Scholars to examine influence of dissident Chinese journal

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini


An international panel of scholars will assemble March 19 to 21 (Sunday to Tuesday) at the University of Notre Dame to examine the lasting impact and continued influence of Jintian (Today), a journal that gave voice to dissident Chinese literary, cultural and political thought during the Democracy Movement, three years after the disastrous Cultural Revolution ended.

Crisis and Detour: 25 Years of Todaywill honor one of the journals founders, the poet Bei Dao, a visiting professor of English and of East Asian languages and literatures at Notre Dame. Bei Dao and the Chinese-American novelist and poet Maxine Hong Kingston will read from their works on the opening night of the conference.

The keynote address will be delivered March 20 by N. G.D. Malmqvist, professor emeritus ofStockholmUniversity, an active translator and supporter throughout Europe of Chinese languages and literatures. Malmqvist is a member of theSwedishAcademy, which annually awards the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The conference will provide an opportunity for current Today editors to hold a rare face-to-face editorial board meeting. Today __ was launched inChinain 1978 but banned by the government in 1980. It resumed publication outsideChinain 1990.

Four renowned American authors will give public readings in honor of Bei Dao and the journal . Readingon March 20 will beBrownUniversityprofessors C.D. Wright, publisher of 10 volumes of poetry, and novelist Robert Coover, a professor of literary arts and author of several novels, includingThe Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

Readingon March 21, will be novelist Russell Banks, a New York-based poet, essayist and author of the novelsThe Sweet HereafterandThe Darling,and Michael Palmer, a San Francisco-based poet who has served as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and who has published translations from French, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese.

Panel discussions will take place during the day in McKenna Hall. The conference is sponsored by Notre Dames Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Center for Asian Studies.

More information is available at

_ Contacts: Lionel Jensen, chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, 574-631-8873 or ; Dennis Brown, assistant vice president for news and information, 574-631-7367 or

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