East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

May 15 Workshop


“Detour of Translation:
Structuration of Brokers and the Crystallization of Modern Political and Social Terms in Chinese, 1890-1930”

Presenter: Le Lin
Doctoral Student of Sociology
University of Chicago

4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday
May 15, 2012
Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

This nascent project probes the way in which Western modern social and political terms were translated into and crystallized in Chinese from 1890s to 1920s. I ask why, given the existence of several competing Chinese translation versions and leading Chinese translators’ opposition to the Japanese version, such version from Japanese was accepted and had become the dominant version by 1920s. Several existing explanations are examined. I suggest shifting our focus to the structuration of brokers—the relative and dynamic structure of each version’s carriers in promoting their version. Initial explorations of causal mechanisms regarding the structruation of brokers’ knowledge system, organizational capacity and affinity with the rising power are discussed. Finally, I point to the potential theoretical linkages and significance of this research.

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Yang Zhang (yangzhang@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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