Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Lin Yutang in America

Project: Research

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It was in America that Lin Yutang (1895-1976) became a world-renowned Chinese intellectual thanks to his literary writings in English and cultural activities in the US. While Lin Yutang’s fame has waned in the West, he has become once again one of the most popular modern Chinese writers in contemporary China, whether in Taiwan or in the Mainland, in recent years. The continued Chinese interest in Lin Yutang’s works contrasts with little information and knowledge of Lin’s American experiences and ideas. The researchers aim to produce a comprehensive historical account of Lin Yutang’s American journey against the larger background of Chinese-American diasporic experience, while paying special attention to cultural-political interactions between China and the US. Lin Yutang was the first Chinese writer to introduce Chinese culture to the general public in the West both in English writing and through public speeches. His American adventure is quite emblematic of the modern Chinese diasporic experience that is still concurrent. This study will help us to better understand modern Chinese cultural history, Chinese-American diasporic experience and Chinese-American cultural relations in the era of globalization. The research output will be twofold:a biographical study on Lin Yutang’s American experiences, tentatively entitled Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Lin Yutang’s American Journey; anda video documentary tracing and documenting Lin Yutang’s literary practices in America and the West.


Project number7002402
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0927/01/11