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Writing History after “Post-History”: On Contemporary Chinese Fiction Wang, David Der-wei


Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and sponsored by the Wat Endowment and hosted by the Department of Asian Studies. David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature and Director of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies at Harvard University. The world’s leading scholar of modern Chinese fiction, his research specialties include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama, and comparative literary theory. Wang received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and has taught at National Taiwan University and Columbia University. His many honors include an honorary doctorate from Lingnan University (Hong Kong), and his appointments as an Academician of the Academia Sinica (Taiwan) and as a Yangtze River Scholar affiliated with Fudan University (Shanghai). Writing at a time when History has collapsed and Revolution has lost its mandate, writers cannot take up the two subjects without pondering their inherent intelligibility. Drawing upon theories on “post-history” as developed by scholars such as Jacques Derrida, Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu, and contemporary fictional works as created by writers such as Mo Yan, Yan Lianke and Wang Anyi, this lecture will address the following three issues: History after Post-History, Enlightenment versus Enchantment and Socialist Utopia and “the Best of all Best Possible Worlds”.

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