Dr. Nan Z. Da, University of Notre Dame | Newberry

Dr. Nan Z. Da, University of Notre Dame

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

5 to 7pm

Towner Fellows Lounge

Center for American History and Culture Programs
American Literature Seminar

Bibliographic Habitats

Dr. Nan Z. Da, University of Notre Dame

Taken from a book project that examines truly superficial cross-national exchanges, “Bibliographic Habitats” reads Asian American writer Sui Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton)’s “Spring Fragrance” stories in a way they have never been read before. What is to be made of its claustrophobic habitat in which no piece of literature can appear without doing cross-cultural work? Because original reactions and voices are such rare commodities in early transnational studies— a subfield that argues that China and the West have been cross-engaging and cross-influencing long before the twentieth century– it has become standard practice to gauge transnational and crosscultural exchanges by tracing reception and textual traces. Is it possible, Da asks, that “transnational” stories simulate what is actually a methodological necessity in the discipline of cross-cultural literary analysis? The Spring Fragrance stories enable us to gauge the degree to which the distances between people and books are constructed, and ask why cross-cultural communication may not be thinkable without literary prostheses.

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email teh Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.