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Pearl Buck: A Human Bridge between the East and the West

June 25, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

To mark the 130th anniversary of the birth of Pearl Buck, a legendary American writer and humanitarian, the Renwen Society presents a lecture on June 25 by Prof. Wang Fengzhen, the Chinese translator of Buck’s Good Earth. Prof. Wang will relate to the audience Pearl Buck’s life stories in China and her literary contributions through her Good Earth and other books.

Born in the U.S. in 1892, Pearl Buck went with her missionary parents to China less than 3 months after her birth and settled in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, a place she always called her hometown. Except for a few years when she returned to the States to attend college and graduate school, she spent close to 40 years in China. During this time, she made her home in Nanjing from 1920 to 1933, teaching English literature at Nanjing University for many years.

Buck began her writing career in the 1920s, contributing articles on Chinese life to American magazines. In 1930, she published her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, focusing on China’s difficult transition from old traditions to a new way of life. Her next and the best-known novel, The Good Earth, earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The bestseller highlights the life of Chinese peasants, a life that Buck had been privy to growing up in Zhenjiang. In 1938, she achieved the illustrious distinction of becoming the first American woman and fourth woman overall to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. In her lifetime, Buck wrote over 100 works of literature, including novels, short stories, biographies, poetry, drama, children’s literature, and translations from Chinese. Much of her writing was based on her life experiences in China.

After returning to the U.S. in 1934, Pearl became active in humanitarian efforts to protect Asian Americans against racial intolerance by increasing awareness. In 1942, she and her husband founded the East and West Association, dedicated to cultural exchange and understanding between Asia and the West. In 1949, she established Welcome House Inc., the first adoption agency dedicated to the placement of bi-racial children, particularly Amerasians.

Upon her death on March 6, 1973, President Richard Nixon issued the following statement:

A graduate of Peking University, the speaker Wang Fengzhen is a professor at the Institute of Foreign Literatures at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has published widely on critical theories and cultural studies. He is now working on a collective multi-volume project on World Civilizations.





主讲人王逢振,毕业于北京大学西方语文学系,中国社会科学院外国文学研究所研究员,国际美国研究会理事,全国美国文学研究会和英国文学研究会常务理事,中外文论研究会名誉理事,曾先后任美国加州大学(UCI)批评理论研究所、澳大利亚国立大学人文研究中心和美国杜克大学批评理论中心客座研究员,多年从事批评理论研究和文化研究,曾多次到美国、加拿大和澳大利亚从事研究和讲学。主要著作有《今日西方文学批评理论》《女性主义》《文化研究》《二十世纪西方文论研究》(合著)《西学读解集》、《美国文学大花园》、《交锋》等。文论译著有《当代文学理论》、《时间的种子》《政治无意识》(合译)《向权力讲真话》(合译)《单一的现代性》等。文论编著有《最新西方文论选》、Dialogues on Cultural Studies(北美出版)、《名师讲演集》《美国大学批判》《二十世纪西方文论选读》《文化研究选读》《詹姆逊文集》(四卷)“知识分子图书馆丛书”(已出版37种)“先锋译丛”(11种)等。在国内外发表论文多篇,目前正在从事国家重点项目“世界文明通论”(集体项目)。


June 25, 2022
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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