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College of Arts & Sciences
Confucius Institute

The CI at UofSC hosts the first International Symposium on the Translation of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature

October 5, 2019 witnessed the first International Symposium on Chinese and Contemporary Literature in Translation hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina opened in Orlando, attracting 12 experts and scholars from American and Chinese universities.

This seminar centered around the theme “The Study of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature in translation”. At the opening ceremony, Professor Li Yue, the emcee and deputy of the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina warmly welcomed all the guests, including Professor Jonathan Stalling of the University of Oklahoma, and Mr. Erick Abrahamsen, the founder of Paper Republic, an acclaimed online journal which features Chinese literature in translation.  Both of them were invited to give keynote speeches entitled "Chinese Literature Going Out: the Oklahoma model” and “the introduction to Paper Republic”.

Dr. Jonathan Stalling, a sinologist, specializes in modern American poetry, comparative poetics between English and Chinese, literary and cultural theories, and translation studies. He is not only the founder and curator of the Chinese literature translation Archives but also the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal Chinese Literature Today (CLT for short form), and the 21st Century North American-Chinese Linguistics Research and Translation Series. At the forum, after the introduction of the Oklahoma Translation Model, Dr. Stalling analyzed how to apply "quatrains" to Chinese poetry in teaching. He also proposed a new method "ANTS" for the translation of Chinese literature. By using this method to study Mo Yan's translation, he provides a new perspective for Chinese-English translation studies and comparative literature. His suggestions for the translation of modern Chinese literature are very constructive.

Mr. Abrahamsen, having founded the Paper Republic and editing and translating for Pathlight also serves as an American publishing agent for Chinese literature. His translations include "My Spiritual Homeland" by Wang Xiaobo, and "Running through Zhongguancun" by Xu Zechen, etc. He won the National Translation Award by "Going North". Mr. Eric Abrahamsen gave a vivid introduction of the translation mode of Paper Republic and compared it with that of Chinese model. He also highlighted how to promote Chinese contemporary literature in the United States and how to adopt various methods to familiarize the reader, to introduce the work, to contact the agent. However, these vital roles played in translation are often neglected in translation studies in China.

After the insightful keynote speeches by the two experts, all the attendees took interest in the hot discussion on the topics by asking many questions and giving their own analysis. The two experts’ in-depth reply gave rise to another round of discussion. Every attendee comments that the analysis on translation and publishing models in terms of Chinese literature is significantly beneficial to their own studies.  

Other experts at the meeting also presented their views on different topics such as "translation and ideology of correspondence", "English translation style of Chinese contemporary drama", etc.

This International Symposium provides scholars at home and abroad with a platform for academic exchanges and opportunities for mutual learning and improvement.