Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(54) Identification and Incommensurability: Translating between Chinese, Persian, and Arabic, 17th-20th Centuries

3/23/2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Truman, Mezzanine Level

While histories of the Islamic world and intra-Asian connections have expanded greatly in the past decade, most theoretical works on translation remain rooted in Eurocentric or colonial contexts. How did translators (Arab, Chinese, or otherwise) establish equivalence or difference between ideas and experiences outside the clear power discrepancies of European domination? How did Western norms still condition from afar discursive encounters that were ostensibly “East-East”? This panel addresses such questions by exploring the varieties and conceptual limits of translating texts and experiences between Persian, Arabic, and Chinese during early modern and modern times. Such translations took place within numerous conceptual models, including Islam, science and medicine, anticolonial consciousness, and on-the-ground Cold-War politics. Dror Wiel examines how Persian and Chinese physiological theories were synthesized in Qing China. Michael Hill focuses on the Chinese Muslim Azhar student Ma Junwu’s translation of Taha Hussein’s al-Ayyam (The Days), particularly how Ma compared Chinese and Egyptian conceptions of cultural iconoclasm. Mohammed al-Sudairi surveys how Arab travelers to China during the 1950s wrote about and experienced Mao and Maoism, often refracted through Middle East politics. In order to take full advantage of opportunities for in-depth discussion, this panel will pre-circulate short position papers, and relatively brief presentations of five to ten minutes will focus on highlighting new primary sources rather than reiterating claims made in the papers. 

To access a combined PDF of all three position papers prepared by members of this panel, please click on the "Panel Paper(s)" button. Papers will be available until March 28, 2018.

Presentations:

John T. Chen

Columbia University, New York

Presentation(s):

Send Email for John Chen

Michael Hill

College of William & Mary, Virginia

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Michael Hill

Michael Hill

College of William & Mary, Virginia

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Michael Hill

Dror Weil

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Dror Weil

Mohammed al-Sudairi

University of Hong Kong, Not Applicable, Hong Kong

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mohammed al-Sudairi


Assets

Identification and Incommensurability: Translating between Chinese, Persian, and Arabic, 17th-20th Centuries

Panel Paper(s)

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Identification and Incommensurability: Translating between Chinese, Persian, and Arabic, 17th-20th Centuries