The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Events
Thursday, 28 October 2021, 16:00
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Lecture series »Sinophone Classicism«
David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University)»A Story of the Red Bean: On Classicist Poetics and Modern Crisis«
About the lecture
This lecture explores the reverberations between Chinese intellectuals and classicist poetry through modern times, particularly at moments of national cataclysm. The case study centers on Chen Yinque (1890–1969), »the most talented historian in modern China.« I look into Chen’s legendary acquisition of a red bean during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which purportedly initiated the poetic turn of his scholarship in the subsequent decades. Chen’s engagement with and composition of classicist poetry in the socialist era compels us to question the dialectic between modernity and monstrosity, the tenability of affective evocation (xing), and the latitude of creative freedom. The lecture will also refer to Chen’s imaginary dialogues with figures such as Wang Guowei (1877–1927), Qian Zhongshu (1910–1998), and Yu Ying-shih (1930–2021).
About the speaker
David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University and holds a joint appointment in Comparative Literature. He is Director of CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, and Academician, Academia Sinica. His research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama; comparative literary theory; colonial and modern Taiwanese fiction, and Asian American and diasporic literature; plus Chinese intellectuals and artists in the mid-20th century.
About the lecture series
In recent years, literary and cultural works that evoke the cultural memories of classical Chinese traditions are gaining popularity in the global Sinitic-languages space and cyberspace. From literary to visual culture, from pop music to fashion, from state policies to daily rituals, these classicist articulations present Chineseness as complicated, multifaceted, multilingual, and cross-cultural. They raise important questions on the relevance of Chinese traditions today to China, to global Chinese communities, and to a future of »world literature«—as Goethe envisioned it nearly two centuries ago. In this multiannual lecture series, prominent scholars, writers, and artists will present fascinating case studies from their research or draw upon their aesthetic practices to elaborate on their understanding on these important questions. Such investigations demonstrate the abundant aesthetic and intellectual resources that the vast repertoire of Chinese cultural memories may provide to engage in a dialogue on the present and future of a global culture.
Concept of the lecture series: Zhiyi Yang, Professor of Sinology, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and Goethe Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
Calligraphy: Shi-Siang Teo »Lyrical Abstract: Ruan Ji series no. 10« (2017)
Registration and participation
Please register in advance at:
We will send you the Zoom link a couple of days before the event.
The event is set up as a Zoom meeting. After the panel discussion, there will be time for questions and answers. You will be able to ask a question after using the “raise hand” function in Zoom. For optimal service, we advise you to download the most recent version of Zoom (https://zoom.us/download).