Kenyon welcomes Michael Hill, associate professor of Chinese studies at the College of William & Mary.

Abstract: This talk draws from ongoing research on parallels and points of intersection between Chinese and Arabic literatures from the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. It takes up a portion of the writings and translations of a group of Muslim intellectuals from the Republic of China who studied at Al-Azhar University in Cairo in the 1930s and 1940s. These intellectuals left behind an extensive archive of writings that worked to think through the connections between China, Islam, the Arab world, and, in some cases, literatures in Chinese and Arabic. The talk will focus on the "Book of the Sayings of Confucius" ("Kitāb al-Hiwār li-Kūnfūshīyūs," 1935), an Arabic version of the Analects translated by Ma Jian (1906–1978). Works like Ma’s translation make surprising connections between texts and traditions and, on a methodological level, provide a valuable resource for scholarship work that attempts to go beyond East/West approaches to cultural exchange and encounter.

Sponsored by Modern Languages & Literatures, Asian and Middle East Studies, History and the Office of the Provost.