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What do Chinese and Sinophone Writings Want?

Chien-hsin Tsai
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 3:30pm
Thomson 317

W.J.T. Mitchell once asked: "What do pictures want?" For J. Hillis Miller: "What stories about pictures want is to be read, just as pictures want to be viewed." Both Mitchell and Miller believe that there's something intrinsic to the works themselves that demand attention from the viewer/reader, something that is outside the immediate control of their creator. Following their train of thought, this talk invites the audience to explore a set of related questions: What do Chinese and Sinophone writings want? If they want to be read and assuming their readability, then why do they want to be read? If they are unreadable, undecipherable, or unintelligible, do they still want to be read? How may we read them and why do we bother to read them?


Presented by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

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