The Sino-Australian High-level Dialogue Forum on Culture and Humanities
In order to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Australia, the Centre for Australian Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in collaboration with the Australian Studies Centre at Tsinghua University, will host the Sino-Australian High-level Dialogue Forum on Culture and Humanities on Dec. 21st ,2022 in Shanghai. This Dialogue encourages participants’ vision from professional perspective for the future research, teaching and public engagement of Australian Studies in China, and academic cooperation of scholars between two countries. The aim of this Dialogue is to promote Australian Studies in broader contexts, to consider its role as part of the global humanities, to think about how it engages with the national, and the international, and to strengthen the connections between Australian Studies Centres in China and their counterparts in Australia.
The Themes of the Forum Include:
(1) Multiculturalism and its controversies in literature, theatre, media and the arts
(2) Impacts of globalization and anti-globalization on culture and humanities
(3) Literary theories developments and pragmatic literary criticism
(4) Digital humanities: pros and cons
(5) Intermedia studies: theories and practice
(6) Academic project cooperation between Australia and China
(7) Culture traditions and modern literature
(8) Other issues related to culture and humanities
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Time: 8:30 am-12:40 pm（Beijing Time）, Dec. 21st, 2022
Meeting No.: 880 6987 4870
Trust and Cultural Difference in an Age of Digital Platforms
At the time when the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam became the first Australian leader to visit China since the 1949 Revolution, he was the bearer of a series of propositions that would have great influence over politics and culture in Australia for the next five decades. In broad terms, the Whitlam vision offered the possibility that greater openness - in culture, trade, migration and the movement of people, access to new technologies, and cultural identities - would be the cornerstone of progressive politics. The association of social democratic politics with openness has been a feature of many centre-left political parties around the world in the fifty years since Whitlam's 1972 visit. Yet it has always coexisted with different forms of nationalism, and concerns that globalisation entails a loss of control, whether it is over the economy, public policy, or culture and cultural identity. The period since the mid-2010s has seen such anxieties escalate, and the rise of populism fuelled by discontent among the "left behinds" has seen the relationship between nationalism and globalisation take new and sometimes frightening shapes.
Drawing upon the work of Thomas Piketty and others, I want to critically evaluate claims that there has been a decline in trust in liberal democracies and its relationship to debates around globalisation and cultural difference. Noting that some have referred to the current period as one of "post-globalisation" or "slowbalisation", I will particularly focus upon how digital platforms have become key vectors for such debates, and what this may mean for the future of nation-states. Taking the view that global digital platforms can in fact be regulated at the level of nation-states, I will posit a larger "return of the state" in public life - particularly in economic life - while also considering some of the ambiguous legacies this may present for cultural identities and cultural difference.
Terry Flew: Professor of Digital Communication and Culture at the University of Sydney. He is the author of 16 books (seven edited), 71 book chapters, 118 refereed journal articles, and 20 reports and research monographs. He was President of the International Communications Association (ICA) from 2019 to 2020 and is currently an Executive Board member of the ICA. He was elected an ICA Fellow in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), elected in 2019. He has advised companies including Facebook, Cisco Systems and the Special Broadcasting Service, and government agencies in Australia and internationally, including the Australian Communication and Media Authority and the Singapore Broadcasting Authority. He has held visiting professor roles at City University, London and George Washington University, and is currently a Distinguished Professor with Communications University of China, and an Honorary Professor at University of Nottingham Ningbo China.
The Function of Literary and Cultural Communication of English
Since we are living in an age of globalization, we should acknowledge that the impact of globalization on culture is largely achieved through language as a medium. In this way, English functions as a lingua franca in the age of globalization, not only for interpersonal communication, but more for literary and cultural communication and exchange. In terms of the enormous impact of globalization on the mass media, it puts great pressure on people outside the English speaking world: In the present and the future, to improve our survival and work efficiency, not knowing English, the lingua franca of the global age, would be extremely difficult. In this article, I shall chiefly focus on the translation and dissemination of Chinese literature and culture in the English speaking world after dealing with the function of English in global communication. To my mind, English is in fact the only means by which they could communicate with the outside world. In this aspect, China’s scientists as well as quite a few humanities scholar have realized that they must write their most important academic works in English for publication in leading international journals or with prestigious publishing houses in order to gain recognition in the international academic community and carry on dialogues with their Western and international counterparts in an equal manner.
