Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs

In collaboration with Amsterdam University Press and the Leiden Asia Centre

17dec2019 17.00 - 18.30


This event stretches from queer-feminist engagement with China’s newest poetry to philological reflection on its oldest, and from classical Chinese poetry in Western languages to Baudelaire and Celan in Chinese. How peculiar is any or all of it to China/Chinese, and how does it speak to the explosive mix of poetry and translation at large?

Coupling poetry with translation will trigger claims the size of office blocks. Add Chinese to the mix, and things get even better. Does the Chinese script make a difference? Are texts recited at the imperial court in antiquity and texts posted on migrant worker blogs today even on the same planet, beyond the fact that both are called poetry? If the poet you are translating is under house arrest, should this affect your word choice? But then what if she’s released? This event introduces Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs, a new book that engages with these and related questions.

About the speakers

Maghiel van Crevel is professor of Chinese language and literature at Leiden University. A specialist of contemporary poetry, he has published a dozen books in English, Dutch, and Chinese, including scholarly monographs and edited volumes, literary translations, and language textbooks.

Mia You was born in South Korea, raised in the United States, and currently lives in the Utrecht, the Netherlands. She received a PhD in English literature at UC Berkeley and an MA in Regional Studies: East Asia at Harvard University. She is also author of the poetry collections I, Too, Dislike It (1913 Press, 2016) and Objective Practice (Achiote Press, 2007). In addition to teaching at the Sandberg Institute, You is a lecturer in English Language and Culture at the Universiteit Utrecht. 

Zoénie Deng Liwen (moderator) is a poetry writer, curator, art critique, and PhD candidate in the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam. Working as a researcher for the ERC funded project ChinaCreative, her PhD dissertation is provisionally entitled ‘The Non-Oppositional Criticalities of Contemporary Socially Engaged Art in Urbanising China’. She worked as a project coordinator in Shanghai Biennale in 2012 and co-curated Academy of Failure (multidisciplinary workshop) in Beijing 2017. She also curated the first session of School in Common in Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht) in 2019. She is the secondary grantee of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2018–19, and a contributor to art media such as Leap and Artforum China

Leiden Asia Centre

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You can sign up for this program for free. If you sign up, we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via | T: +31 (0)20 525 8142.

Gepubliceerd door  Spui25