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Local and US scholars putting out book on M’sian Chinese literature

KUALA LUMPUR: Academicians from Malaysia and the United States are collaborating to publish a book about Malaysian Chinese literature.
A delegation led by Universiti Malaya (UM) adjunct professor Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy visited East Asian Languages scholar Prof David Wang Der Wei at Harvard University recently to gather research and studies from scholars for the publication.
Titled Sinophone Malaysian Literary Studies: A Critical Reader, Chan said the book, written in English, would give an insight into the evolvement of Chinese literature in post-independent Malaysia.
“The objective of this book is for non-Chinese scholars to understand the trends and orientation of Malaysian Chinese literature while promoting academic exchanges between various ethnic groups.
“The East Asian study in US universities should not only focus on China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, because East Asia also includes South-East Asia.
“The book will allow researchers, scholars and students in the United States to master this subject in a diversified and multi-dimensional manner,” he said yesterday.
Chan, who is former Transport Minister and MCA deputy president, studied Chinese Studies at UM.
He said Prof Wang, who is the Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature in Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilisations, recognised the project’s objective and agreed that the scope of East Asia should include the South-East Asian region.
“He has agreed to be the academic adviser for this project and help identify the publisher for the book.
“The professor also highlighted Harvard’s first PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilisations – Prof Alison M. Groppe, who published her academic book titled Sinophone Malaysian Literature: Not Made in China in 2013,” Chan added.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Institute of Chinese Studies Assoc Prof Dr Khor Boon Eng, who was among the delegates, said they also met Prof Brian C. Bernards from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures of University of Southern California.
“We discussed the project and listened to their feedback on the book.”
Also in the delegation were UM’s Department of Chinese Studies senior lecturer Dr Seng Yan Chuan and Shandong University’s Department of Chinese Studies PhD candidate Chia Jee Luen.
Chan recently donated over 6,000 priceless items related to China’s great classical novel, the Dream of the Red Chamber, including manuscripts, out-of-print copies, translated versions, paintings, couplets and more from all over the world, to his alma mater.
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