Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue

cropped-castiglione-2-e1459125233800The Dept of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto is holding an international conference, Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue, on 7-9 April 2016.  Exchanges between Italy and China have produced the most sustained long-term strand of cultural texts on East-West borrowings. The works of Marco Polo, Li Madou (Matteo Ricci), Giacomo Puccini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Bernardo Bertolucci are among history’s most influential intercultural texts. In recent years Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography in Gianni Amelio’s La stella che non c’è/The Missing Star (2006) and in Andrea Segre’s Io sono Li/Shun Li and the Poet (2012) shows the influence of Chinese landscape painting. Chinese perceptions of Italy have been equally textured and powerful. Liang Qichao formulated his influential nationalist thinking with explicit reference to Italian Unification. The ‘Sixth Generation’ Chinese filmmakers made extensive use of Italian neorealism for their Chinese subject matter. The conference will pool contemporary research on China-Italy issues, examine the relations in comparative, cross-disciplinary and long-term perspectives, and establish a research agenda for a collaborative network of scholars. Full details of the conference and programme can be found on its webpage.

In recent years, English-language scholarship on Italy-China issues in particular have received renewed interest. What has been at stake in Italian-Chinese, East Asian-European dialogue? How can we best examine the dialogical process in these crossings? What theoretical insights and policy advice can we gain from these intellectual endeavors? This conference will explore the contexts, ways, and reasons for which such exchanges took place. We will also examine the specific knowledge that was produced, interpreted, and negotiated when the two countries and the two continents communicated: the particular focus is on Italy and China.

For further details, contact the conference convenor, Gaoheng Zhang   (Dept of Italian Studies, University of Toronto).

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