6/4 Yueling Ji

Ph.D. Candidate, EALC

The Stylistic Complaint: Rereading Modern Chinese Literature in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan

Time: Friday, June 4, 6-8 pm CT

Zoom Registration: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIsdu6sqzMtH9yxqmjZNyRaHJDbnkueK6AR

The Art and Politics of East Asia (APEA) workshop is proud to host Yueling Ji (Ph.D. Candidate, EALC), who will be presenting her dissertation chapter “The Stylistic Complaint: Rereading Modern Chinese Literature in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.” Elvin Meng (Ph.D. Student, Comparative Literature) will offer a response. Yueling summarizes her chapter as follows:

Each chapter of my dissertation studies a case in the history of 20th-century Chinese literary criticism where “style” became an important object of literary analysis. In this chapter, the main figures are linguists, translators, and literary critics based in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, a linguistic method to analyze the writing style of modern Chinese literature was developed and applied to canonical literary works. The critics argued that those works contain grammatical errors, misuse figures of speech, and damage the integrity of the national language. In this way, stylistics became a tool to decenter the canon and challenge the cultural authority behind it. Additionally, this chapter will introduce, as a practical skill, how to use the linguistic method to analyze writing style. 

Yueling Ji is interested in problems of language, style, and form in literature. She argues that the formal analysis of written texts has a social function for a community of readers. Her dissertation, “Style and Modern Chinese Literary Criticism,” studies how 20th-century Chinese critics used stylistics to debate ideological beliefs. She has also written about Sino-Soviet relations, Marxism, and feminist/queer theories.

**PLEASE NOTE that the workshop is from 6 to 8pm CT**
 
Please contact Jiayi Zhu (jiayizhu@uchicago.edu) and Sophia Walker (scwalker2@uchicago.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.
Sophia and Jiayi, Co-coordinators, Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop

5/21 David Wilson

Ph.D. Candidate, Ethnomusicology
Coming in from the Cold: Complicating Global Cold War Narratives through Chinese Revolutionary Ballet

Time: Friday, May 21, 5-7 pm CT

Zoom Registration: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYrde6vpj8pHdz_2XP04Ixbj72nA7Qgn2HS

The Art and Politics of East Asia (APEA) workshop is proud to host David Wilson (Ph.D. Candidate, Ethnomusicology), who will be presenting his paper “Coming in from the Cold: Complicating Global Cold War Narratives through Chinese Revolutionary Ballet.” Lilian Kong (Ph.D. Student, EALC) will offer a response. David summarizes his paper as follows:

Although The White-Haired Girl has a long development and performance history, the ballet version of the story is particularly associated with China’s Cultural Revolution. In this paper, rather than looking at the ballet from the perspective of the Cultural Revolution, or even socialist-era China more broadly, I consider The White-Haired Girl both as a site of transnational circulation and exchange, and as part of a global network of Cold War cultural exchange. Drawing primarily on published personal accounts and press coverage, I trace the ballet’s connections with both Japan and Canada. In doing so, I propose that The White-Haired Girl allows us to read the ways in which the legacies of post-War artistic exchange and circulation allow us to disturb the classic Three Worlds model of the Cold War, and to understand the uneven global experience of Cold War politics.
 
David Wilson is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology. His dissertation focuses on the ways in which transnational circulations of music and media affect music’s potential as a site for political discourse in modern China and Taiwan. He has written and presented on diverse topics such as the construction of gender in Chinese model operas, performance practice in Gustav Mahler’s orchestral songs, and the racial imaginary constructed by the musical playlist for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration.
 
**PLEASE NOTE that the workshop is from 5 to 7pm CT**
 
Please contact Jiayi Zhu (jiayizhu@uchicago.edu) and Sophia Walker (scwalker2@uchicago.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.
Sophia and Jiayi, Co-coordinators, Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop

5/7 Anthony Stott

Ph.D. Student, EALC, Comparative Literature

The Problem of Late Style in Ōe Kenzaburo

Image Caption: Manuscript copy of the third page of Ōe’s In reito sutairu (In Late Style, 2013)

Time: Friday, May 7, 3-5 pm CT

Zoom Registration: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwpdOuvqz4sGtZ_CTwGohQOlI6rxSE-bMpD

Discussant: Alex Murphy, Ph.D Candidate, EALC

The Art and Politics of East Asia (APEA) workshop is proud to host Anthony Stott (Ph.D. Student, EALC, Comparative Literature), who will present his paper, “The Problem of Late Style in Ōe Kenzaburo.” He summarizes his paper as follows:

On September 25, 2003, Edward Said passed away while still at work on his book about late style. Said’s death and the posthumous publication of this work as On Late Style (2006) led the writer Ōe Kenzaburō (1935–), a close friend of Said’s, to a period of particularly sustained engagement with Said’s life and thought. Taking Ōe and Said’s friendship and transpacific exchange of ideas as its starting point, this paper considers Ōe’s recasting of Said’s understanding of late style through two of Ōe’s most recent works: In reito sutairu (In Late Style, 2013), an idiosyncratic book of reflections and interviews centering on Ōe’s life and œuvre, but especially Suishi (Death by Water, 2009), his so-called “last full-length novel.” Reading Death by Water by way of In Late Style, it contends that late style catalyzes a two-pronged self-critique, oriented toward both the novelistic form of Ōe’s works and his writerly horizon as a male-gendered member of the yakeato generation. Bound up with this critique, Ōe’s late style as refracted in Death by Water gestures towards transcending a unitary narrative voice trapped within the strictures of its Ōe-like narrator’s positionality, but remains suspended in an aporetic space⎯between text and performance, the actualization of self-critique and its failure. Focusing on theatrical stagings of Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro within Death by Water, this paper untangles this critique and its performative roots by drawing on Masao Miyoshi’s idea of “reading against the native grain.” Late style, as thus unearthed, possesses undeniable import for not only Ōe’s late works, but, in its critiques of Ōe’s entire project, his entire corpus. Furthermore, by way of its crystallization out of transnational encounters, Ōe’s late style registers a mode of grappling with questions of aesthetics and society that challenges approaches to literature and thought premised on nationalistic and unidirectional dissemination models.

 

 

Anthony Stott is a joint degree student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Comparative Literature. He works, broadly speaking, on postwar Japanese literature, culture, and thought. His research is motivated by problems of philosophical aesthetics and affect, reception and circulation, and translation. He pursues these problems as they are manifested not only in more typical literary texts but also across performance, architecture, and criticism as a self-sufficient object of analysis.