Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia

The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia: Texts & Artefacts, Institutions & Practices

Thursday, 4 July 2013 – Saturday, 6 July 2013, Berlin

This conference sits squarely at the crossroads of many important contemporary conversations, both scholarly and popular. Over the past decade, scholars have examined the reception of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures around the globe. This has been done by analyzing the role of ancient Mediterranean culture in a variety of cultural instances; for example post-antique texts and images, ideology and institutions, as well as rituals and practices. The research has been wide-ranging, including examinations, for instance, of Greek tragedy in 20th-century African theatre and Latin poetry in colonial Mexico. Still there has not yet been a project dedicated solely to the reception of Greece and Rome in East Asia, despite tantalizing clues concerning the wealth of material available for investigation: from the Isopo Monogatari (伊曾保物語), a 16th-century Japanese edition of Aesop’s Fables, to a theatrical season in Beijing in July 2012 directed by the famed Li Liuyi that included both Sophocles’ Antigone (安提戈涅) and the Tibetan epic King Gesar (格萨尔王).
This conference will explore the reception(s) of Greek and Roman culture in East Asia from antiquity to the present. That is, the conference seeks to explore the movement and transmission of knowledge between Western antiquity and East Asia as well as the circulation of this knowledge within East Asia. In particular, we are interested in the question of how and why ancient Greek and Roman texts, images, and material cultures and the knowledge and ideas contained within them have been adapted and refigured in East Asian texts, imagery, and cultural artefacts.
The ever-growing complexity of the relationship (economically, politically, and culturally) between East Asia and the “West” makes the study of the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in East Asian cultures particularly relevant and timely, and most importantly not just a matter of academic interest. Since “Western” culture’s self-conception begins in Europe with ancient Greece and ancient Rome, the reception of ancient Greco-Roman cultures in East Asia provides an excellent point of reference for current intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogues in an increasingly globalizing world, particularly since the present era might be understood as a period characterized by an increase in the frequency, speed, and prevalence at which knowledge transfers between various points and people around the globe. This conference aims to explore this point of reference by bringing together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners (performing artists, writers, visual artists, and those working in theaters and museums) to analyze the many diverse aspects of the reception of Greek and Roman culture in East Asia.
On this webpage, you will find a wide variety of information relating to the conference, but if you still have questions, please feel free to contact us

Preliminary Program

4 July 2013

13.00 Registration
I Opening Session
13.30 Introduction: Almut-Barbara Renger (Freie Universitaet Berlin)
13.45 Bernhard Kytzler (University of KwaZulu-Natal): Teaching Classics in China in the Late Twentieth Century
Fritz-Heiner Mutschler (Peking University): Western Classics at Chinese Universities: A Few Subjective Observations
14.30 Discussion
15.00-17.15 Plenary Session
II Classical Scholarship and Translation
15.00 Zhi Zhang (Peking University): Lukianos in China
15.30 Lihua Zhang (Peking University): The Vernacular Chinese as a Style: A Study on Zhou Zuore’s Modern Translation of Theocritus’ Idyll X
16.00 Xin Fan (Freie Universitaet Berlin): Imagining Classical Antiquity as a Global Concept?: The Debate on the Periodization in the Ancient World in Twentieth-Century China
16.30 Discussion
17.15 Coffee break
17.45-19.30 Parallel Sections
III Ancient Contact Between East and West: ChinaIV Ancient Contact Between East and West
17.45 Jingling Chen (Harvard University): Socrates Visits Beijing: Intellectual Thoughts on the Eve of 194917.45 Shuai Luo (Peking University): The Begram Treasure and the Roman Commercial Expansion
18.15 Krisztina Hoppál (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest): Chinese Perceptions of the Roman Empire: A Mysterious Country in the Westernmost Part of the World18.15 Daniel Sarefield (Fitchburg State University): “If I return to Scythia a better man than I left”: Anacharsis the Wise Barbarian
18.45 Discussion18.45 Discussion
19.30 Reception. Speech by Yan P. Lin

5 July 2013

10.00-11.15 Plenary Session
V Late Antique Asian Literature and Hellenistic Greek Sources
10.00 Andrej Petrovic (University of Durham): Alexander the Great in Malay:Romances of Alexander the Great
10.30 Discussion
11.15 Coffee break
11.45-14.00 Plenary Session
VI The Reception of Classical Languages and Legends in the History of JapanVII Greek Myth in Japanese Popular Culture
11.45 Ichiro Taida (I-Shou University in Taiwan): The Earliest History of the Reception of Classical Languages in Japan11.45 Luciana Cardi (Osaka University): The Function of Greek Myths in Contemporary Japanese Literature
12.15 Jerzy Nowak Wojciech (Adam Mickiewicz University): Jesuits’ Linguistic Efforts on Creating Catholic Vocabulary in Japan – the Case of Japanese Hidden Christians12.15 Carla Scilabra (University of Torino): Back to the Future: Reviving Classical Figures in Japanese Comics
12.45 Timon Screech (SOAS): The Legend of Zeuxis and Japanese Painting12.45 Jen Cresswell (University of Edinburgh): Greek Myth in Anime and Manga
13.15 Discussion13.15 Discussion
14.00 Lunch
15.30-17.15 Parallel Sections
VIII Greek and Roman Themes in Asian Material CultureIX Sculpture in East and West
15.30 Cynthea J. Bogel (Kyushu University): Grapes, Gods, and Men: Greco-Roman and Asian Motifs on an Eight-Century Japanese Buddha Pedestal15.30 Lukas Nickel (SOAS): China and the Hellenistic World – Sculpture as Evidence for Cross-Asian Contacts During 3rd Century BC
16.00 Chia-Lin Hsu (Academia Sinica, Taiwan): Politics, Culture and Neo-Classical Architecture in Taiwan16.00 Rui Nakamura (The Tokyo University of the Arts): The Reception of Parthenon Sculpture in Modern Japanese Art School
16.30 Discussion16.30 Discussion
17.15 Coffee break
17.45-19.15 Parallel Sections
X Translation as ReceptionXI Staging Ancient Greek Drama in East Asian Theatre
17.45 Bill M. Mak (University of Hong Kong): The Book of Four Gates 四門經 and Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos17.45 Yu Tianshu (Peking University) and Liu Haiying (China Agricultural University): On Queen Hudijin: A Medea-like Chinese Woman in Guo Moruo’s Historical Play The Peacock’s Gallbladder
18.15 Jinyu Liu (DePauw University): Translation as Reception, Reception as Argument: Western Antiquity in China in the 1920s-1930s18.15 Kuan-wu Lin (Freie Universitaet Berlin): The Revival of Greek Tragedies by Fusions with Eastern Theatre Traditions
18.45 Discussion18.45 Discussion
XII Plenary Session: Round Table & Closing Remarks
20.00 Social Dinner

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