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Lecture Series: Expanding the Boundaries of Chinese Poetry

October 22, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Session 1: Saturday, October 22, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Session 2: Saturday, November 5, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Session 3: Saturday, December 3, 2:00PM-4:00PM
Speaker: Yibing Huang
Event Fees: $10 Members & Students/$15 Non-Members (each lecture)
$25 Members & Students/$40 Non-Members (for the series)
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

What are the various boundaries within and without contemporary Chinese poetry? What separates contemporary Chinese poetry from its classical or even modern counterpart? Where does Chinese poetry stand vis-à-vis the so-called world literature that is often dictated by an unequal East/West power structure? Who are the true pioneers and seers of modern or contemporary Chinese poetry other than the names we have been normally told? Can contemporary Chinese poetry further expand its boundaries and find alternative identities and voices that are at once open, experimental, radical and significant in a globalized world? With such questions in mind, these three lectures by poet and professor Yibing Huang will introduce three famous, even canonical yet often misunderstood Chinese writers and re-examine their distinctive relationships with contemporary Chinese poetry.

These lectures will be conducted in English.

Lecture 1 (October 22)
Duo Duo: From Underground Poetry to World Poetry
Duo Duo (1951- ) started writing poetry in the early 1970s in Beijing and many of his early poems critiqued the Cultural Revolution from an insider’s point of view in a highly sophisticated, original style. Often considered one of the most prominent Misty Poets among contemporary Chinese poetry, he has kept a cautious distance from any literary trends or labeling. From 1989 to 2004 Duo Duo lived in exile in the West and kept a strong output of poetry and prose writing. From 2004 to the present, Duo Duo has been living in China. Duo Duo is the twenty-first laureate of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the first Chinese recipient of the prestigious award.

Lecture 2 (November 5)
Wang Xiaobo: A Fiction Writer’s Existential Poetics
Wang Xiaobo (1952-1997) started writing back in the 1970s but remained an outsider to the Chinese literary scene throughout the 1980s. He only started gaining attention in the 1990s as the author of a body of highly unorthodox and controversial works of fiction and essay writing. And it was only after his untimely death in 1997 that his most important fictional works, entitled The Golden Age, The Silver Age and The Bronze Age, were published in collected volumes as The Trilogy of Our Time, which have had an everlasting impact upon young Chinese readers over the last twenty years. Although primarily hailed as a fiction writer, Wang Xiaobo discussed poetry, poetics, philosophy, translation, and world literature extensively in his writing, which offered a stellar example of contemporary existential lyricism that might also alter our own understanding of what poetry is or can be regardless of the language it is written in.

Lecture 3 (December 3)
Lu Xun: Alternative Cosmopolitanism and the Future
Lu Xun (1881-1936) has been universally considered to be the founding father of modern Chinese literature, particularly, of modern Chinese fiction. His canonical status in this regard is beyond dispute. But the lesser known or often misunderstood fact is that Lu Xun was also instrumental in promoting modern Chinese poetry in terms of innovating its form and expanding its boundaries in many ways, by re-articulating its relationship with world poetry and calling for an alternative cosmopolitanism. Lu Xun’s vision is still extremely relevant today as we envision contemporary Chinese poetry and its future.

About the Lecturer:
Yibing Huang (penname Mai Mang 麦芒) was born in Changde, Hunan in 1967. He established himself as a poet in the 1980s and received his BA, MA, and PhD in Chinese literature from Beijing University. He moved to the United States in 1993 and earned a second PhD in comparative literature from UCLA. He is the author of two books of poetry, Stone Turtle: Poems 1987–2000 (2005) and Approaching Blindness (2005), as well as the book Contemporary Chinese Literature: From the Cultural Revolution to the Future (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He has also published articles on and translations of contemporary Chinese poetry in English language journals such as Amerasia Journal, World Literature Today, and Chinese Literature Today. In 2009 he served as a juror for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and nominated Chinese poet Duo Duo, who became the first Chinese author to win the prestigious prize. In 2011 he edited “The China Issue” for the Hong Kong based English language online journal Cha, introducing contemporary Chinese poetry and art. In 2012 he won the 20th Rou Gang Poetry Prize in China. Yibing Huang is currently Associate Professor of Chinese, Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Acting Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection at Connecticut College.

For questions or to register by phone, please contact Aaron Nicholson at 212-744-8181 ext. 138 or by email at [email protected]

This program is supported by Hanban.



October 22, 2016
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


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40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States
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