Current CEAS Newsletter
Memorial Library Exhibit “Commemorating the thirtieth Anniversary of the International Conference on Dream of Red Chamber”
Dream of the Red Chamber is the great eighteenth-century Chinese novel by Cao Xueqin. The novel has often been characterized as an encyclopedia of Chinese civilization. “The First International Conference on the Dream of the Red Chamber” was held at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, from June 16 to June 20, 1980. Eighty-eight Dream of the Red Chamber scholars from the United States, China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea attended the conference. Forty-two papers were presented.
Professor Chow Tse-tsung (January 7, 1916-May 7, 2007) was the sponsor and the organizer for this unprecedented international conference. He spent two years in preparations and successfully served as the conference convener and chairman of the conference. Since then, Professor Chow also contributed in Harbin, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, Taiwan and Beijing for the second, third, fourth and fifth International Conferences on the Dream of the Red Chamber. Professor Chow also edited the conference proceedings titled “Chinese Papers from the First international Conference on the Dream of the Red Chamber” which published by the Chinese University in Hong Kong press in 1983.
The first international conference on the Dream of the Red Chamber was a milestone that marked three significant features: it was the first international conference about the “redology” research; it was the first time an international conference focused on one novel; and it was believed the first time the Chinese scholars were able to attend an international conference after the Cultural Revolution. As stated by Professor Chow, the importance of this conference is “undoubtedly an unprecedented important event in the history of China and the world literature exchange.”
The exhibit “Commemorating the thirtieth Anniversary of the First International Conference on Dream of the Red Chamber” is happening now in Memorial Library, and it is rich in content. Our library system is fortunate to have been able to collect most of the original pictures, paintings, and art objects from the Dream of Red Chamber conference. It contains powerful, beautiful, full color collections from the conference. Included are a number of unpublished poems and other works by the artists who attended the conference. Dianna Xu, the East Asian Studies Librarian says she is deeply grateful to Professor Chow, his wife Nancy Wu, their daughters Lena and Genie for their generous donations. In the long process of preparation of this exhibit, Ms. Xu has received much help from 15 library staff members and faculty. “I have heard many favorable comments about the exhibit. Without so many people’s dedicated services and their phenomenal talents, there is no way we could have had such a commemorative exhibition.”
There is still time to see the exhibit, as it runs until April 9. Check it out!
Celebrating Taiwan Cinema and Culture: Island of Light events
Throughout the month of April, continuing to May 3rd, CEAS is celebrating Taiwan Cinema and Culture with the Island of Light series. The series begins with five recent films from Taiwan, two of which appear at the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival, and three of which will be shown at Cinematheque. There will also be a special guest lecture series with lectures on Taiwan's cinema, literature, and music. Our opening event will be a guest lecture by Professor Wenchi Lin, entitled "The Next Wave: Recent Films from Taiwan", Thursday, April 7th at 4pm in Vilas 4070. Professor Lin is Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Director of Film Studies at National Central University in Taiwan, and he will be a special guest throughout early April at many of the Island of Light events. Other guest lecture events include visiting scholars Ming-ju Fan (Professor of Taiwanese Literature at National Chengchi University), Tung Shen (Dean of the Office of International Affairs and Professor at the Graduate Institution of Musicology of National Taiwan University), and Chia-Ling Mei (Professor and Head of the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature of National Taiwan University).
In addition to her guest lecture, Professor Ming-ju Fan will lead a workshop (in Mandarin Chinese) on April 27 at 1:30-3:30 entitled "Post-regional Fiction from Contemporary Taiwan" 臺灣當代後鄉土小說研究. Interested participants should contact CEAS for a pdf of reading materials.
Together with Professor Wenchi Lin's visit, CEAS is holding a mini-course on Taiwan Film and Literature (EAS 300 Lec 002: Humanities Topics: Taiwan Film & Literature), coordinated by David Dettmann with Profs. Nicole Huang, Wenchi Lin, and Ming-ju Fan.
For a full list of Island of Light events, with times and locations, check the page on the CEAS website. You can also click here to download a series poster. Hope to see you at the events!
What CEAS Faculty are Reading: Charles Irish
"Recently I read one really interesting book and one interesting article about China. The book was Richard McGregor's The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers. The book contains a wealth of information. I found the discussion of the role of the CCP in China's outbound investment efforts very informative. It also makes the US Government's response to CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation)'s efforts to take over Unocal look more informed and less reactionary.
The article: James Fallows writing in the December, 2010 issue of the Atlantic Monthly on why clean energy is dependent on dirty coal (article titled 'Dirty Coal, Clean Future'). He describes an interesting, quiet collaboration between the Chinese energy producers and US energy companies. Who would have thought that US scientists use China as a laboratory for testing various coal-fired power plant technologies? Both sides win, and we may wind up with cleaner air."
CEAS Student Profile: Anna Lundskow (陆安娜)
Anna Lundskow is an East Asian Studies and Chinese double major expecting to graduate in May 2012. Originally pursuing a career in interior architecture and then as a Physician’s Assistant, Anna took classes at Columbia College in Chicago and UW-Marshfield before transferring to UW-Madison. Once she transferred to UW-Madison, Anna began taking East Asia related classes, and realized for the first time that she could turn this interest into a major and a career.
Upon starting at UW-Madison, Anna decided to take a foreign language and some interest-related classes in addition to her biology courses. After taking Latin and German in High School, Anna decided to try something different and registered for Mandarin Chinese. It was a struggle at first, “but it was an interesting challenge, and unlike anything I’d taken before.” After a particularly trying semester of balancing biology and chemistry courses with Chinese on the side, Anna chose to follow her interest and take only East Asia-related courses for a semester. By doing so she discovered how broad and diverse the East Asian Studies and Chinese majors were. “What I really love about the East Asian Studies major is that I can study a wide variety of topics, which is perfect because I’ve always had a wide array of interests.” Anna was excited to be able to study everything from art history to anthropology, literature to history. Although many of the classes were work-intensive, Anna didn’t mind because the subject matter was so enjoyable.
Some of Anna’s favorite classes include Asian Religions with Anne Hansen, Chinese Literature with Nicole Huang, and of course, the Mandarin Chinese Language courses with Xingyun Wu. Third and Fourth Semester Chinese professor Xingyun Wu was a “stellar Chinese teacher.”
This summer, Anna will participate in the 2011 summer program in Tianjin. There she will take Fifth and Sixth Semester Mandarin, an additional class of her choice, and a non-credit culture course. The program consists of intense language study at Nankai University from late May to mid-August in Tianjin, China’s 3rd largest city. Anna is filled with so much anticipation that she already has plans for a travel blog and possibly a youtube channel documenting her study abroad.
After returning from Tianjin, Anna plans to study for one more year in Madison to complete her East Asian Studies and Chinese degrees. Although she still does not have concrete plans for after graduation, Anna hopes to either find a job in China through newfound connections from Tianjin, or attend graduate school to further her Chinese Studies. Anna is considering using her skills to become a translator or an English teacher in China in the near future, but is still uncertain about what lies in store for her in the long run. Anna’s main goal is to continue pursuing her interests in East Asia and to be happy all the while.
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