Guest Lecture  (2023-03-23)

The Research Centre for Luso-Asian Studies (CIELA) is pleased to invite all those interested to the Webinar ‘ROBINSON CRUSOE IN TRANSIT. Re-location (Translations)in China and as a Historical Episode in Brazil’, comprising of two guest talks followed by a Q & A session. The session will be conducted in English.



The Re-location of Robinson Crusoe in China: Global Context and Local Dynamics

Prof. Ren Haiyan   (Hunan Normal University)

Robinson Crusoe is more than a myth of modern individualism as Ian Watt labels. It is an embodiment of the Enlightenment ideology. When this modern myth first arrived in China via Japan at the turn of the 20th century, it has been intentionally appropriated. This paper examines several translations in the early 20th century to reflect on how, in an attempt to continue the Chinese tradition of wenren (literati), these translated discourses are expected to contribute to the renewal and transformation of society in a painful period of transition. Meanwhile, this examination offers a glimpse of how translation has become a powerful contributor to the establishment of China’s academic discipline of foreign literature studies.


The historical significance of the Brazilian episode in Robinson Crusoe

Prof. Sandra Vasconcelos   (University of São Paulo)

My presentation explores the Brazilian episode in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719). It argues that this episode not only plays a pivotal role in the novel’s plot, as it ends up in disaster and Crusoe’s shipwreck, but also has historical significance once it offers a glimpse of the transnational and transcontinental nature of the slave trade in the South Atlantic, involving Portugal, England, and Brazil.

Invited Speakers minibio

Prof. Ren Haiyan  

Ren Haiyan is associate professor of English at the Foreign Studies College of Hunan Normal University. She is also the co-founder and deputy director of the Humboldt Center for Transdisciplinary Studies and managing editor of two academic journals, 外国语言与文化 and Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures. She is the author of Différance in Signifying Robinson Crusoe (Peter Lang, 2015) and Robinson Crusoe on the Move: The Knowledge and Imagination of the Modern West (Foreign Language Teaching and Research, forthcoming).


Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos is Senior Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of São Paulo. She did postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge (1993-1994), at the University of Manchester (2008), was Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford (2005), at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London (2021-22) and at the University of Durham (May 2022). Over the past years, she has been carrying out research on the presence and circulation of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novels in nineteenth-century Brazil. She has published articles and chapters both in Brazil and abroad, has co-edited Books and Periodicals in Brazil 1768-1930, A Transatlantic Perspective (2014), Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture: the Americas (Routledge 2016), Comparative Perspectives on the Rise of the Brazilian Novel (2020), and is the author of Puras Misturas. Estórias em Guimarães Rosa (1997), Dez Lições sobre o Romance Inglês do Século XVIII (2002), and A Formação do Romance Inglês: ensaios teóricos (2007), for which she got the 2008 Jabuti Prize for Literary Theory and Criticism. At present, she is the coordinator of the Laboratory for the Study of the Novel (LERo). She is curator of the João Guimarães Rosa Archive, at the Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros and holds a CNPq Research Productivity Grant (Grade 1A).

Date: 2023 – -3 – 23

Time: 7pm – 9pm (Macau S.A.R. / China Time zone)

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