Sneak Peek 37: Xiuhua Ni

Cultural Diplomacy and Outward Translation of Chinese Literature in the Early Years of the PRC (1949-1966)

Ni Xiuhua

School of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou University

Abstract: The paper aims to explore the Chinese government’s proactive efforts to use outward translation, especially that of Chinese literature, as a vehicle for cultural diplomacy in the first seventeen years of the PRC(1949-1966). The focus is on the strategic role the government assigned to the English translation of Chinese literature in attempt to assert the (inter)national identity. Specifically, it addresses the Foreign Languages Press as the only state-sponsored institution engaging in the outward translation of Chinese works including Chinese literature, the close tie and interaction between outwards translation and China’s foreign policies and cultural diplomacy. The aim of the paper is twofold. Firstly, to reveal the often-neglected translation scenario from the perspective of cultural diplomacy in the formative years of the PRC. Secondly, to reflect on DTS to better integrate into TS the translation practice initiated by the ST society, especially by the “minor” culture.

Bio: Ni Xiuhua is Lecturer at the School of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou University, China. She is now visiting the School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa. Her research interests include literary translation, translation of Chinese literature and translation teaching. She has published more than 10 papers on literary translation and translation of Chinese literature in Translation Quarterly, Chinese Translator’s Journal, Foreign Languages and Translation, Comparative Literature in China, etc.