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February 25, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Stefan Henning


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Stefan Henning (PhD, '05), Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University

"History of the Soul": A Chinese Writer, Nietzsche, and Tiananmen 1989

Part of Alumni Lecture Series: The coming academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U-M Center for Chinese Studies. Many events are being planned to mark this historic milestone, including inviting our alumni to give some of the presentations in the CCS Noon Lecture Series. We hope you will be able to join us for all of the many interesting noon lectures planned for this coming year and next.

March 8, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

Zhang Chengzhi (born 1948) was in the 1980s one of China's most important short story writers and in the 1990s among the most prominent Chinese essayists. The talk presents a close reading of Zhang's History of the Soul, a genre-transcending text at once history of a Chinese Sufi group, religious parable, and autobiographic account of Zhang's turn to Islam. I try to show that History of the Soul, which was published in 1992, was Zhang's response to the Tiananmen Incident which itself is not mentioned in the text.

Stefan Henning graduated from the doctoral program in anthropology and history at the University of Michigan. He is now a visiting assistant professor in anthropology and sociology at Northwestern University, after three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford. Henning studies the intersection of religious ethics and political action in twentieth century China, with a view on Nietzsche's analysis of religious morals in Europe. He has conducted fieldwork with Muslim activists in Beijing, Lanzhou, and Ningxia.

Posted by zzhu at February 25, 2011 09:57 AM