Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs launched at SPUI25
The event stretched from queer-feminist engagement with China’s newest poetry to philological reflection on its oldest, and from classical Chinese poetry in Western languages to Baudelaire and Celan in Chinese; asking how peculiar is any or all of it to China/Chinese, and how does it speak to the explosive mix of poetry and translation at large?
Co-editor Maghiel van Crevel (professor of Chinese language and literature at Leiden University) presented the book by highlighting three key, but very different studies in the book: Jenn Marie Nunes' chapter 'Sitting with Discomfort. A Queer-Feminist Approach to Translating Yu Xiuhua', Nick Admussen's study on 'Embodiment in the Translation of Chinese Poetry', and Liansu Meng's contribution 'Ecofeminism avant la Lettre. Chen Jingrong and Baudelaire'. Mia You, poet and lecturer in English Language and Culture at Utrecht University and the Sandberg Institute, responded to Van Crevel's presentation by thinking about translation as performance (or an “embodied act”).
The launch was held in cooperation with the LeidenAsiaCentre who supported the Open Access publication of this book.
Maghiel van Crevel is professor of Chinese language and literature at Leiden University. A specialist of contemporary poetry, he has published a dozen books in English, Dutch, and Chinese, including scholarly monographs and edited volumes, literary translations, and language textbooks.
Mia You was born in South Korea, raised in the United States, and currently lives in the Utrecht, the Netherlands. She received a PhD in English literature at UC Berkeley and an MA in Regional Studies: East Asia at Harvard University. She is also author of the poetry collections I, Too, Dislike It (1913 Press, 2016) and Objective Practice (Achiote Press, 2007). In addition to teaching at the Sandberg Institute, You is a lecturer in English Language and Culture at the Universiteit Utrecht.
Zoénie Deng Liwen (moderator) is a poetry writer, curator, art critique, and PhD candidate in the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam. Working as a researcher for the ERC funded project ChinaCreative, her PhD dissertation is provisionally entitled ‘The Non-Oppositional Criticalities of Contemporary Socially Engaged Art in Urbanising China’. She worked as a project coordinator in Shanghai Biennale in 2012 and co-curated Academy of Failure (multidisciplinary workshop) in Beijing 2017. She also curated the first session of School in Common in Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht) in 2019. She is the secondary grantee of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2018–19, and a contributor to art media such as Leap and Artforum China.