European Studies SMLC HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

News & Events

27 November 2013

Mark Twain in China

Dr. Selina Lai

Nov 27, 2013 (Wed)
4.30 - 6pm
CPD-2.16, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

Mark Twain had an intriguing relationship with China that is not as widely known as it should be. Although he never visited the country, he had played a significant role speaking for the Chinese at home and abroad. After his death, his body of works is widely studied and translated in China; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn alone has gone through no less than ninety different Chinese translations. Looking at Twain in various Chinese contexts, my work points to the repercussions of Twain in a global theater. It highlights the cultural specificity of concepts such as “race,” “nation,” and “empire” in countries that have dramatically different dynamics of race and culture from that of the US.

Selina Lai recently obtained her Ph.D. in American Studies from The University of Hong Kong, where she is currently teaching courses on American literature and cultures. In 2011, she conducted part of her research on the relationship between Mark Twain and China as a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation won the Li Ka Shing Award in 2011-12 at HKU. She was also just offered an advanced contract by Stanford University Press to complete her book manuscript, Mark Twain in China.

All are welcome. No registration is required. For enquiries, please contact Dr. John Wong at



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