American Literature and China in the New Era—Review of the 19th Annual Conference of China Association for the Study of American Literature


From October 19 to 21, 2018, the 19th annual conference of China Association for the Study of the American Literature(CASAL) was held at Zhejiang University. Themed on “American Literature and China in the New Era”, it was hosted by the CASAL and organized by School of International Studies (the SIS), Zhejiang University. 356 experts, students and teachers from over 130 universities, research institutes and presses publishing houses attended the conference, where studies ofn the relationship between American literature and China was deepened and Chinese perspective, Chinese approach and Chinese view of American literature studies retrospected and promoted.

On the morning of October 20, the opening ceremony was held in the Waterside Conference Hall of Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University. Prof. Cheng Gong, Dean of the SIS, and Prof. Zhu Gang, President of the CASAL both delivered a speech respectively and extended their warm welcome to all the experts, students and teachers. ProfDean Cheng Gong illustrated the importance of this annual conference and introduced the history and development status of the SIS. Then Prof. Zhu Gang outlined the development history of the CASAL for 40 years since its establishment and expressed his wish that the young generation of American literature researchers can carry forward this cause and forge ahead.

On the morning of October 20 and 21, 14 experts and scholars at home and abroad delivered keynote speeches.

On the morning of October 20, Sheng Ning, Researcher of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)took the lead and first shared his ideas showed his reflection of on China’s studies on American literature. Prof. Wang Ning from Shanghai Jiao Tong University pointed outsaid that since as Chinese literature and theoretical criticism of Chinese literature are indispensable parts oftoworld literature and its theoretical criticism, Chinese scholars should actively engage in direct dialogues and discussions with mainstream scholarsworld’swide.  mainstream scholars. Prof. Nie Zhenzhao from Zhejiang University gave a systematic introduction to the concept and framework of literary ethics criticism. Lu Jiande, Researcher of the CASS Chinese Academy of Social Sciences discussed the self-criticism in American literature. Prof. Yang Caijin from Nanjing University introduced the Eeco-literature ideas and academic contributions of American scholar Lawrence Buell. Prof. William Baker from Northern Illinois University of the United States gave a brief analysis of some works of Chin Yang Lee, Hsi-Tseng Tsiangand Amy Tan. Prof. Gaofen from Zhejiang University believed held that studies of on foreign literature in China in the new era should start from China’s most original ways of thinking and thoughts and spread Chinese ideas universal and innovate them in realize their transformation towards universalism and theoretical innovation in the dialogues and exchanges between Chinese and western cultures. In addition, Prof. Jin Li from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Prof. Yu Jianhua from Shanghai International Studies University and Prof. Shi Jjian from Sichuan University hosted the keynote speeches and respectively delivered penetrating remarkeds on these reports.

On the morning of October 21, Prof. Cheng Zhaoxiang from Peking uUniversity reviewed the subtle changes of Sino-Americanrelations in academic studiesy and politics. Prof. An Feng from Tsinghua University explored the cultural appeals and cultural understanding of American Indian writers. Prof. Zeng Yanyu from Hunan Normal University summarized the research status of Chinese academic circles for on American novels in the 21st21st century. Prof. Zhang Helong from shanghai International Studies University investigated the first Chinese translation of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle in the context of Chinese modern history and culture. Prof. Chen Shidan from Renmin University of China sketched outoutlined the core ideas of post-humanism. Prof. Ning Mei from Guizhou University discussed the influence impact of Chinese culture on Snider’s ecological thought of “Place” from the perspectives of philosophy, aesthetics and practice. Prof. Wang Zhuo from Shandong Normal University put forward that the visual arts and Confucianism in The Cantosconstitute are the two clues of to Ezra Pound’s pursuit for of aesthetics and Confucianism. Prof. Guo Qiqing from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Prof. Lin Yuanfu from Fujian Normal University, Prof. Shen Fuying from Shandong University and Prof. Guo Yingjian from Renmin University of China presided over the conference one after another and gave sincere comments.

On the afternoon of October 20, 30 parallel sessions were set up for topics including “American Literature and Chinese Culture”, “American poetry and Chinese Culture”, “Translation, Communication and Influence of American Literature in China”, “Asian Writing in American Literature”, “Racial Writing in American Literature”, “Ecological Dimension in American Literature Studies”, “Literary Theory Studies”, “Studies on American Literary Writers and their Works”, “Ethical Dimension in American Literature Studies”, “Studies on Teaching in American Literature”, among which, tetc. The first four topics centered on studies of the ties relationship between American literature and China. It could be seen from the heated discussions of scholars that Chinese elements and Chinese perspectives in the studies of American literature have drawn increasing attention of in academic circles. Discussions of tThe last six, presenting topics presented the diversification of American literature studies currently, covering from dimensions of race, ecology, ethics, form, to culture, thoughts and aesthetics, which fully showed the situation of a hundred flowers blooming and a hundred schools of thought contending in American literature studies.

During In this seminar, Prof. Jin Li, Prof. Guo Qiqing, Researcher Wang Fengzhen, Prof. Zhu Gang, Prof. Chang Yaoxin, Prof. Yang Renjing, Prof. Wang An and Prof. Yu Jianhua respectively hosted eight seminars for graduatestudents, where they also made in-depth remarks to both graduate and undergraduate students, and gave many  from valuable suggestions in research topics, perspectives, methods and norms.

After the keynote speech on the morning of October 21, the closing ceremony was hosted by Prof. He Ning from Nanjing University. Prof. Zhu Gang, President of the CASAL delivered a summary speech and , and announced made public the decision of the standing council and the council as well as outstanding papers selected by the conference. With large scale and numerous participants, the conference was brought to a successful n end by warm applausesapplause and was highly recognized by experts, students and teachers as . Ppapers by young scholars were very well presented, a in the main venue and parallel sessions, showing the support for younger generations. During the conference, academic reports of both the main venue and parallel sessions had been finished in time with vivid pictures and words expressions, so that pleasant academic exchanges lasting could last forever, which had been highly recognized by experts, students and teachers..

Written by Zheng Jieru, Ma Ye

Translated by Shang Xiaoyi and Liu Liu

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