Wang Ning: Professor Wang Ning is one of the most important and influential scholars in humanities studies in contemporary China. He has held professorships in prestigious Chinese institutions such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, and is now working as Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Social Science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His research focuses on fields such as modernity, postmodernism, globalization and culture, world literature and translation studies. Apart from around 500 hundred articles published in journals such as New Literary History, Modern Language Quarterly and Critical Inquiry and Social Sciences in China both in English and in Chinese. He authors around 30 books in English or Chinese. He was elected as Changjiang Professor of China’s Ministry of Education in 2011, member of The Academy of Latinity in 2010 and member of Academia Europaea in 2013.
The Inward Migration in Apocalyptic Times
As the world falters, threatening native ecosystems and Indigenous life ways, acclaimed Australian Aboriginal author Alexis Wright turns inward to the dwelling place of ancestral story. From here, she considers how her ancient culture has responded to ongoing destruction - and how to bear witness to the creation of a post-apocalyptic world.
Alexis Wright: A member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book, Wright has published three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory; and Tracker, an award-winning collective memoir of Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmouth. Her books have been published widely overseas, including in China, the US, the UK, Italy, France and Poland. She held the position of Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne from 2018 to 2022. Wright is the only author to win both the Miles Franklin Award (in 2007 for Carpentaria) and the Stella Prize (in 2018 for Tracker). Her new novel Praiseworthy will be published in April 2023.
E W Cole, a Cosmopolitan and his View on Chinese
The research starts from the book token released in 1890s, on which it says “The United States of the world, it’s coming before the year 2000”. The person who had this prediction carved on the medallion is E W Cole, a bookseller, publisher, and above all a thinker. Even though his prophecy hasn’t come true, his vision is worth cherishing and further pursuit. This paper traces the formation of his cosmopolitan view back to its European origin and also compares with that of Chinese heritage. When E W Cole was writing his perception on the Federation of the world, or the Better Side of Chinese Character, he himself may not have clearly realized the depth and significance of his ideas, as well as his bravery in defending Chinese against the prevailing “Yellow Peril” xenophobia. However, a century later, with time-distance, viewers could see his significance more clearly and his writings together with his non-ethnocentric attitude are even more important to the contemporary people.
Wang Jinghui: Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies. She is also the Director of Australian Studies Centre, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University. She works on cultural translation, Australian Studies, Intercultural Communication and World Literature. She is the author of more than 50 essays on literature and culture published in English, Chinese and Dutch, and has given lectures and conference talks in the US, UK, Australia, Norway, Italy and Russia. As a literary critic, she also publishes widely on leading Chinese newspapers about canonical writers in world literature. She has also presided over several international conferences, lectures as well as national and international research projects on literary and intercultural studies.
The Australian Novel: Histories, Criticism, An Anthology
This paper will describe and analyse the process of constructing a new anthology based on the theme of the history of the Australian novel, to be released by a major international publisher. What is the history — or histories — of the Australian novel? How might we see those histories in a new light today? What role does publishing history and book culture play? What conflicts and controversies have emerged? How have the histories been transformed over time? What new histories have emerged in recent years?
David Carter: Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Emeritus Professor of the University of Queensland.Professor Carter has extensive experience in teaching and developing programs in Australian Studies internationally. He was President of the International Australian Studies Association from 1997 to 2001; Manager of the Australian Studies in China program of the Australia-China Council (2002-16); a board member of the Australia-Japan Foundation (1998-2004); and Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at Tokyo University (2007-08 & 2016-17). He is a Board Member of the Foundation for Australian Studies in China.
