Circulation of Knowledge, Texts, and Discourses between China and the West

Prof. Louise Edwards1, Prof.  Dongqing Wang2, Dr. Tin Kei Wong3, Dr.  Yun Zhang4, Dr.  Wendong Cui5

1The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China, 3The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, 4Nanyang Technological University, , Singapore, 5City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Chair: Dr Wendong Cui


Since the sixteenth century, China and the West had begun to engage in close cultural exchanges. Knowledge, texts, and discourses circulated through the mediation of missionaries, merchants and intellectuals, which has exerted great impact on the birth of modernity in both civilisations. Although much attention has been lent to this topic, this panel aims to contribute to the current scholarship by bringing to light four understudied aspects: the formation and dissemination of the discourse on ‘the Great Chinese Inventions’ in the West, the Chinese translation of George Eliot’s masterpiece by a female missionary, the Chinese appropriation of the biomedical concept of ‘hysteria’, and the Chinese reinterpretation of Garibaldi as a xia (Chinese knight-errant). Adopting a transcultural studies approach, these papers will demonstrate that both Chinese and Western modernities are generated through vibrant cross-cultural encounters.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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