Book Discussion | States of Disconnect: The China-India Literary Relation in the Twentieth Century

Book Discussion | States of Disconnect: The China-India Literary Relation in the Twentieth Century

Author: Dr Adhira Mangalagiri
Lead Discussant: Dr. Tansen Sen
Chaired by: Dr. Jayati Bhattacharya

Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2023-01-12 | 17:30-19:00 (Singapore | Shanghai)

States of Disconnect studies crises of transnationalism in Chinese and Hindi texts (1900-1965) that express an aversion to pairing ideas of China and India together. Such texts may seem to spell the ends of comparative thought, but the book shows how literary practice can offer possibilities of relation in the face of insular nationalisms and against globalized habits of thought. The book offers “disconnect as a critical lens for making sense of severed, interrupted, or absent transnational connection, and for finding in such moments an ethics of relation.

ADHIRA MANGALGIRI is Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. She is also currently an Associate at the Harvard University Asia Center. Besides publishing in internationally reputed academic journals, she serves as General Editor for Comparative Critical Studies, the house journal for the British Comparative Literature Association, the Managing Book Review Editor for Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Asian Interactions, and General Editor for the China-India Studies database. In 2015, she received the American Comparative Literature Association’s (ACLA)
Horst Frenz Prize.

TANSEN SEN is Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Professor at New York University (NYU). He specializes in Asian history and religions and has special scholarly interests in India-China interactions, Indian Ocean connections, and Buddhism. He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (2003; 2016) and India, China, and the World: A Connected History (2017). He has done extensive research in India, China, Japan, and Singapore and was the founding head of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Center in Singapore.

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The BRI in National Peripheries: Gwadar and the limits of outsourced development

The BRI in National Peripheries: Gwadar and the limits of outsourced development

Speaker: Muhammad Tayyab Safdar
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2022-12-5 | 21:00-22:30 (Shanghai)
2022-12-5 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2022-12-5 | 17:00-18:30 (Abu Dhabi)

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an important pilot project of China’s Belt & Road Initiative. Within CPEC, Gwadar in Pakistan’s Balochistan province enjoys a privileged position in the development imaginaries of both Chinese and Pakistani policymakers. Even though Gwadar is central to the discourse on CPEC and development, the impact on the ground remains limited. What explains this lack of progress despite Gwadar‚Äôs privileged position within CPEC and the BRI? This paper* argues that the lack of progress in Gwadar is a function of multiple variables, including the region‚Äôs history as peripheral to Pakistan‚Äôs development imaginary, persistent violence and a growth model predicated on land speculation. Furthermore, Gwadar signifies what the paper refers to as an ‚Äėoutsourced development‚Äô model in the BRI. In this model, Chinese actors, especially State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), take on the responsibilities of the state in providing public goods and other social services. The state within the host country further abdicates its limited role in providing peripheral regions with public goods and social services. The paper argues that although these non-state transnational actors are filling the void left by a weak domestic state, they have limited space for independent action and must work through local power structures.

*This paper is co-authored by Hammal Aslam Baloch, Director of the International Center for Refugee and Migration Studies, Assistant Professor at BUITEMS.

Tayyab Safdar completed his MPhil and PhD in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. His current research explores the emerging dynamics of South-South Development Cooperation, especially after the launch of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. His research also looks at the economic and political dimensions of increasing Chinese investment on host countries that are a part of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), focusing particularly on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Tayyab’s research has been published in the Journal of Development Studies and Energy for Sustainable Development.

Prior to joining UVA, Tayyab was a Newton Trust Post-Doctoral researcher at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge.

Introduction by Bhagya Senaratne, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai; Senior Lecturer in the Department of Strategic Studies, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka (KDU).

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Location & Details

To our visitors:
‚ÄĘ RSVP¬†may be required for this event. Please check event details
‚ÄĘ Visitors will need to present a photo ID¬†at the entrance
‚Äʬ†There is no public parking on campus
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‚Äʬ†Taxi card¬†
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Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

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Address:

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Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

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Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895‚Äď1962

Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895‚Äď1962

Speaker: Gal Gvili
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2022-11-18 | 21:00-22:30 (Shanghai)
2022-11-18 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2022-11-18 | 17:00-18:30 (Abu Dhabi)
2022-11-18 | 13:00-14:30 (London)

Beginning in the late Qing era, Chinese writers and intellectuals looked to India in search of new literary possibilities and anticolonial solidarity. In their view, India and China shared both an illustrious past of cultural and religious exchange and a present experience of colonial aggression. These writers imagined India as an alternative to Western imperialism‚ÄĒa Pan-Asian ideal that could help chart an escape route from colonialism and its brutal grasp on body and mind by ushering in a new kind of modernity in Asian terms.

Gal Gvili examines how Chinese writers’ image of India shaped the making of a new literature and spurred efforts to achieve literary decolonization. She argues that multifaceted visions of Sino-Indian connections empowered Chinese literary figures to resist Western imperialism and its legacies through novel forms and genres. However, Gvili demonstrates, the Global North and its authority mediated Chinese visions of Sino-Indian pasts and futures. Often reading Indian literature and thought through English translations, Chinese writers struggled to break free from deeply ingrained imperialist knowledge structures.

