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Sophia Kidd : Ontology of Self in Translating China’s New Silk Roads
26. Oct., 16:00 - 18:00
Title: Ontology of Self in Translating China’s New Silk Roads
In this lecture, I discuss how the ontological unit of ‘self’ cannot be taken for granted when discussing narratives, translation of, and methodology for understanding China’s New Silk Roads. I will do this by analyzing how the ontology of self remains fluid in translation of four key terms in China’s BRI narrative: ‘Five Pillars (Wu Tong 五通)’, ‘Chinese Dream (Zhongguo Meng 中国梦),’ ‘Community of Common Destiny (Mingyun Gongtongti 命运共同体) ,’ and ‘harmony in diversity (he er bu tong 和而不同) .’ First, we will look at the epistemological and ontological ‘self’ in Western thought in contradistinction to the Chinese notion of ‘self (ziwo 自我).’ By examining selected uses of the term ziwo in Chinese literature over the past two thousand years, we arrive at a constructed Chinese notion of self which resembles the epistemological more than the ontological Western ‘self,’ while failing to reach equivalency with either. This understanding will inform our lexical and contextual analysis of Wu Tong, Zhongguo Meng, Mingyun Gongtongti, and he er bu tong.