Monash Asia Seminars by Prof Yuhua Ji, Specialist on Chinese-English Cross-Cultural Communication

Professor Yuhua Ji
Department of English Language and Literature, Xiamen University, China

Current Trends in China in the Context of Globalization and Intercultural Communication

Tuesday 25th September 2012, 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Monash Asia Institute Seminar Room, H5.95 Level 5, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

This presentation will start with an effort to define culture as “human intentional action and its results” and a brief introduction to the 4-E (ecology-economy-ethics-equilibrium) theory of culture. While objecting to cultural essentialism, the speaker finds acceptable a weak version of cultural essentialism which embraces the idea of historical inertia that cultural differences die hard. In this age of globalization, historical inertia necessitates intercultural communication. Cultures are dynamic and assimilatable but inertial at the same time. With this theory as an explanatory tool this talk focuses on current trends in China in five broad aspects: A, B, C, D, E: Arts (introduction and integration of foreign art elements into China and Chinese art, renaissance of traditional Chinese art, multi-channels for artistic talent shows), Business (environmental products, ethical tourism, outbound investment), Culture (media, cultural enterprises, religion), Daily life (assimilation and adaptation of foreign food and drink, clothes and houses, “saint girls”, “naked wedding” and cross-national marriage), and Education (westernization and internationalization of education at all levels, English language domination, exchange programs, Confucius institutes overseas). Illustrations of current trends in A, B, C, D, E will be provided and questions concerning them will be answered.

Evolution of Love Stories and Love Songs in China: A Presentation Through Story-telling and Singing

Thursday 27th September 2012, 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Monash Asia Institute Seminar Room, H5.95 Level 5, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

Then it reviews the evolution of love songs in the past hundred years, from the early period of semi-colonialism in the beginning of the 20th century through the early period of New China to the post-Cultural Revolution period till the first decade of the 21st century. Love has been expressed through songs projecting different images such as cottage, shepherd, cowboy, the moon, the sun, wolf, butterfly, spider, etc. They reflect changes of conception about love in different times. At least the following songs will be sung by the speaker to illustrate the changes in language, image, imagination, tempo and style: Kangding love song, In a place far, far away, Under the silver moonlight, My heart is mirrored by the moon, Husband and wife go home together, A thousand years of waiting for this love, What a sweet smile, Two Butterflies, Legend, transforming us into butterflies, and Wanna love even if I die.

Dr Yuhua Ji, Chair Professor and PhD advisor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Xiamen University, P.R. China, is a storyteller for children on China’s national and local TVs as well as a comedian having given 35 crosstalk performances and skits in China and the UK. In addition to authoring over 60 books, translating 12 books, and publishing 40 journal articles, Ji has invented several unique methods of teaching foreign languages to children and adults (including his groundbreaking “Diglot Weave” method which has been adopted by Disney English). He has given over 80 talks at universities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA, Canada, and the UK. A director and writer of 32 plays performed on campus and local TVs, he is one of the few Chinese professors capable of singing Peking Opera and classical as well as popular Chinese songs in English. His research interests include intercultural communication, critical studies of language and culture, teaching methodology for public speaking, foreign languages, translation and creative writing.

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