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HCTS Lecture by Zhang Longxi

03. Jun. 2014

The Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) presented a lecture by Prof. Zhang Longxi (Hong Kong) on world literature. The event took place on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at the Karl Jaspers Centre.

In his lecture "Chinese Literature and World Literature", Prof. Longxi examined the rise of world literature as a prominent phenomenon in literary studies today that makes it possible for literary scholars to return to the reading and appreciation of literature from a global perspective. For scholars of Chinese literature, world literature has a particular significance because in its formative moment, Goethe formulated the concept of Weltliteratur in talking about his reading of a Chinese novel in translation, and thus gives the idea a cosmopolitan intent beyond Eurocentric limitations. World literature studies today, however, still need to break away from Eurocentric limitations, while we need also guard against narrow-minded nationalism on the other side if we want to develop a truly global perspective and appreciate the world’s literary legacies with a pluralistic vision.

ZHANG Longxi is a leading scholar in East-West cross-cultural studies. He holds an MA from Peking University and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He had taught at Harvard and the University of California, Riverside, and is currently Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at City University of Hong Kong. He is an elected foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, a member of the Executive Council of the International Comparative Literature Association, and an Advisory Editor of New Literary History.

The lecture took place on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, from 6 tp 8 pm in room 212 at the Karl Jaspers Centre

Founded in April 2013, the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) is a central institute of Heidelberg University situated at the Karl Jaspers Centre. Building on the structures established by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", it assembles outstanding scholars from all over the world and from any discipline to engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue with a focus on the dynamics of transcultural processes.


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  • Barbara Mittler introducing the speaker

  • Prof. Zhang Longxi

  • Sima Qian, author of Si Ji (史记, The Records of the Grand Historian)