David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University): »A Story of the Red Bean: On Classicist Poetics and Modern Crisis«

The Lecture Series "Sinophone Classicism" will be inaugurated with a lecture by the distinguished Prof. David Der-wei Wang on October 28, at 16:00 CET (10am Boston, 7am California, 10pm Beijing/Taipei).

Veröffentlicht am: Mittwoch, 27. Oktober 2021, 08:42 Uhr (24)

David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University)
»A Story of the Red Bean: On Classicist Poetics and Modern Crisis«

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 16:00 s. t. (Central European Time)
Zoom meeting

About the lecture

This lecture explores the reverberations between Chinese intellectuals and classicist poetry through modern times, particularly at moments of national cataclysm. The case study centers on Chen Yinque (1890–1969), »the most talented historian in modern China.« I look into Chen’s legendary acquisition of a red bean during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which purportedly initiated the poetic turn of his scholarship in the subsequent decades. Chen’s engagement with and composition of classicist poetry in the socialist era compels us to question the dialectic between modernity and monstrosity, the tenability of affective evocation (xing), and the latitude of creative freedom. The lecture will also refer to Chen’s imaginary dialogues with figures such as Wang Guowei (1877–1927), Qian Zhongshu (1910–1998), and Yu Ying-shih (1930–2021).

About the speaker

David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University and holds a joint appointment in Comparative Literature. He is Director of CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, and Academician, Academia Sinica. His research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama; comparative literary theory; colonial and modern Taiwanese fiction, and Asian American and diasporic literature; plus Chinese intellectuals and artists in the mid-20th century.

Participation and registration

The event is set up as a Zoom meeting. After the lecture, there will be time for questions and answers. To participate, please register at:


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More information on the lecture series at Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften.