Recently, the “Generation and Dissemination of African and African Diaspora Classics” Seminar on Chinese-African Language and Culture Comparison by Chinese and Foreign Language and Culture Comparative Society of China was held in Chengdu. Shen Xiaorong, deputy secretary of the party committee of the UESTC, Wu Di, president of the Sino-foreign Language and Culture Comparative Society, and Tan Huijuan, chairman of the Sino-African Language and Culture Comparative Research Association attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. More than 100 scholars from more than 40 universities and research institutions in China participated in this seminar.
The conference was sponsored by the Sino-African Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and African Languages and Cultures, the School of Foreign Languages of UESTC, the Institute of African and American Literature of Hangzhou University of Electronic Science and Technology, co-organized by Foreign Language Studies of Central China Normal University, the Research Center for West Africa of UESTC, School of Foreign Languages of Zhejiang Normal University, Shandong Foreign Language Teaching of Shandong Normal University, Language Education of Dalian Foreign Studies University, and Zhejiang Gongshang University Press.
On behalf of UESTC, Shen Xiaorong welcomed the arrival of experts and scholars, and thanked everyone for their long-term support for the development of UESTC, especially in the field of the humanities and social sciences. She said that the seminar actively responded to “The Belt and Road” initiative and the initiative for building a community of shared future for humankind, and conducted an in-depth dialogue between Chinese civilization and world culture. In recent years, the exchanges between UESTC and Africa have become increasingly frequent. She also hoped that this seminar will provide the participators with a valuable opportunity to gain insights, gather academic resources, and make academic talents, and promote research and development in related fields.
Wu Di read out the documents for the establishment of the second level society at the conference. He believes that the study of African literature needs to break the Eurocentrism thinking mode and re-examine the western literary criticism theory. He affirmed the research achievements of Chinese scholars in the African cultural field, and looked forward to more academic results emerging in the new academic field of comparative study of Chinese and African languages and cultures.
Tan Huijuan said that the comparative study of Chinese and African languages and cultures is not only limited to African language, culture and literary thoughts, but also includes African writers, critics, thinkers, theorists and philosophers around the world. The seminar will adhere to Chinese sentiments and global perspectives, and make contributions to advancing the community of shared future for humankind from the perspective of non-mainstream languages, culture and literature.
Focusing on the theme of “Generation and Dissemination of African and African Diaspora Classics”, more than ten scholars including Feng Wenkun, Luo Lianggong, Chen Guorong, Li Anshan, Cai Shengqin, Huang Hui, Jiang Hui, Wang Zhuo, Augustine Asaah (French Department of Ghana University), Wang Hui, Yao Feng, Wang Lin, Zhu Zhenwu and others made wonderful keynote speeches. From the perspectives of philosophy, narratology and comparative literature, they explored the generation and dissemination of African literature and African diaspora classics.
Professor Feng Wenkun shared research on the works of Ghanaian writer Apia, pointing out that his philosophy is a hybrid of idealism and pragmatism, beliefs and aspirations, positivism and relativism. His texts are based on anecdotes, family stories, and personal experiences which reflect situational sentiment and loyalty to specific cultures. Professor Luo Lianggong combined the detailed reading of poetry texts with cultural criticism, showing the relationship between transnational space and perspective forms. Professor Chen Guorong’s analysis centered on the questions of “who wants to forget” and “who wants to remember”, indicating that diaspora is a way of thinking and presenting the world. Professor Li Anshan made detailed introduction of related research from five aspects: the history and current situation of international African studies, the four generations of African researchers in China, the international participation of Chinese scholars, the achievements and problems of current African studies in China, and the new trends in Chinese and African studies, which emphasizes the transformation of research ideas and paradigms in China and Africa.
This seminar is composed of three keynote speeches and three sessions. From the perspectives of comparative literature, narratology, cultural communication and research methods, it discusses the generation and dissemination of African and African diaspora classics in the context of globalization. In addition, the conference also displays the latest research results and works of Sino-African studies in the form of branch discussions, conducted academic collisions and exchanges in interdisciplinary studies, and opened a new window for the exchange of literature, language, and culture between China, Africa and African diaspora.
The participating scholars agreed that the seminar constructed a theory of Chinese and African literature and culture research on a macro scale, and in-depth research on all aspects of literature and culture. The participants not only broadened their horizons, gained new knowledge and inspired their research directions, but also shared ideas and learned from each other. The conference demonstrated the current achievements in language and culture of China and Africa, and also established a platform for absorbing new blood and fresh ideas.
Translated by Fan Zhaojun, supervised by Liao Min.