Sinophone Writers’ Spiritual Choice at the Crossroads

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Sinophone Writers’ Spiritual Choice at the Crossroads
Stream: Literature
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Yingchun Fan, Peking University, China (organizer, presenter)
Mamoru Yamaguchi, Nihon University, Japan (chair)
Eng Kiong Tan, Stony Brook University, United States (discussant)
Mark McConaghy, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan (presenter)
Chao Guo, Zhuhai Campus of Sun Yat-sen University, China (presenter)
Fangdai Chen, Harvard University, United States (presenter)


Today's Asia is obviously at crossroads from various perspectives, but to be precise, Asia has been at various types of crossroads for decades since the so-called beginning of modernity. Every crossroad entails a historical past that one has come from and a future that one has to make choices for. Looking back at history is not an act of repentance but to gain spiritual wealth from the past for today and tomorrow's dilemmas. At these crucial moments, writers play all the more important roles of acting as the historiographers of people’s spiritual paths. Our panel takes "writers’ spiritual choice at the Crossroads" as its subject and situates the discussion in the Sinophone context. We take the Hegelian concept of "subjectivity" and propose to focus on Sinophone writers’ spiritual subjectivity during the broadly defined modern era, that is, confronting and confronted by predicament specifically related to modernity, how do writers create a voice through writing for themselves and for others who are just as traumatized and wounded? How do they navigate predicaments from the past and at the present? More importantly, how do they transcend and achieve redemption of the mind and soul?
We address the following topics and beyond:
(1) Sinophone writers' spiritual choices manifested through writing and/or faith at various historical junctures, i.e. during the Second World War, the years leading up to the 1949 national divide, the Cultural Revolution, etc.
(2) fluctuation of writers’ spiritual subjectivity and their personal thoughts
(3) writers' varied ways of exploration and pursuit of inner peace and spiritual redemption