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Scholars to examine influence of dissident Chinese journal

Author: Arts and Letters


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 Today” will honor one of the journal’s 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 of Stockholm University, an active translator and supporter throughout Europe of Chinese languages and literatures. Malmqvist is a member of the Swedish Academy, 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 in China in 1978 but banned by the government in 1980. It resumed publication outside China in 1990.

Four renowned American authors will give public readings in honor of Bei Dao and the journal_._ Reading on March 20 will be Brown University professors C.D. Wright, publisher of 10 volumes of poetry, and novelist Robert Coover, a professor of literary arts and author of several novels, including “The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.”

Reading on March 21, will be novelist Russell Banks, a New York-based poet, essayist and author of the novels “The Sweet Hereafter” and “The 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 Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Center for Asian Studies.

_*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

Originally published by Gail Hinchion Mancini at on March 07, 2006.