Morning Glow on the Western Ridge; copperplate; (1711-1713). A view of the Chengde Mountain Resort built by Emperor Kangxi near Chengde. Held at the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Reading across Cultures: Global Configurations of Reception, Adaptation and Transmission

University of Fudan, China, Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th June, 2014

In the globalised academic world of the 21st century, questions of reception and adaptation take on a new urgency. Scholars are investigating the ways in which literature, the visual, and cultural artefacts belonging to one time and place are received by new audiences and adapted by new practitioners, across geographical frontiers as well as across historical eras.

In the proposed colloquium, ‘Reading across Cultures’, the meeting of Chinese and European scholars will give us an opportunity to make comparisons between the various forms of reception and adaptation taking place within each of these centres of civilisation. We also aim to consider some of the ways in which the cultures of China and Europe have reached out to and influenced each other.

Questions which we hope to address include: how are literary texts and theatrical performances altered as they enter the translingual spaces between cultures? How do Chinese and European notions of a ‘classical’ literature differ and agree, and what relations between classical, medieval and later literatures can be traced in each culture? How and for what purposes have the cultural artefacts of the past been preserved for later generations, and what new significance have they acquired for contemporary audiences across the globe? What is the cultural significance of landscape art in China and in Europe, and how have the landscape arts of each culture been received and adapted in the other? How have art and literature in both China and Europe approached questions of the human body and of the relationship of the human to the animal? How do the concepts and the chronological placing of modernity compare across China and Europe, and in what ways has the modern literature of one culture been received by the other?

As we explore these questions we will begin to build a new, globalised understanding of the processes of cultural reception, adaptation, and transmission.

Conference programme

The conference programme is available to download as a PDF.