SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Mosquitos in Chinese Literature: Aesthetic Representations of Parasitic Attack

Professor Olivia Milburn (Seoul National University)

Date: 5 February 2018Time: 11:00 AM

Finishes: 5 February 2018Time: 1:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Seminar


Mosquitos are found all over the world, and almost everyone who has ever lived has been bitten by one. However, in spite of the ubiquity of these insects and the enormous importance of mosquitos to human health, there are very few studies of how this kind of parasitic attack has been represented in literature. This paper is a study of how mosquitos were portrayed in Chinese literature over the course of more than two thousand year, focusing on the symbolism attached to these insects and the way in which the experience of being bitten was transformed in the works of some of China's greatest poets and prose writers.

Speaker's Biography

Olivia Milburn is a professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Seoul National University. Her research interests focus mainly on early Chinese literature and cultural history, particularly associated with the kingdoms of Wu and Yue. Her most recent books include the first translation into English of the Yanzi chunqiu (Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan), and Urbanziation in Early and Medieval China: Gazetters for the City of Suzhou.

Organised by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, China and Inner Asia Section.

This event is sponsored by the London Confucius Institute

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