The essays in this thought-provoking volume investigate ideas of China and Chineseness by means of a broad range of texts, languages, and contexts that surround what the editors call the “various written Chinas” through history. Analyzing discourse of civilization, geography, ethics, ethnicity, writing, and differences about China—from within the country and from outside—this work deliberately disrupts the boundaries that have previously defined China as an object of study.
Sinographies depends on a respect for the power of texts to shape realities both backward and forward, to create or foreclose possibilities not only of interpretation but of experience. To this end, the essays examine topics as various as colonialism, literary modernism, translation, anime, and Tibet. As a whole, the volume imagines sinography as a new methodological approach to the study of China, one that clears unexpected ground for new kinds of comparative work.
Contributors: Timothy Billings, Middlebury College; Christopher Bush, Princeton U; Rey Chow, Brown U; Danielle Glassmeyer, U of Alabama, Birmingham; Timothy Kendall; Walter S. H. Lim, National U of Singapore; Lucien Miller, U of Massachusetts; David Porter, U of Michigan; Carlos Rojas, U of Florida; Steven J. Venturino, Loyola U; Henk Vynckier, Tunghai U, Taiwan.
Eric Hayot is associate professor of comparative literature at the Pennsylvania State University.
Haun Saussy is Bird White Housum Professor of comparative literature at Yale University.
Steven G. Yao is associate professor of English at Hamilton College.