May 15, 2008 – Rey Chow: “Translator, Traitor; Translator, Mourner (or, Dreaming of Intercultural Equivalence)”

Translator, Traitor; Translator, Mourner (or, Dreaming of Intercultural Equivalence)
Thursday, May 15 / 4 PM / Humanities 210

Sentimentalism in Contemporary Chinese Cinema & Beyond
Friday, May 16 / 10AM –- 12PM / Humanities 210

Download a copy of the seminar reading.

Rey Chow is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University where she teaches in Comparative Literature, English, and Modern Culture and Media. She is the author of Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading Between West and East (Minnesota, 1991); Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies (Indiana, 1993); Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema (Columbia, 1995); Ethics after Idealism: Theory–Culture–Ethnicity–Reading (Indiana, 1998); The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Columbia, 2002); and, most recently, The Age of the World Target: Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work (Duke, 2006) and Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films: Attachment in the Age of Global Visibility (Columbia, 2007).

The lecture will be an examination of the complex role played by translation (in various forms) in mediating contemporary cultural politics, in particular the kinship translation shares with mourning, on the one hand, and with multiculturalism, on the other. The seminar will be based on the introduction (and possibly other chapters) of her latest book: it will be an exploration of some of the familiar trajectories of the sentimental in contemporary literary, film, and cultural studies, asking how such trajectories may carry different connotations in a global context.