University Professor, Haun Saussy, will present during this year's annual Humanities Day. Taking place Saturday, October 19th, this day-long program features over 30 presentations including Professor Saussy's presentation being held during Session 1 entitled, "When China was at the Center of the Literary World," which prompts a rethinking of what we thought we knew by looking into an Asia-centered history of literature which ignites both surprises and familiarity. Contemporary discussions of world literature usually start from Goethe’s proclamation—first published in 1837—that “national literature is meaningless now, and the era of world literature is at hand.” The assertion was prompted, as Goethe’s secretary Eckermann observed, by the reading of a Chinese novel. And these same contemporary discussions of world literature usually present the topic as the spread of literary models from Europe to the Americas and thence to Asia, Africa, and ever remoter points of the globe. But this is a narrow view of the topic based on the history of European commercial expansion and contemporary globalization. What if we were to reset our Wayback Machine to the time when China and India were the center of world commerce, and Chinese models of literary style had currency across the known world (the world known to the Chinese, at any rate)? Hear Professor Saussy delve into this topic in October as we celebrate Humanities Day.
For more information regarding this presentation, among others, click here.
"When China was at the Center of the Literary World" During Annual Humanities Day