The Travel of Humanities and The Rise of National Modernization in China and Australia
Despite historical, social and cultural dissimilarities and differences between China and Australia, such as those in race, social and governmental systems, values, ideology, the nature of multiculturism, etc, both countries saw a largely similar transition from an economy of agriculture, stockbreeding, and handicraft industries to an urbanized society characterized by industrialization and modernization. Approximately, the transition started in two countries in the early decades of the 20th century and resulted in the gradual rise of national modernization, which is a continuously developing process until today. Since China and Australia established diplomatic relation in 1972, two countries’ overall engagements have been significantly contributing to the transition, making the mutual relations and development more cooperative, dynamic, complimentary, productive, and predictable in the past fifty years. As a result, China and Australia both become leading economies in the world, as represented by their membership of G20 and increasingly global impact on international relationship and other domains.
China and Australia differ from many European countries whose history of modernization has long-term preparatory groundworks such as the Renaissance lasting for a few centuries, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, industrialization, etc. Because of those vacancies, thoughts and theories concerning modernization from other lands are emphatically helpful for both countries. Among major factors prompting and promoting the rise of national modernisation in China and Australia is the travel of European humanities along with their reception in two courtiers, although the seminal value and function of which have been unfortunately disregarded by academics. This presentation intends to probe into how European humanities were introduced and received in the different context of China and Australia, and how the conception of modernization was initiated in theory and translated into reality in different ways.
Liu Shusen: Professor of English, Director of Australian Studies Centre, School of Foreign Languages, Peking University. His research fields include the history of Australian Studies in China, early modern history of Chinese translation of foreign literatures, as well as Western missionaries and their literary translation in Early Modern China. His recent publications include dozens of articles as well as more than ten coauthored and edited books in Australian Studies, Translation Studies, American, British, Australian and New Zealand literatures.
Australian Studies in China: A Gathering of Mutuality
This presentation looks back on half a century of Australian Studies in China from the vantage point of 2022 in order to suggests some new directions for the future. It considers the strengths of Australian Studies in China from both a Chinese and an Australian perspective, taking ‘gathering’ and ‘mutuality’ as keywords. Both ideas are important in Chinese thought. ‘Gathering’ has been a feature of the Australian Studies community in China at least since the formation of the Association for Australian Studies in China and the inaugural conference at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 1988. Such gatherings—maybe two a year now—play a crucial role in academic exchange, development and innovation, for both Chinese and Australian participants. They are core business. ‘Mutuality’ is no less essential, whether expressed as ‘reciprocity and mutual benefit’ in officialese or ‘win-win’ in contemporary vernacular. There must be something in it for all parties to bring them together. To consider the meaning of ‘gathering’ and ‘mutuality’ fully in this context is to redefine Australian Studies in an interdisciplinary and international setting that may surprise Australians and Chinese alike.
Nicholas Jose: A novelist and essayist whose books include the novels Paper Nautilus, Avenue of Eternal Peace (shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award), The Custodians (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize) and Original Face; three short story collections; a volume of essays, Chinese Whispers; and the memoir Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola. After gaining his doctorate at Oxford University, he taught in the Department of English at the ANU 1978-1985. His monograph Ideas of the Restoration in English Literature was published in 1984. He is currently Adjunct Professor with the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University and Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing in the School of Humanities at The University of Adelaide.
A Frequently Asked Question in China in Recent Years
The frequently asked question 澳大利亚怎么了[ào dà lì yà zěn me le] reveals the fact that more people in China have become more confused, puzzled or disgruntled about Australia. The question in Chinese could be interpreted as “What’s the matter with Australia”. In fact,澳大利亚怎么了has different shades of meaning and could be understood in different ways. Indeed, it’s a hard nut to crack to respond to such a question raised by and discussed and debated among close friends, family members, students, colleagues or even online strangers. This talk by Professor Zhang discusses the changing Chinese image of Australia in recent years; investigates the causes for the attitude change among the younger generation in China. The speaker of the talk also attempts to provide possible solutions to a better relationship.
