Amsterdam University Press

Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 - 17:00
Spui 25, 1012 WX Amsterdam

With Maghiel van Crevel, Mia You and Zoénie Liweng Deng

Coupling poetry with translation will trigger claims the size of office blocks (definitely not quoting Robert Frost here, but you get the idea). 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 talk will introduce a new book that 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 does this hang together, 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?

Maghiel van Crevel

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

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)

Zoénie DENG Liwen is a poetry writer, curator, art critique, and PhD candidate in 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”. Her research and artistic interests include social practices, poetry, artivism, feminism, anarchism, New Associationist Movement, otherwise ways of living, non-western perspectives, and the post-colonial. 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.

Co-sponsored by the Leiden Asia Centre

The Leiden Asia Centre (LAC) is the Netherlands’ expertise centre for socially relevant and applicable knowledge on modern East Asia, including Singapore. The LAC are sponsors of this event and funded the open access publication of Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs, Maghiel van Crevel, Lucas Klein (eds).

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