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Encountering the Local: 2nd Visiting Scholar Symposium on Chinese and North American Folklore

Following the 2015 symposium held for visiting scholars in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature (DEALL) and volunteers from Center for Folklore Studies (CFS), this year’s symposium will continue that cross-cultural dialogue with a different set of presenters. Under the theme “encountering the local,” presentations are divided into three sections that will serve as points of departure to solicit meaningful conversations.

Section One is entitled “Vernacular and Artistic Expressions in Daily Life.” There will be presentations given by Xiaoshuai Mao (Shandong University) on the role of personal stories in folklife, by Sydney K. Varajon (OSU) on landscape and community rebuilding in Tennessee following a fire disaster, and by Yao Ping (Nankai University) on cultural politics as seen through restroom facilities and experiences.

Section Two focuses on “Trans-local Identities and Sense of Place.” Sarah Craycraft (OSU) will bring together four community activities in West Virginia and Ohio to reflect on the concept of “the local.” Anping Luo (Southwest University for Nationalities) will provide three case studies of craftsmanship in Ohio and Indiana to reveal the unifying power of ethnic memories. Laura Pearce (OSU) will examine the travelogue of Buddhist monk Xuanzang (c. 602–664) whose religious belief characterizes various sites along his journey between China and India.

In Section Three, “Spectacles and Festivities as Cultural Symbols,” three visiting scholars will talk about Chinese reception of American culture. Jinlong Xu (Central China Normal University) will compare Halloween with the Chinese ghost festival. Hui Xiong (Northeast Forestry University) will present her participant observation of Christmas in Columbus. Li Huang (Southwest University for Nationalities) will elaborate on modern university spirit which Ohio State embodies.

Professor Mark Bender and Professor Katherine Borland will serve as discussants. This event is made possible by the student organization “Literature and Folklore in Greater China (LFGC),” and Council for Student Affairs. Co-organizers include Wei Liu, Anping Luo, Yao Ping and Wenyuan Shao. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Wei Liu at liu.4911@osu.edu. Special thanks to Sydney K. Varajon for proofreading the flyer.

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