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  • Alex Watson

Seminar: Translating British Romanticism in East Asia

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

International Seminar "Translating British Romanticism in East Asia" (Online event)

Fri, 29 April 2022 16:00 – 18:00 JST This international seminar will focus on the complex case of Romantic translation in East Asia, with short papers and a discussion.

5 to 10-min papers by Kaz Oishi (University of Tokyo), Li Ou (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Alex Watson (Meiji University) and Laurence Williams (Sophia University) followed by a general conversation led by Brecht de Groote (Ghent University).

In recent years, the importance of translation as a generative location for British Romanticism has been demonstrated by critics such as Diego Saglia and Brecht de Groote. At the same time, the influence of British Romanticism within Asian cultures has been highlighted by Emily Sun and edited collections such as British Romanticism in Asia (Palgrave, 2019) and Romantic Legacies (Routledge, 2019). This seminar seeks together bring these two scholarly discussions to examine the topic of British Romanticism in East Asian Translation.

What does British Romanticism look like in East Asian languages? What does it mean to translate British Romantic writing into languages with such different grammars, morphologies and writing systems? What aspects of British Romanticism are translatable, which transformed and which rejected? Are the Romanticisms constructed in such translations distinctive, or a continuation of Anglo-American and European discourses?

As we will discuss, translation provided a site of encounter between languages and cultures in which in which East Asian writers and scholars could absorb, adapt, reshape and sometimes reject aspects of British Romanticism. In so doing, these figures utilized Romanticism as a means of negotiating their relationship with Western modernity.

'Unknown Tongues' is an ongoing project focusing on the significance of so-called "minor" and otherwise marginalised languages within Romantic literary studies. 'Unknown Tongues' is organised by Rhys Kaminski-Jones (UWTSD) and Brecht de Groote (University of Ghent)].

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