Zhang Yongxian: He worked at the Chinese Embassy to Australia for four years before accepting a teaching position at Renmin University of China in 1994. Professor Zhang helped to establish the Australian Studies Centre at RUC in 1999. He is founding Director of the Centre, and has supervised more than 100 postgraduate students of Australian studies. Professor Zhang has a rich and diversified work experience in many fields which include a high school teacher, diplomat, interpreter, and a university teacher. Professor Zhang is a diligent scholar and has published many books and articles since he moved to the academic field. His major publications include From English to Globlish（YINGYU FAZHANSHI）.He has also published articles in English, such as “Heart of Darkness” and “Remembering Babylon” - Compared and Contrasted, Who is Afraid of Globalization.
Australia and China dialogue: Australian studies dealing with diversity
In the Australia, Australian studies is noted for its interdisciplinary character, which is inclusive, haphazard and being an engaging spaced of inquiry that question what Australia is, its history, and its contemporary issues, and in its resistant to governments efforts to define Australia studies in narrow national interest terms. Australian studies diversity is evident in its literature, culture, history and in addressing essential questions of everyday life, colonial legacies, First Nation narratives, migratory history, and foundational political issues. Paradoxically, Australian studies in Australia is criticised for being too diverse in subject matter and too narrow in its focus on Australia topics.
In China there is also growing diversity in Australian studies developing from its origins in translation and literary studies, including literary theory and criticism, cultural and historic studies, immigration movements, ethnicity and multiculturalism, economics and trade, environmentalism, education, theatre, and the media. Notably, there has been a growing interests in bringing First Nation studies into a dialogue with ethnic issues in China in literature, translation, myths and symbolism.
The question this paper is addressing is how Australian studies in China can consider globalisation and international research in a manner conducive to expanding its core research focus. In considering the issue of globalisation in Australian studies in China I will use evident from the Foundation for Australia Studies in China research grants scheme to show how the growing diversity is already enhancing the dialogue between Australia and China. Equally, the dialogue could be advanced by reaching out to Chinese students who have completed their PhD dissertation in Australia and have returned to teach in China. By opening to diverse sources of research, Australia studies in China might steer a course between being too diverse and too narrow.
Greg McCarthy: Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Western Australia. He was the BHP Chair of Australian Studies (2016-2018) at Peking University. Professor McCarthy has published widely on both China and Australia relations and higher education; including Governing Asian International Mobility in Australia, with Xianlin Song; Indigenising Australian Studies in China, Journal of Australian Studies, (2021); ‘The Regulatory State and the Labour Process’, with Kanishka Jayasuriya and Xianlin Song, in G. Capano and D. Jarvis, Convergence and Diversity in the Governance of Higher Education, Cambridge, (2020) ;and ‘The Proletarianization of Academic Labour in Australia’, with Xianlin Song & Kanishka Jayasuriya (2018). Higher Education Research & Development, 36(5), 1017-1030. He has recently co-edited the book with Youzhong Sun and Xianlin Song (2021) Transcultural Connections: Australia China. Springer Publishing.
