min/presenter)
14:00-14:45: Panelist Roundtable Discussion

14:45-15:00: Q&A w/ Zoom Attendees

Panel 1: “Bordering” National Imaginaries

  • Miya Xie (Dartmouth College): “The Making and Unmaking of Nationalist Literature from the National Margin: Rereading Duanmu Hongliang’s The Korchin Banner Plains as Borderland Writing”
  • Yanshuo Zhang (University of Michigan): Shen Congwen’s Idealized Ethnic: Borderland, Ethnicity, and the Spiritual Enchantments of a Modern Master
  • Levi Gibbs (Dartmouth College): “The Cultural Hybridity of Chineseness: Regional Transgression in Stories of Northern Shaanxi”

Panel 2: Ethnic Negotiations

  • Tuo Jianing (Sichuan University): “Sinophone Hui Literature in the Mengjiang Regime during the Second Sino-Japanese War”
  • Jerôme de Wit (University of Tübingen): “The Cultural Creation of the Ethnic Korean Minority in China: Focusing on the Portrayal of Local Landscape in post-1949 Korean-Chinese Literature”
  • Christopher Peacock (Columbia University): “Unsavory Characters: Forced Bilingualism in the Tibetan Fiction of Tsering Döndrup”
  • K. Tan (Stony Brook University): “Conciliatory Amalgamation: The Politics of Survival in Sinophone Uyghur Writer Padi Guli’s A Hundred Years of Bloodline (2015)”
  • Mark Bender (Ohio State University): “Treading Poetic Borders in Southwest China and Northeast India”

Panel 3: Sinophone and Xenophone Articulations

  • Brian Bernards (University of Southern California): “Sinophonic Detours and Trespasses in Colonial Burma: The Transborder Poetics of Ai Wu’s Travels in the South
  • Jessica Tan (Harvard University): “Unfinished Revolutions: Wei Beihua, Chairil Anwar and the Limits of Realism of Post-war Mahua Literature”
  • Kyle Shernuk (Yale University): “Embracing the Xenophone: Siu Kam Wen and the Possibility of Spanish-language Chinese Literature”

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