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Chinese Literature Today, a new title from the award-winning World Literature Today, produced its inaugural issue in the summer of 2010. Following is the timeline leading up to that first issue.
World Literature Today (WLT), one of America’s oldest periodicals devoted to world literature, and Beijing Normal University (BNU), home of China’s most prestigious College of Chinese Language and Literature, began working together in 2006 to produce a special WLT issue focusing on Chinese literature.
On June 20, 2007, WLT and BNU celebrated the publication of this "Inside China" issue of WLT by holding the first “World Literature Today and China International Conference” in Beijing.
Participants spoke candidly of the status of Chinese literature in the world and addressed issues of translation, interpretation, and publication.
View Old Stories & New Voices in Beijing from World Literature Today 82 (January–February 2008): 40–42.
Following these initial successes, WLT and BNU began the more ambitious project of initiating a Chinese-language edition of WLT.
Many of the nearly three hundred international and Chinese novelists, scholars, editors, and poets who attended the conference voiced a desire to see more Chinese literature and literary criticism available in English translation. And in 2009 OU and WLT in partnership with BNU and the Han Ban created the Chinese Literature Today initiatives.
The Chinese edition of World Literature Today introduced historic coverage of world literature to China. CLT takes the next step,with thesupport of the NOCFL and the University of Oklahoma’s College of Arts and Sciences, by creating a continuing conversation between China and the world. To accomplish this goal, CLT and WLT have launched two related but distinct publishing initiatives. The first is the CLT book series featuring high-quality English translations of Chinese literature, produced in partnership with the University of Oklahoma Press. The series is set to launch in spring 2011 and will feature drama, short fiction, poetry and multiple novels. Second, we will launch Chinese Literature Today, a new biannual scholarly journal, in summer 2010.
View materials from the 2008 conference here.
Chinese Literature Today Inaugural Ceremony in Beijing, January 2010
CLT will continue WLT’s precedent of drawing on a cosmopolitan and truly international group of scholars and writers to explore contemporary trends in Chinese literature and to examine wider cultural contexts and various media. CLTwill also continue the tradition of publishing scholarly articles written to be accessible to a wide readership. To ensure the best possible quality of translation, CLT will utilize an innovative bi-national production framework. Submissions from China will be approved by peer reviewers at Beijing Normal University before they are translated and sent to the U.S. editorial staff, which will vet and revise translations according to rigorous standards. Scholars and authors outside of China are encouraged to submit materials directly to the CLT office at the University of Oklahoma. All submissions will be subject to review by a distinguished group of Sinologists and literary critics.
Chinese Literature Today is a major cultural door that has opened between China and the United States, and we invite you to join us on this exhilarating journey.