International symposium looks at writing of Chinese Canadians

An International Symposium on Chinese Canadian Literature at York this week will introduce Chinese Canadian writers and their works to readers, writers and researchers from China and elsewhere.

This international symposium aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas on Chinese Canadian literature, review and define the parameters of the research field and promote a robust development of studies on the subject.

The two-day event will take place starting at 1pm on Friday, July 23 and at 9am on Saturday, July 24 on the second floor of Vari Hall. The symposium is jointly presented by York’s Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics (DLLL), the Chinese Pen Society of Canada and the College of Letters of Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Professor Angela Pao (left) of Indiana University Bloomington’s Department of Comparative Literature will deliver the keynote speech Friday, titled “Floating Points: From Diasporic Spaces to Multiculturalism Places”, following opening remarks by Jiang Shuzhuo, vice-president academic at Jinan University in China. Jiang will also deliver the keynote address Saturday afternoon.

Several established scholars and promising young researchers in the field of Chinese Canadian literature will present their research on Chinese Canadian writers whom they have read. Some of the lectures are listed below:

  • Professor Chen Cai (English) of the School of Foreign Languages & Cultures at the Southwest University of Science & Technology in China will talk about “Changing Ethnic Awareness: Major Themes in Chinese Canadian Literature”.   
  • Pu Yazhu (English), a PhD candidate at the College of Foreign Languages & Cultures at Sichuan University in China, will discuss “On the Identity Acknowledgement in Cross the Ocean”.
  • Ray Hsu (English), author of Anthropy and a post-doctoral fellow in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and Danielle Thien (English), also of UBC’s Creative Writing Program, will look at “Asian Canadian and Aboriginal Communities: Collectivities and Allies?”
  • Writer Michelle Tisseyre (English) will talk about “Bilingual Writing, Challenges, Rewards and the Unique Creative Process”.
  • Professor John Z. M. Chen (English) of Inner Mongolia University’s Canadian Studies Center in China will lecture on “Society, History and Values: A Cultural Study of Paul Yee’s Chinese Canadian Female Characters”.
  • Professor Qian Hong (Chinese) of the Department of Chinese Language & Literature at Tongji University in China will discuss “From Looking at the Moon to Gold Mountain Blues: Chinese Canadian Women Writer Zhang Ling’s Narrative Transitions”.
  • Professor Lin Danya (Chinese), chair of the Department of Chinese Language & Literature at Xiamen University in China, will look at “Examining the Emergence and Characteristics of Chinese-Canadian Literature”.
  • Professor Pu Ruoqian (Chinese), dean of the College of Foreign Studies at Jinan University, will lecture on “Time, Space and Cultural Construction in Zhang Ling’s Gold Mountain Blues”.
  • Tan Xiang (Chinese), associate chief editor at Hebei Education Press in China, will discuss “Reading Chen He’s Novel The City in the Black and White Movie”.
  • Professor Zhao Qingqing (Chinese) of the Centre of Canadian Studies at Nanjing University in China will look at “Chinese Canadian Literature and its Reception in China”.
  • Professor Daxiang Yu, director of the Centre of World Literature in Chinese at Tongji University, will discuss “The Image of Maple Forests in Overseas Chinese Prose Essays: the Uniqueness of Chinese-Canadian Writings”.

To see the full schedule of events and times, click here. For more information, contact York DLLL Professor Xueqing Xu, faculty associate at the York Centre for Asian Research and symposium organizer, at