Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

Sino-Indian Literary Connections Through the Ages

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

The history of exchanges of goods, knowledge, and religious practice between China and India has been receiving increasing scholarly attention over the past decade (with recently published or forthcoming works by Tansen Sen, Victor Mair, Kamal Sheel, Anand Yang, Arunabh Ghosh, Brian Tsui and others). Our panel seeks to broaden these efforts by exploring pre-modern and modern moments of connectedness between China and India from a literary perspective. Examining the travel of tropes and genres across the Himalaya or the South Sea, as well as inquiring how authors imagined China-India horizons at different times reveal a new and exciting terrain of transregional literary imagination which our papers invoke both collectively and individually.


Beginning our panel with the third and fourth centuries, Graham Chamness studies the Indic origins of the trope of ritual fasting in Buddhist literature of early medieval China. Focusing on Buddhist texts from the tenth and eleventh centuries, Barnali Chanda examines the development of the trope of the dragon maiden (‘naga’) in Sanskrit and Chinese texts in order to trace the introduction of “foreign” elements into Chinese writing. Moving on to the modern era, Adhira Mangalagiri challenges the exclusive focus on historical connections in Sino-Indian scholarship by offering a comparative study of Lu Xun and Premchand’s distinct yet corresponding anti-colonial poetics. Finally, Gal Gvili delves into the 1950’s, as visions of “third world solidarity” prevailed in vast parts of Asia’s cultural arena, to examine the translation of Muhamad Iqbal’s poetry into Chinese.    

Gal Gvili

McGill University, Canada

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Ipshita Chanda

English and Foreign Languages University, India

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Gal Gvili

McGill University, Canada

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Graham Chamness

Harvard University, United States

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Adhira Mangalagiri

Queen Mary University of London, British Virgin Islands

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Ipshita Chanda

English and Foreign Languages University, India

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