Understanding Taiwanese Literature 6-Week Zoom Workshop with Jenna Tang, Starts Thursday, March 21st, 2024
Class Starts Thursday, March 21st, 2024
The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Jenna Tang, a Taiwanese writer, educator, and translator who translates between Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, and English. She is a board member and chair of the Equity Advocates Committee at the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). Her translations and essays are published in McSweeney’s, Latin American Literature Today, World Literature Today, Catapult, AAWW, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. Her forthcoming translations include prose from Lin Yi-Han (The Paris Review) and Lin Yi-Han’s novel, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise (HarperVia, HarperCollins).
You don't have to identify yourself as Taiwanese or a Taiwanese-American writer, or to have shared any connections in Taiwan to take this class. If you're simply interested in exploring the literary landscape from another culture, this is the class for you!
Reading literature from different parts of the world is not just about getting to know a country or a culture's literary works; it is also about seeking inspiration from voices that we didn't expect would bring our writing different perspectives and another way to engage with our writing again.
Taiwanese literature is considerably underrepresented in the English-speaking world. There is Indigenous literature, Hakka literature, and literature in Taiwanese Hokkien, as well as stories that are surreal and strange, works from LGBTQ+ writers, writings about environmentalism, and Taiwanese diaspora literature, among many other topics. How do these voices tell their stories? How do they weave their poetry? What are the historical influences and contemporary social movements that shape these literary works? And what are the voices that are yet to be explored?
As a Taiwanese woman who grew up in Taiwan and moved to the United States, I’m hoping to bring my perspective for those who are enthusiastic about exploring literature from another culture. You don’t have to be a Taiwanese or have any relation to Taiwan to take this class. It’s all about your interest to learn about the exciting literature being written and coming out of Taiwan today.
In this six-week translation and writing seminar, we’ll learn about different literary styles that shape Taiwanese literature. We’ll read powerful works by writers such as Chi Ta-wei, Sanmao, Chang Yu-Ko, Lo Yi-Chin, and a series of publications from new and emerging writers who identify themselves as Taiwanese Indigenous and LGBTQ+ writers, all translated by many talented, inclusive translators!
After our in-depth conversations about a given week’s style of Taiwanese literature, we will develop our own writing seeking to be influenced by that style. During these six weeks, we’ll be discussing excerpts from novels, short stories, poems, and the music and films related to the works we read, in the hope of bringing more inspirations for writers and translators for their own works, while exploring a culture’s literature landscape with a deep level.
Week 1: Introduction to Taiwanese Literature & Taiwanese Environmentalism Writings
Week 2: Taiwanese Indigenous Literature
Week 3: Taiwanese Queer Literature & Literature from Taiwanese Women
Week 4: Literature from Taiwanese dialects: Hakka & Hokkien
Week 5: The Surreal and the Strange: Taiwanese folklore & ghost stories
Week 6: What We Don’t Know About Taiwanese Literature in the English-Speaking World
Excerpts of books from Chi Ta-wei, Sanmao, Wu Ming-Yi, Lin Hsin-Hui, Qiu Miaojin, and more who haven't been introduced to English-speaking audiences enough.
- Familiarity with Taiwanese literature and gaining knowledge about works that are popular in Taiwan but yet to be discovered and translated.
- Read as much work as possible from Taiwanese writers from a diversity of backgrounds.
- Writing prompts and fun activities to enrich your own writing and grow as a writer.
- How to find resources in English/ original language for Taiwanese Literature
- How to approach authenticity reading.
PRAISE FOR JENNA TANG:
“Jenna made each one of us feel valued and comfortable during class. She was a fantastic teacher, genuinely enthusiastic about the subject. Her thoughtfully prepared class discussions were directly applicable to my translation practice, and I am now a better translator because of it.”
"Jenna is a fantastic instructor! Her workshop was so engaging. She expertly mixed questions of languages, poetic, inspiration, and translation. That’s something I had been looking for a long time in a workshop. I learned new tools to write about languages. Jenna’s constructive feedback encouraged me to keep writing about languages and exploring migration in organic ways. The discussions resonated throughout my week outside the online meeting: I kept feeling engaged, researching, and writing."
"Jenna Tang is doing incredible and important work as a translator and writer. She is so generous and always opens the door for others. Her work challenges the status quo and creates a space for resonant stories and writers to find many audiences and communities across languages and borders. She helps us see what is possible in the literary world and how to find our way toward it. I can't think of anyone I'd rather learn from more!"- K-Ming Chang
“As a translator, Jenna is fundamentally a community builder. A bridge-builder on the page and within groups she crafts with sensitivity and nuance, translating not only between languages but complex identities and beliefs. Her work supports shared understanding through a profound respect for cultures and individuals.”
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Jenna Tang
- Class Starts Thursday, March 21st, 2024 The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).