Skip to main content Skip to navigation

LN910 Translation and Transcultural Encounters between China and the West

Module Convenor
Dr Qian Liu

There are no specific language requirements for this course

Aims and Objectives

This module introduces students to literary encounters between China and the West in the twentieth century, using theories of translation. Students will learn how the Chinese translation of Western literatures in the first half of the twentieth century impacted on the development of modern Chinese literature; crucially, they will also learn about the influence of Chinese literature, via the conduit of translation, on other Western literatures, such as the literary interactions between classical Chinese poetry and the Imagist Movement, and the translation of contemporary Chinese literature abroad. The hegemonic relationships among languages will also be discussed. In this process, students will analyse how translation plays a role in transcultural negotiations, and will deepen their understanding of the cross-cultural literary encounters between China and the West.


Learning Outcomes
  • have a critical understanding of the facts and features of Chinese translation of foreign literatures in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and of English translation of contemporary Chinese literature.
  • have a profound understanding of important theories of translation studies.
  • be able to apply suitable theories of translation to the study of translation history and transculturalism.
  • be able to present their analytical studies of translators or translated texts in a comparative analysis.
Teaching Schedule

Week 1: Introduction: Translation and Transcultural Encounters

Week 2: Overview: Twentieth-Century Chinese Translation of Western Literature

Week 3: The Translation of Joan Haste and Love as Virtuous Sentiment

Week 4: The Translation and Adaptation of La Dame aux Camélias

Week 5: Translation of Ibsen’s Nora: the Dilemmas of the ‘New Woman’

Week 6: reading week

Week 7: Guest talk by Professor Jonathan Stalling (University of Oklahoma) on the Translation of Classical Chinese Poetry

Week 8: The Chinese Nobel Prize Winner: Mo Yan and his Translators

Week 9: Does ‘World Poetry’ really exist? Debates around the Translation of Bei Dao’s Poems

Week 10: Assignment workshop


100% Course Work

Students will write a comparative analysis of 5,000 words, providing a critical analysis of one specific case of transcultural encounters between China and the West which reflects theoretically on issues in translation and transcultural exchanges, supported by detailed textual analyses.

Deadline for submission:

Thursday 12 May 2022, noon via Tabula

Schedule and Teaching Delivery

If the module runs, sessions are on Tuesdays, 10 am -12 noon (UK time) in OC1.06 (Term 2)