What are the various boundaries within and without contemporary Chinese poetry? What separates contemporary Chinese poetry from its classical or even modern counterpart? Where does Chinese poetry stand vis-à-vis the so-called world literature that is often dictated by an unequal East/West power structure? Who are the true pioneers and seers of modern or contemporary Chinese poetry other than the names we have been normally told? Can contemporary Chinese poetry further expand its boundaries and find alternative identities and voices that are at once open, experimental, radical and significant in a globalized world? With such questions in mind, these three lectures by poet and professor Yibing Huang will introduce three famous, even canonical yet often misunderstood Chinese writers and re-examine their distinctive relationships with contemporary Chinese poetry.
These lectures will be conducted in English.
Lecture 3 (December 3)
Lu Xun: Alternative Cosmopolitanism and the Future
Lu Xun (1881-1936) has been universally considered to be the founding father of modern Chinese literature, particularly, of modern Chinese fiction. His canonical status in this regard is beyond dispute. But the lesser known or often misunderstood fact is that Lu Xun was also instrumental in promoting modern Chinese poetry in terms of innovating its form and expanding its boundaries in many ways, by re-articulating its relationship with world poetry and calling for an alternative cosmopolitanism. Lu Xun’s vision is still extremely relevant today as we envision contemporary Chinese poetry and its future.
About the Lecturer:
Yibing Huang (penname Mai Mang ??) was born in Changde, Hunan in 1967. He established himself as a poet in the 1980s and received his BA, MA, and PhD in Chinese literature from Beijing University. He moved to the United States in 1993 and earned a second PhD in comparative literature from UCLA. He is the author of two books of poetry, Stone Turtle: Poems 1987–2000 (2005) and Approaching Blindness (2005), as well as the book Contemporary Chinese Literature: From the Cultural Revolution to the Future (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He has also published articles on and translations of contemporary Chinese poetry in English language journals such as Amerasia Journal, World Literature Today, and Chinese Literature Today. In 2009 he served as a juror for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and nominated Chinese poet Duo Duo, who became the first Chinese author to win the prestigious prize. In 2011 he edited “The China Issue” for the Hong Kong based English language online journal Cha, introducing contemporary Chinese poetry and art. In 2012 he won the 20th Rou Gang Poetry Prize in China. Yibing Huang is currently Associate Professor of Chinese, Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Acting Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection at Connecticut College.