Sinophone/Xenophone Studies: Toward a Poetics of Wind, Sound, and Changeability
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Wang, David Der-wei
Professor David Der-wei Wang, Professor of Comparative and Chinese Literature, Harvard University - This lecture seeks to contest the current paradigm of Sinophone studies, which is largely based on postcolonialism and empire critique. While Sinophone studies derives its critical thrust from confronting China as a hegemonic force, some approaches have taken a path verging on Sinophobia, the reverse of Sinocentrism. This lecture proposes the model of “hua-yi feng,” by engaging with the time-honored discourse of “Sinophone/Xenophone differentiation” (huayi zhibian), and the concept of “feng,” which etymologically means wind, sound, trend, and above all, propensity. The lecture begins with a review of the thought of “macro China” versus “micro-China” in early modern East Asia and the debate over “unified China” in the Republican era. It then moves to the pros and cons of Sinophone Studies as it is received in academia, and concludes with a provocation of Sinophone/Xenophone Studies that highlights ethnic and cultural alterity and changeability within and without China.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
East Asia Program, Cornell University
history; East Asia; China; Sinophone
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Closed captions available
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