Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation

Renditions Distinguished Lecture Series on Literary Translation is established by the Research Centre for Translation of the Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013, in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Renditions, the world-renowned journal of Chinese literature in English. It is an annual event that invites key figures in literary translation to talk about their experiences in the field.

It is the Centre’s great hope that the lecture series will, together with Renditions publications, reinforce Renditions’ founding goals: to give western readers the chance to know Chinese work of literary art and the humanities, and to discuss and demonstrate the art of literary translation.

 Past distinguished public lectures

“Approximated Perfection: What Jane Austen Can Teach Us About Translation”
Speaker: Dr. Sylvia Li-chun Lin
Sylvia Li-chun Lin was Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame, where she taught modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film, and culture. In 2013, she resigned from Notre Dame to be a full time translator and writer. She has translated dozens of short stories and co-translated full-length novels by Li Ang, Chu Tian-wen, Bi Feiyu, Liu Zhenyun, and others.
28 April 2017
Lecture Video
Translator / Ghostwriter / Ghost Composer
Speaker: Brian Holton
16 December 2015
Lecture Video



“Commentary: Cultural Information and Minimal Literacy in Text and Translation”
Speaker: Professor Stephen H. West

Professor West is Foundation Professor of Chinese in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. With Wilt Idema, he has translated over forty Chinese dramas from the Yuan and Ming dynasties, the most recent of which will appear in The Orphan of Zhao and Other Yuan Plays, which will be published by Columbia University Press in early 2015. He Has also published translations and academic articles on urban culture in the Song, garden culture, and poetry of the Song-Yuan era.

4 November 2014
Lecture Video

“From Sinology to Translation and Back Again”

Speaker: Professor David Pollard

Professor David E. Pollard received his MA in Chinese from the Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He later taught at SOAS and was Chair Professor of Chinese from 1979 to 1989. He joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong as Chair Professor of Translation in 1989, until his retirement in 1997. He then took the position of Research Professor at the Hong Kong City University, 1998–1999 and was a Visiting Fellow at St. Hugh's College, Oxford in 1999–2000.

He joined the Research Centre for Translation, CUHK, in 2000, when he received the RenditionsFellowship, an award designed to honour translators who have made a life-long contribution to literary translation, and acted as the Advisory Editor of Renditions for 12 years. He has also been an active member of Renditions’ Advisory Board since 2007.

Professor Pollard has published widely in the fields of modern Chinese language and literature as well as translation studies. His major works including An Encyclopaedia of Translation: Chinese-English, English-Chinese (1995) and Translation and Creation: Readings of Western Literature in Early Modern China, 1840–1918 (1998). He is a leading and world-renowned translator of Chinese classical and modern prose, especially noted for The Chinese Essay (2000). Widely recognized as an expert on the studies of Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren, his well-known works include A Chinese Look at Literature: the Literary Values of Chou Tso-jen in Relation to the Tradition (1973) and The True Story of Lu Xun (2002), which help to fill “a glaring gap in the English language scholarship on modern China and modern Chinese literature”.

7 December 2013
Lecture Video


“Author and Translator: 
A Mutually Rewarding yet Uneasy and Sometimes Fragile Relationship"
Speaker: Professor Howard Goldblatt

Professor Howard Goldblatt has taught modern Chinese literature and culture for more than a quarter of a century. He was Professor of Chinese Literature at the University of Colorado from 1988 to 2002 before taking up an appointment as a Research Professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame, and later became the Director of the Notre Dame Centre for Asian Studies. 

Professor Goldblatt has been a member of the Editorial Committee of Renditions since 1985 and has contributed a great number of translations to Renditions. He was also a visiting scholar to the Research Centre for Translation in 1990.

Known as the foremost translator of modern and contemporary Chinese literature in the West, he has published English translations of more than forty novels and story collections by writers from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. His works include Huang Chunming’s The Taste of Apples and Xiao Hong’s The Field of Life and Death & Tales of Hulan River. He received two translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim grant and other major translation awards, including three of the first five winners of the Man Asian Literary Prize, for his translations Wolf Totem (by Jiang Rong), The Boat to Redemption (by Su Tong), and Three Sisters (by Bi Feiyu). He translated almost all of the Noble laureate Mo Yan’s novels into English, such as The Garlic Ballads, Red Sorghumand The Republic of Wine, and is Mo’s first, and so far, only English translator. It was he who submitted the letter of nomination of Mo Yan to the Nobel Prize Committee.

2 November 2013
Lecture Video

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