Reading Les Murray in China
Transnational reading of all kinds involves framing of another culture. In 2001, I wrote an essay entitled “Australian Poets and China”, in which I explained how Australian poets, when writing about China, imagined China. Twenty-one years later, when I turn myself around, I find to my surprise how an equally concerning kind of framing is going on in the Chinese reception of Australian poets and their poetry. A good case in point is the reading of Les Murray. The co-winner of the 13th Chinese “People and Poetry International Poetry Prize”, Murray is not the most translated Australian poet in China, but since 1993 there have been some introductory readings, mostly celebratory, of his poetry. In this presentation, I will draw attention to four of these including a substantial essay by Chinese poet Lan Lan. These for sure are all interesting readings that grew out of good will, but some of them can also be misleading. These readings point to what Nicholas Jose refers to as the great deficit in our understanding between the two nations. China has a long history of respect and love for literary writers (particularly poets), which explains all these good words about Les Murray. But this indiscriminatingly respectful framing can be a double-edged sword. While I imagine Murray’s response to it if he were still alive, I feel the case of his reception in this country sounds a warning to all of us as to how much more work needs to be done to promote more nuanced cross-cultural understanding between China and Australia, a point Frank Moorhouse made some forty years ago in his comic story “Cultural Delegate”.
Wang Labao: Professor of English at the School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, China. He studied for his PhD at the University of Sydney, Australia. He was Professor and Dean of the School of Foreign Languages at Soochow University and Professor/Director of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University. He is widely published in English and American literature, Australian literature, literary criticism and theory, and comparative literature in China and internationally.He was Founding Editor and Editor- in-Chief of Language and Semiotic Studies and is currently advisory board member of Australian Literary Studies. He is Vice President of the National Australian Studies Association in China, and the Chinese Association for Studies in World Literatures Written in English. And he is also an Adjunct Professor of Western Sydney University, Australia.
The Heart and Sovereignty
One of the most exciting and influential developments in Australian literature in recent decades is the florescence of writing by Indigenous Australians. This has happened across the same period as the strengthening of Aboriginal political activism, represented by the Uluru ‘Statement from the Heart’ (2017). That consultative statement expressed the desire for ‘constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country.’ It emphasized the ‘ancient sovereignty’ of the first people of the Australian continent and the heartfelt desire for political and social reform. Contributing to the broader context of this statement has been the work of contemporary novelists like Kim Scott (Benang: from the Heart, 1999; That Deadman Dance, 2010) and Alexis Wright (The Plains of Promise, 1997; Carpentaria, 2006), as well as the work of young Indigenous poets like Natalie Harkin, Evelyn Araluen, Jeanine Leane and others. Scott and Wright’s fiction includes searing critiques of Australia’s settler history as well as visionary perspectives on Aboriginal social and spiritual difference. Indigenous poets have insisted on poetry as the preferred cultural expression for their decolonizing of language and for the awareness of the realities of environmental emergency. The contemporary moment is one in which Indigenous literary and political writers are providing the discourse for a reimagnined, restructured and reformed Australia.
Philip Mead: He was inaugural Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia (2009-2018). He is currently Emeritus Professor, University of Western Australia, and Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. From 2009-2010 Philip was Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair of Interdisciplinary Australian Studies, at the Free University, Berlin and in 2015-2016 was Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University.
Australian Studies in China: 50 years and onwards
The establishment of the formal diplomatic relationship between China and Australia in 1972 was not the result of precipitate decisions for short-term expedient prospects, but the outcome of prudent calculation of the geopolitical trend to strive for longstanding mutual interest and common ground rather than accentuating disparities and contestation based on the Cold War mindset. 50 years onwards, bilateral relations have profited from economic and social cooperation and exchanges while people to people exchanges have contributed to the cultural diversity and dynamism in both countries. Australian Studies in China is one of such prized achievements which have benefited the mutual understanding and friendship, conducive to a mutually beneficial solid and mature relationship which we have been conjointly building. This paper is an overview of how Australian Studies has successfully developed into a cross-disciplinary academic area in China today, and a prospective outlook of its development in the future.
Chen Hong: Director of Australian Studies Centre at East China Normal University in Shanghai. He is also director of the university’s New Zealand Studies Centre, and executive director of the Asia Pacific Studies Centre. He is President of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies, Vice President of the Chinese Association of Oceanian Studies, and Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Association of Asia Pacific Studies. He is author, editor and translator of 10 books and more than 40 academic papers in international and area studies, and chief researcher for a key national research project in social sciences. Prof. Chen is a columnist of both the Chinese and English editions of the newspaper Global Times, and a regular commentator and contributing writer at major Chinese and international media outlets.