Imagining India in Modern China traces one of the earliest South-South literary imaginaries: the hopes it inspired, the literary rejuvenation it launched, and the shadow of the North that inescapably haunted it. By unearthing Chinese writers’ endeavors to decolonize literature and thought as well as the indelible marks that imperialism left on their minds, it offers new perspective on the possibilities and limitations of anticolonial movements and South-South solidarity.

Gal Gvili studies and teaches modern and contemporary Chinese literature. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in The Journal of Asian Studies, Religions, Comparative Literature Studies, China and Asia: A Journal in Historical Studies and the edited volume Beyond Pan-Asianism: Connecting China and India 1840s-1860s. Her book Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962 (Columbia University Press, 2022) examines how the image of India, in particular, Chinese writers’ multifaceted visions of Sino-Indian connections, shaped the making of a new literature in the twentieth century.

Introduction by Adhira Mangalagiri, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London.

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Location & Details

To our visitors:
‚ÄĘ RSVP¬†may be required for this event. Please check event details
‚ÄĘ Visitors will need to present a photo ID¬†at the entrance
‚Äʬ†There is no public parking on campus
‚Äʬ†Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue)¬†
‚Äʬ†Taxi card¬†
‚Äʬ†Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B¬†
‚Äʬ†Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

#Center for Global Asia

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CONTACT US

Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address:

Room W822, 567 West Yangsi Road,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

© 2023 All Rights Reserved

Chinese Sojourners in Wartime Raj, 1942-45

Chinese Sojourners in Wartime Raj, 1942-45

Speaker: Yin Cao
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2022-10-19 | 20:00-21:30 (Shanghai)
2022-10-19 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2022-10-19 | 16:00-17:30 (Abu Dhabi)

Since the outbreak of the Pacific War, British India had been taken as the main logistic base for China’s war against the Japanese. Chinese soldiers, government officials, professionals, and merchants flocked into India for training, business opportunities, retreat, and rehabilitation. This book is about how the activities of the Chinese sojourners in wartime India caused great concerns to the British colonial regime and the Chinese Nationalist government alike and how these sojourners responded to the surveillance, discipline, and check imposed by the governments. This book provides a subaltern perspective on the history of modern India-China relations that has been dominated by accounts of elite cultural interaction and geopolitical machination.

Cao Yin is Associate Professor in the Department of History, Tsinghua University. He works on modern Indian history, global history, and inter-Asian connections. He is the author of Chinese Sojourners in Wartime Raj, 1942-45 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022) and From Policemen to Revolutionaries: A Sikh Diaspora in Global Shanghai, 1885-1945 (Leiden: Brill, 2018). 

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Professor of History Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.

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Location & Details

To our visitors:
‚ÄĘ RSVP¬†may be required for this event. Please check event details
‚ÄĘ Visitors will need to present a photo ID¬†at the entrance
‚Äʬ†There is no public parking on campus
‚Äʬ†Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue)¬†
‚Äʬ†Taxi card¬†
‚Äʬ†Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B¬†
‚Äʬ†Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

#Center for Global Asia

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CONTACT US

Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address:

Room W822, 567 West Yangsi Road,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

© 2023 All Rights Reserved

World History in China: The Twentieth Century

World History in China: The Twentieth Century

Speaker: Xin Fan
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2022-9-26 | 20:00-21:30 (Shanghai)
2022-9-26 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2022-9-26 | 16:00-17:30 (Abu Dhabi)

World history as a field of knowledge production has a history in China that goes back prior to the twentieth century. In this talk, I focus on a case study on ancient world history and trace three stages of the development of world history into an academic field of teaching and research over the course of the entire twentieth century: the rise of amateur world-historical writing in late Qing era, the inclusion of world history as a mandatory teaching component in the school curricula in the Republic, and the establishment of world history as a research field from the early People’s Republic to the 1980s. Throughout this process, the historians in focus constantly negotiated the relationship between national identification and global outlook in their teachings and research. By examining this process, I show how the separation of world history from national history came about as an unintended consequence of the state’s massive social engineering projects.

Dr. Xin Fan (ŤĆÉťĎę) is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York. He is interested in Chinese intellectual history, historiography, and global history. He is the author of¬†World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century¬†(Cambridge University Press, 2021). He also co-edited¬†Reception of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia¬†(Brill, 2018). He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled, ‚ÄúThe Right to Talk about China: Liberal Intellectuals and the Rise of Emotional Politics, 1900 to 1949,‚ÄĚ as well as collaborating with scholars in Europe, America, and Asia on several projects on nationalism, historiography, and conceptual history. In addition, he is writing about world-historical analogies.¬†For the upcoming academic year, Dr. Fan will teach at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University. He will also become a Fellow and Director of Studies at Lucy Cavendish College at the university.

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Professor of History Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.

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Location & Details

To our visitors:
‚ÄĘ RSVP¬†may be required for this event. Please check event details
‚ÄĘ Visitors will need to present a photo ID¬†at the entrance
‚Äʬ†There is no public parking on campus
‚Äʬ†Entrance only through the South Lobby (1555 Century Avenue)¬†
‚Äʬ†Taxi card¬†
‚Äʬ†Metro: Century Avenue Station, Metro Lines 2/4/6/9 Exit 6 in location B¬†
‚Äʬ†Bus: Century Avenue at Pudian Road, Bus Lines 169/987

#Center for Global Asia

WeChat

CONTACT US

Email: shanghai.cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595043

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address:

Room W822, 567 West Yangsi Road,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

© 2023 All Rights Reserved