Chinese Studies Seminar Series

Walking into the World of Li Yu

Hosted by the Confucius Institute at UNSW and the Chinese Studies Program at the School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW Australia, Professor Gao Jihai from Henan University, China will be presenting a seminar entitled:


                                Walking into the World of Li Yu



This seminar will introduce the life of Li Yu, King of the Southern Tang Dynasty, who had little hope of becoming king, but chance placed him on the throne. A selection of his Ci-poems will be discussed, including poems describing his luxurious life in the palace, his passionate love for his two wives, and his lament over the loss of his land and position after the Song Army seized the capital of Southern Tang and took him prisoner. To conclude, the seminar will then conduct an assessment of Li Yu as the King and as Ci-writer. Based on Wang Guowei’s comments on Ci in the Human Worlds, this seminar will argue that as a king, Li Yu was unqualified; but as a Ci-writer, he was considered by some to be the greatest in ancient China. As the saying goes, the poet suffers while the poetry harvests.


Speaker’s Biography

Gao Jihai, born in 1959, is Chairman of the Foreign Literature Association of Henan Province, Vice Chairman of China’s British Literature Society, Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Studies, and Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of People’s Congress of Kaifeng City. His major research fields include Literary Theory, British Literature, and Chinese Literature. Prof Gao is well-known for his publication on the History of the British Novel (both Chinese and English versions), and the National Research Projects “British History in Historical Literature” and “Proletarian Literature in England”. Prof Gao has translated several British novels into Chinese and has published over 50 articles in academic journals.