CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558

Stanford conference on Chinese 'occidentalism'

STANFORD -- "Occidentalism: China's Uses of the West" is the topic of the second Walter H. Shorenstein Conference in East Asian Studies at Stanford Friday and Saturday, May 17-18.

Co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Stanford Humanities Center, the conference will feature prominent scholars in Chinese studies exploring China's visions of Western culture, the nature of "occidentalism" and "contemporary appropriations of Western consciousness."

Frederic Wakeman Jr., director of the Institute of East Asian Studies at UC-Berkeley, will deliver the keynote speech at 8 p.m., Friday, May 17, in History Corner, room 2. His topic will be "China's West."

A public address by Su Xiaokang, dissident Chinese filmmaker, will close the conference. Su, a controversial figure because of his work River Elegy, which was shown on television once in China and then banned, will speak in Chinese on "Cultural Tension in Contemporary China." His talk, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, will also be in History Corne, room 2. The talk will be interpreted into English.

Four panels and closing remarks will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Wattis Room of the Littlefield Center, Graduate School of Business. The panels will cover the topics "Occidentalism: Nature and Problems," "Visions of the West in Historical Perspective," "Orthodox Constructions of the West: Nationalists and Communists" and "Contemporary Appropriations of Western Consciousness."

Panelists include Chen Xiaomei of Ohio State University and the Stanford Humanities Center; Assistant Prof. James Ketelaar, history; Tang Xiaobing of Duke University; Assistant Prof. David Palumbo-Liu, comparative literature; William Kirby of Washington University, St. Louis; Stuart Schram of Harvard; Ci Jiewi of the Stanford Humanities Center; and Thomas Metzger, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Discussants are Prof. Mary Pratt, Spanish and Portuguese; Prasenjit Duara of the University of Chicago; Paul Cohen of Wellesley College; and Leo Ou-fan Lee of UCLA.

Closing remarks at 4 p.m. will be delivered by Vera Schwarcz of Wesleyan University.

The conference is funded by a gift from Walter H. Shorenstein. His $300,000 three-year grant to the Center for East Asian Studies, part of a larger grant to the Institute for International Studies, also has supported student fellowships for graduate and language training and a broad spectrum of programs and faculty research in East Asian topics.

The Center for East Asian Studies coordinates all university instructional, research and special activities related to China, Japan and Korea.

For more information on the conference or on the Center for East Asian Studies, contact Theodore Foss, assistant director, at (415) 723-3362.



This is an archived release.

This release is not available in any other form. Images mentioned in this release are not available online.
Stanford News Service has an extensive library of images, some of which may be available to you online. Direct your request by EMail to newslibrary@stanford.edu.