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[15, Nov. 2021] The Translational Creation of Guanxi
Professor James St. André will give an online talk “The Translational Creation of Guanxi”, hosted by Centre for Translation and Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast, to be held on 15 November. You may refer to the details below.
Date: 15 November 2021 (Monday)
Time: 10 – 11 p.m. (HKT)
Venue: MS Team
Link: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YzRiYWVkNGY......
Abstract: Translation is often conceived of as a one-way process, as is the growth and spread of concepts through translation. The story goes that an idea or concept that originates in one culture travels to another, in the process perhaps being changed or adapted in response to local circumstances, as detailed by Edward Said in his article “Translating Theory”. My current project looks at examples where the creation and development of concepts proceeds interlingually in a two-way or multi-way process. My four case studies are all drawn from the history of Chinese-English interaction, and in this talk I will discuss in some detail one of those concepts, guanxi, or connections. I will argue that, far from being an integral part of Chinese culture since antiquity, as is sometimes claimed, the importance of guanxi arises out of the complex history of the interaction between Europe and China over almost four centuries, and involves the Chinese civil service examinations, the reform of the British civil service in the nineteenth century, writings by British missionaries and sinologists, and the May Fourth Movement in the early twentieth century.
James St. André is Associate Professor of Translation and Director of the Centre for Translation Technology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on translation theory and the history of Chinese-English translation in the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, recently with a focus on digital humanities approaches. His most recently published book is Translating China as Cross-Identity Performance (2018), and he is currently working on another manuscript entitled Conceptualizing China through Translation. He is also the editor of Translation and Time: Migration, Culture, and Identity (2020), China and Its Others: Knowledge Transfer through Translation (co-edited with Peng Hsiao-yen, 2012) and Thinking through Translation with Metaphors (St. Jerome 2010).
Said, Edward. 1983. “Traveling Theory”. In The World, the Text, and the Critic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.