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From World History to World Literature

From World History to World Literature: China, the South, and the Global 1960s

Shh-Mei ShihProf. Shu-mei Shih
University of Hong Kong
University of California, Los Angeles 

  • Friday, 12th June, 2015 at 4pm
    Rooms 8 & 9, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

The Global China: New Approaches lecture series is funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.


This lecture explores the concept of world literature from world historical perspectives and asks whether we can think about world literature from the vantage point of the South.  While China is often considered as the site of alternative modernity or literature to the West, Southeast Asia, as the South to both the West and to China, is seldom brought into the conversation within this ‘China versus the West’ binarism.  Taking select literary representations of the Global 60s across Asia (China, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong) as examples, this lecture will explore the possibility of a conception of world literature as a network of texts without a predetermined center and a preordained future.

Speaker biography

Shu-mei Shih, Professor in Asian Languages and Cultures, Professor in Comparative Literature, Professor in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Hong-Yin and Suet-Fong Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. Author of The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937  (University of California Press, 2001); Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific  (University of California Press, 2007).

    For further information, contact:

    Prof. Hans van de Ven
    Professor of Modern Chinese History
    Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies