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Guest Speaker Talks Environment, Literature

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November 15, 2012

Guest speaker Karen Thornber, associate professor of humanities at Harvard University, delivered a talk for campus and community members, titled, "Illusions and Delusions: Misperceiving Damaged Environments in East Asian Literatures," in Burnell Hall. Her talk was part of the Asian Studies Distinguished Lecture Series.

Professor Thornber's teaching and scholarly work focuses on the literature and culture of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan), as well as diasporas, environment, gender, revolution, medicine, post-colonialism.

Her first book, Empire of Texts in Motion: Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese Transculturations of Japanese Literature (2009) won the 2011 John Whitney Hall Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, and the International Comparative Literature Association's 2010 Anna Balakian Prize. A poetry anthology she translated, Toge Sankichi and the Genbaku shishu, earned the 2012 William F. Sibley Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature and Literary Studies. Ecoambiguity: Environmental Crises and East Asian Literatures (2012), Professor Thornber's second book, analyzes interactions between people and the environment, as depicted in East Asian literature.

Professor Thornber has been published in numerous journals, including The Journal of Asian Studies, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, Pacific Coast Philology, Para-doxa: Studies in World Literary Genres, Asia-Pacific Journal - Japan Focus, and World Literature.

Karen Thornber