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Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility and Cultural Change
African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Hanna Getachew Amare, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, and Sophia Thubauville.
An Insistence on Truth
In Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth, Mingyuan Hu thinks through the life and work of one of modern China’s most significant public intellectuals, investigating his Shanghai-Paris trajectory and his resistance against cultural barbarism. Using hitherto undiscovered archival documents, Hu presents the first study of Fou Lei’s youth, particularly his formative years in Europe (1928–1931), and analyses the critic-translator’s identity vis-à-vis intercultural friendships and political predicaments. Bringing together previously untranslated material in French and Chinese, Fou Lei paints a man in dark times searching for illumination through words, and invites the reader to reconsider questions, unresolved and unspoken, about his tragic end.
Chinese Homecoming and the Relationship with Jesus Christ
In A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke Xiaoli Yang offers a conversation between the Chinese soul-searching found in Haizi’s (1964–1989) poetry and the gospel of Jesus Christ through Luke’s testimony. It creates a unique contextual poetic lens that appreciates a generation of the Chinese homecoming journey through Haizi’s poetry, and explores its relationship with Jesus Christ. As the dialogical journey, it names four stages of homecoming—roots, vision, journey and arrival. By taking an interdisciplinary approach—literary study, inter-cultural dialogue and comparative theology, Xiaoli Yang convincingly demonstrates that the common language between the poet Haizi and the Lukan Jesus provides a crucial and rich source of data for an ongoing table conversation between culture and faith.
Reassessing Urban Politics and Poetics
This volume explores the complex aesthetic, cultural, and memory politics of urban representation and reconfiguration in neo-Victorian discourse and practice. Through adaptations of traditional city tropes – such as the palimpsest, the labyrinth, the femininised enigma, and the marketplace of desire – writers, filmmakers, and city planners resurrect, preserve, and rework nineteenth-century metropolises and their material traces while simultaneously Gothicising and fabricating ‘past’ urban realities to serve present-day wants, so as to maximise cities’ potential to generate consumption and profits. Within the cultural imaginary of the metropolis, this volume contends, the nineteenth century provides a prominent focalising lens that mediates our apperception of and engagement with postmodern cityscapes. From the site of capitalist romance and traumatic lieux de mémoire to theatre of postcolonial resistance and Gothic sensationalism, the neo-Victorian city proves a veritable Proteus evoking myriad creative responses but also crystallising persistent ethical dilemmas surrounding alienation, precarity, Othering, and social exclusion.
This book starts with a consideration of a 1997 issue of the New Yorker that celebrated fifty years of Indian independence, and goes on to explore the development of a pattern of performance and performativity in contemporary Indian fiction in English (Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Chandra). Such fiction, which constructs identity through performative acts, is built around a nomadic understanding of the self and implies an evolution of narrative language towards performativity whereby the text itself becomes nomadic. A comparison with theatrical performance (Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and Girish Karnad’s ‘theatre of roots’) serves to support the argument that in both theatre and fiction the concepts of performance and performativity transform classical Indian mythic poetics. In the mythic symbiosis of performance and storytelling in Indian tradition within a cyclical pattern of estrangement from and return to the motherland and/or its traditions, myth becomes a liberating space of consciousness, where rigid categories and boundaries are transcended.
Translation and the Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature
One into Many: Translation and the Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature is the first anthology of its kind in English that deals in depth with the translation of Chinese texts, literary and philosophical, into a host of Western and Asian languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew, Slovak and Korean. After an introduction by the editor, in which multiple translations are compared to the many lives lived by the original in its new incarnations, thirteen articles are presented in three different sections. The first, Beginnings, comprises three articles that give accounts of how the earliest European translations of Chinese texts were undertaken. In Texts, four articles examine, separately, translated classical Chinese texts in the three genres of poetry, the short story and the novel. Constituting the third section are six articles addressing the different traditions into which Chinese literature has been translated over the centuries. Rounding off the whole anthology is a discussion of the culturalist perspective in which translations of the Chinese classics have been viewed in the past decade or so. A glossary and an index at the back provide easy reference to the reader interested in the source materials and allow him to undertake research in a rich area that is still not adequately explored.
The present volume of Critical Studies is a collection of selected essays on the topic of feminism and femininity in Chinese literature. Although feminism has been a hot topic in Chinese literary circles in recent years, this remarkable collection represents one of the first of its kind to be published in English. The essays have been written by well-known scholars and feminists including Kang-I Sun Chang of Yale University, and Li Ziyun, a writer and feminist in Shanghai, China. The essays are inter- and multi-disciplinary, covering several historical periods in poetry and fiction (from the Ming-Qing periods to the twentieth century). In particular, the development of women’s writing in the New Period (post-1976) is examined in depth. The articles thus offer the reader a composite and broad perspective of feminism and the treatment of the female in Chinese literature. As this remarkable new collection attests, the voices of women in China have begun calling out loudly, in ways that challenge prevalent views about the Chinese female persona.
The present volume is the product of a joint effort made by scholars from across China (including Hong Kong), Japan and Europe. The book gathers sixteen papers devoted to literary and cultural criticism from a comparative point of view.
A perspective prominent in this volume is imagology, an approach first developed by Daniel-Henry Pageaux, and which focuses on specific images in literary and other texts. The study of the image of the “foreign” in national literary traditions, for instance, belongs to the traditional purview of comparative literature. Pageaux did more than uphold this tradition. He practically reinvented it using new theoretical concepts and perspectives (in particular, semiotics and reception aesthetics). On this basis, he was able to develop a theory and a methodology that are both usable and in tune with contemporary concerns.
The present book covers a wide range of topics in the study of images of Westerners in Chinese and Japanese literature. Individual contributions deal with issues such as the genesis of the Chinese term Foreign Devil, the occurrence of Westerners in modern Chinese and Japanese literature, and the Chinese and Japanese reception of indiviual western authors and artists such as, amongst others, Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh, and Madame Roland. Some papers examine individual authors such as Lu Xun and Takeyama Michio. Others examine historical periods or literary movements. The approaches followed range from historical investigations of linguistic practices to detailed literary analyses.
Western Literature and the Lure of the East
Editors: C.C. Barfoot and Theo D'haen
A great deal of stimulating and valuable discussion (as well as some indignation and hot air) has been stimulated by Edward Said, whose provocative study of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient appeared twenty years ago. This present book will, we believe, be recognized as a worthy addition to the many attempts that have since been made to sift the intrinsic and ingrained attitudes of West to East. The fifteen articles in Oriental Prospects: Western Literature and the Lure of the East cover literature from the Renaissance through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the modern period, some in pragmatic accounts of responses to and uses of experiences of the Orient and its cultural attitudes and artefacts, others contending more theoretically with issues that Edward Said has raised. Despite all the misunderstanding, prejudice and propaganda in the scholarly and literary depiction of the Orient still today as in the past, what emerges from this wide-range of articles is that no species of literary text or academic study can appear without risking the accusation of escapist exoticism or cultural and economic exploitation; and thus regrettably masking the essential and vital significance of the political and the real and imaginative trading between East and West.