Professor Jiang Hong Gives a Talk about Australian Literary Studies in China

The journal of Foreign Literature of Beijing Foreign Studies University was founded in 1980. From the beginning, it supported the translation and critical studies of Australian literary writing in China. Every few years in the earlier parts of its history, the journal would put out a special Australian literature issue. Today, after 38 years, the journal remains one of the most committed research platforms supporting Australian literary studies in China. On 17 December, 2018, the journal’s Associate Editor Professor Jiang Hong visited the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture and during her stay she gave a talk to an enthusiastic group of young scholars about Australian literary writing in China.

Tracing some of the early special issues of her journal, Professor Jiang highlighted the works of a dozen Australian authors whose fiction, poetry and drama were translated and published for its Chinese readership. She commended early translators such as Jin Liqun (now President of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank) for their commitment and effort in the translation of Patrick White’s The Tree of Man, and other translators such as Li Yao for continuing to work on Australian writing for the rest of their lives. She also spoke about some of the pioneering Aust.Lit. scholars such as Hu Wenzhong and Huang Yuansheng whose critical studies of Australian writing paved the way for its expansion in the last 30 years.

Professor Jiang finally spoke about the recent changes that have been introduced in the editorial policies of this peer-reviewed journal. She believed that studies of Australian literature would continue to interest the journal’s readers and Chinese readers more generally, so she encouraged emerging scholars to contribute their latest research findings to the journal for publication. After the seminar, she answered questions about the place of Foreign Literature in the Chinese system of core journals, its role in the discipline of world literary studies in China, the journal’s current attitude towards literary translation and comparative literature studies. Over a dozen young scholars from University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Wollongong, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Western Sydney University were in attendance.