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Report on CCS Activities
“2021 Taiwan Lectures on Taiwan Studies” Series — Rearticulations of Foreign Literature Studies in Taiwan: Anti-Romanticism and the Translation of Subjectivity

        NCL co-hosted the “Taiwan Lecture on Chinese Studies” series on October 16, 2021, at 8 am (Taiwan time) with the University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Chih-ming Wang gave the online talk on “Rearticulations of Foreign Literature Studies in Taiwan: Anti-Romanticism and the Translation of Subjectivity”.

Prof. Chih-ming Wang is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, and the chief editor of Router: A Journal of Cultural Studies in Taiwan. He is the author of Transpacific Articulations: Student Migration and the Remaking of Asian America and the co/editors of various projects on transpacific cultural studies.

This talk revisits the institutional/intellectual history of foreign literature studies as a discipline in Taiwan through the lenses of colonial modernity and traveling theory. Prof. Wang contends that the discipline of foreign literature studies is fundamentally a project of re-articulation—in terms not only of recreating the Western literature in local contexts, but also of resignifying it in the global/local nexus of humanities scholarship and social-political transformations. To explain such historical formations of the discipline, Prof. Wang focuses on two examples: CT Hsia’s literary modernism as a form of anti-Romanticism in the Cold War era and the translation of subjectivity as zhutixing in post martial law Taiwan. While Hsia rearticulates literary criticism as a political rectification, the birth of zhutixing as a translingual concept literalizes the power of theory in the making of a postcolonial Taiwan.

The lecture was held online with an introduction of Prof. Wang by Prof. Luke Waring (Department of Asian Studies, CEAS) and moderated by Prof. Kirsten Cather (Center for East Asian Studies, CEAS). Prof. Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang (Center for Taiwan Studies, CTS) also joined the Q&A discussion after the talk.