The Chinese American Literature Research Center was established at the School of English and International Studies in BFSU in January 2003. Headed by Professor WU Bing, supervisor for a Ph. D program in American literature, it is the first of its kind in China’s colleges and universities. Other members of the Center include Professors LIU Kuilan (deputy director), WANG Lili, PAN Zhiming and ZHOU Wei and Liu Bo of the School who are deeply interested in Chinese American literature and have published papers or translations in this area.
Chinese American literature, as an important part of American literature and culture and a key product of American multiculturalism, has been attracting more and more attention from China’s academic community. To establish a research center had been a common wish of Chinese scholars. It was under such circumstances that the center came into existence after a great deal of preparatory work over a long period of time.
As early as the 1980s, Chinese American writers and their works were introduced into the curriculum of the English Department at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and in the early 1990s, “Asian American Literature” became a graduate course. During the last two decades, many students have written their B. A. or M. A. theses on Chinese American literature, and under the guidance of Professor Wu, three students have obtained their Ph. D. degrees by exploring works of Chinese American writers in their dissertations.
Works published in the last few years by members and guest research fellows of the Center include five titles in English:
Zhao, Wenshu, Positioning Contemporary Chinese American Literature in Contested Terrains /《当代华裔美国文学研究》. Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 2004.
Shi, Pingping. The Mother-Daughter Relationship and the Politics of Gender and Race－A Study of Chinese American Women’s Writings. /《母女关系与性别、种族的政治：美国华裔妇女文学研究》. Kaifeng: Henan University Press，2004.
Pan，Zhiming. Romance as Strategy: A Study of Winnifred Eaton’s Fiction /《作为策略的罗曼司——温妮弗蕾德•伊顿小说研究》 Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2008.
Huang, Guiyou, and Wu Bing, eds. Global Perspectives on Asian American Literature /《全球化视野下的亚裔美国文学》. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2008.
—, ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature. Westport: Greenwood P, 2009.
and six titles in Chinese：
Pu, Ruoqian. Ethnic Experience and Cultural Imagination: A Study of the Representative Motifs of Chinese American Fiction / 《族裔经验与文化想象：华裔美国小说典型母题研究》. Beijing: China Social Science P, 2006.
Lu，Wei. Chinese American Literature: Towards Cultural Studies /《走向文化研究的华裔美国文学》. Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2007.
Xue, Yufeng. Cultural Studies on Chinese American Literature /《美国华裔文学之文化研究》. Beijing: People’s Literature Publishing House, 2007.
Shi, Pingping. A Study of Contemporary Ethnic American Women Writers /《当代美国少数族裔女作家研究》. Chengdu: Chengdu Times Press, 2007.
Zhao, Wenshu. Harmony and Variation: Changing Cultural Orientations in Chinese American Literature /《和声与变奏——华美文学文化取向的历史嬗变》. Tianjin: Nankai UP, 2009.
Wu, Bing, and Wang Lili, eds. Chinese American Writers /《华裔美国作家研究》Tianjin: Nankai UP, 2009. [This work was awarded a First Prize for Excellent Academic Works by Chinese Association for the Study of American Literature in 2010.]
The Center’s ongoing projects include: “Interviews of Asian American Writers and Critic,” “Highlights of Asian American Literature,” “An Anthology of Classical Chinese American Literature,” “An Anthology of Asian American Criticism,” “ A History of Asian American Theatre,” and “Representation of History in Chinese American Literature,” all of which will be published in book form.
The Center has made great efforts to promote the teaching, research, and translation of Chinese American literature and critical works in China. A project of a new series of translation of Asian/Chinese American literature has been launched in collaboration with Jiban Book Co., Ltd. Involved in the project are translators from China’s mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Among the first batch of the series are Bone and Steer toward Rock by Fae Myenne Ng, Thousand Pieces of Gold and Wooden Fish Songs by Ruthanne Lum McCunn, and Donald Duk by Frank Chin. More works are under negotiation with writers/their agents.
The Center has now a website and a library of over 1,000 books by or about Chinese/Asian Americans, providing readers all over the China with reference materials and information. It has established connections with colleagues and research institutions at home and abroad. A number of Chinese American writers and scholars have been invited to visit the Center, among whom are Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Russell Leong, King-Kok Cheung, Wing Tek Lum, Marlon K. Hom, Ling-chi Wang, Jinqi Ling, Helen Zia, Sau-ling Wong, Guiyou Huang, Marilyn Chin, Alice Tuan, and William Poy Lee, and scholars from Taiwan–Te-hsing Shan, Yu-cheng Lee and Pin-chia Feng.
In May 2006, the Center co-sponsored an international conference on “Asian American Literature in the 21st Century” in Beijing with St. Thomas University. The keynote speakers included Chinese American writer Shawn Wong and Asian American Literary critic Elaine Kim. Global Perspective on Asian American Literature, a collection of selected papers presented at the conference, edited by Professors Guiyou Huang and Wu Bing was published in November, 2008. Now, the Center is planning to sponsor another international conference in 2012.
Currently the Center has eight guest research fellows. As of the year 2009-2010, they are: Zhang Ziqing (Nanjing University), Lu Wei (Beijing Language and Culture University), Pu Ruoqain (Jinan Unveristiy), Shi Pingping (PLA University of Foreign Languages), Zhao Wenshu (Nanjing University), Guo Yingjian (Minzu University), Xue Yufeng (Henan University) and Guiyou Huang (Norwich University, USA).
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