SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Mr Yan Jia

BA Hindi (Peking) MA Indian Language and Literature (Peking)


Yan Jia
Mr Yan Jia
Email address:
Thesis title:
Translating Distant Neighbours: China-India Literary Relations 1950-2015
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

It is widely accepted that the literary contacts between China and India gained a new momentum since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1950, as the consolidation of bilateral relations provided a wider arena and more effective channels for the exchanges of people, texts, knowledge and discourses between the two countries. During the past decades, a large number of Chinese and Indian literary works have been translated, consumed, interpreted and reproduced in each other’s society, engaging numerous translators, publishers, literary critics, established writers and much more general readers in the process. Undoubtedly, literary translation has been acting as an important window, through which the two geographically neighbouring yet culturally distant countries constantly look at and imagine of one another.

My research aims at conducting a systematic investigation into the history of literary relations between post-liberation China and post-independence India mainly through the lens of translations of Chinese literature into Hindi and of Hindi literature into Chinese. Instead of treating it as a self-contained translingual practice, I will examine translation as an integral part of a multi-layered interface between two literary systems, which incorporates various forms of cultural diplomacy, textual contacts, intermediaries and reception. Drawing on translation theories and other interdisciplinary approaches, this project intends to explore how and to what extent literary translation is interwoven with and interfered by wider social, cultural, political and ideological contexts. It also seeks to analyse how translation is related to China and India’s discourses about each other’s literary and cultural systems, and to their different imagination of “world literature”.