City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Women’s Autobiography in Colonial
and Post-colonial Taiwan:
Voice, Memory, and Language Choice
Prof. Ying-Ying Chien
Fu Jen University
Date: 26 June 2007, Tuesday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone),Academic Building,CityU
In this talk I present part of an ongoing project on the articulation of women’s personal narratives. In Taiwan, as in many parts of the world, the variety of ways that the language of lived-out lives can differ from the language used to narrate these lives to others is remarkably rich, and it bears the traces of the broader social and political contexts in which these stories have been lived, composed, and passed along, recomposed, and passed along again. I focus here upon one autobiographical work, Prism of Life «人生的三稜鏡» by Qianhe Yang (楊千鶴), one of the few women writing in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial occupation in the first half of the 20th century. Yang composed her memoir using Japanese to narrate events that occurred mostly in Taiwanese; the work was then translated into Chinese. I consider a range of implications of this multiple layering for issues of voice, memory, and identity.
Ying-Ying Chien is Professor in the Graduate Institute of Comparative Literature at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. She is former director of the Institute and has taught at Penn State U, National Taiwan U, and held visiting positions at UCLA and at the Academia Sinica. Her research includes East-West comparison, third world studies, women’s literature & arts, as well as marginal discourse & minority studies.