Translating jailing experience in a pidgin context: an Alter/native Approach to World Literature
Traditionally translation is thought of "rendering of a text from one language to another", but what about a text that uses the Latin written form yet whose ways of expression differ from, or rather integrate both English and Chinese ways of thinking. The present paper is an attempt to analyze such a pidginized text, A Difficult Case: An autobiography of a Chinese Miner on the Central Victorian Goldfields by Jong Ah Siug, rediscovered through the efforts of two translators, Ruth Moore and John Tully.
This autobiography is written in a language that is unique in that many expressions are very much Chinese and would remain difficult both to English and Chinese readers without translation, and that makes it different from Taam Sze Pui’s My Life and Work published bilingually or Wong Shee Ping’s The Poison of Polygamy: A Social Novel, published in classical Chinese with Cantonese characteristics. Using an extra-linguistic approach to this autobiography, the author thinks the writing and translation of Jong Ah Siug is an alter-modern or avant-garde one as he uses a mode that transcends the conventional mode of literary representations and creates an alter/native approach to world literature.
Wang Guanglin: Professor of English at School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, Adjunct Professor at School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, and honorary fellow of University of Central Lancashire. He is the Vice President of Chinese Association of Australian Studies. He serves on the editorial board of Anthem Studies in Australian Literature and Culture, Anthem Press. Professor Wang is the author of Translation in Diasporic Literatures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and Being and Becoming: On Cultural Identities of Diasporic Chinese Writers in America and Australia (Tianjin: Nankai University Press, 2004, 2006). He is the editor-in-chief of the journal of Australian Cultural Studies.
Ralph de Boissière’s China in Photos
Ralph de Boissière was a Trinidad-born Australian author. A lifelong socialist, de Boissière was a founding member of the left-wing Realist Writers Group and a member of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) for 16 years (1951-1967). His best -known novels are Crown Jewel (1952) and Rum and Coca-Cola (1956).
In November 1957, de Boissière undertook a study tour of over half a year in China with 11 other members of the CPA, an important event in his life. This presentation focuses on de Boissière’s China tour based primarily on the photos held by the National Library of Australia and the two interpreters for the CPA delegation Mr. Gao Xian and Ms. Tong Yixiu.
Li Jianjun: Lecturer of English, director of the Australian Studies Centre at Beijing Foreign Studies University and secretary-general of the Chinese Association for Australian Studies. He teaches Australian literature at the BFSU Australian Studies Centre and his current research is Australian literature in China in 1950-65.
Study on the National Ideology and Identity in the Works of the Miles Franklin Award
From Three aspects, the study focuses on the National Ideology and Identity in the Works of the Miles Franklin Award: the first is the National sentiments and Identity, which advocates for the service of Australia, telling stories about Australia in Australian local language; shaping the Australian character, thus highlighting the national awareness with Australian featured human environments and revitalizing the national literature. The second is the ideal characteristic of heroic feelings, which helps shape Australia's spiritual leaders. Many works manifest the Bush Heroes with Australian-style Bush hero image with no fear, embodying the spirits of challenging themselves and seeking for self-value affirmation and independent national pursuit. The third is the appealing for Australians’ subject status, pursuing the national culture independent of the world with the Australia-born authoring body, Australians as the narrative subjects, Australian life as the themes of stories.
Liang Zhongxian: Director of Australian Studies Center, professor of Mu Dan Jiang Normal University. She is the author of Between Margin and Center----A Semiological Study of Elizabeth Jolley's Fiction (2009). She has published more than 40 academic papers in journals such as Foreign Literature Review, Journal of Foreign Languages, Contemporary Foreign Literature and Foreign Language World.
Centre for Australian Studies
Shanghai Jiao Tong University