Shadi Bartsch - "Plato Goes to China: The Greek Classics and Chinese Nationalism" - Haun Saussy

Thursday, January 12, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Shadi Bartsch

Shadi Bartsch will discuss Plato Goes to China: The Greek Classics and Chinese Nationalism. She will be joined in conversation by Haun Saussy.

This event will be held in person at The Seminary Co-op . At this time, masks are required for in-store events.


About the book: The surprising story of how Greek classics are being pressed into use in contemporary China to support the regime’s political agenda: In Plato Goes to China, Shadi Bartsch offers a provocative look at Chinese politics and ideology by exploring Chinese readings of Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, and other ancient writers. She shows how Chinese thinkers have dramatically recast the Greek classics to support China’s political agenda, diagnose the ills of the West, and assert the superiority of China’s own Confucian classical tradition.

About the author: Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer is the Helen A. Regenstein Professor at the University of Chicago. She works on Roman imperial literature, the history of rhetoric and philosophy, and on the reception of the western classical tradition in contemporary China. She is the author of 5 books on the ancient novel, Neronian literature, political theatricality, and Stoic philosophy, the most recent of which is Persius: A Study in Food, Philosophy, and the Figural (Winner of the 2016 Goodwin Award of Merit). She has also edited or co-edited 7 wide-ranging essay collections (two of them Cambridge Companions) and the “Seneca in Translation” series from the University of Chicago. Bartsch’s new translation of Vergil’s Aeneid was published by Random House in 2020. Bartsch has been a Guggenheim fellow, edits the journal KNOW, and has held visiting scholar positions in St. Andrews, Taipei, and Rome. Starting in academic year 2015, she has led a university-wide initiative to explore the historical and social contexts in which knowledge is created, legitimized, and circulated.

About the interlocutor: Haun Saussy is University Professor Department of Comparative Literature Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations Committee on Social Thought. His primary teaching and research interests include classical Chinese poetry and commentary, literary theory, comparative study of oral traditions, problems of translation, pre-twentieth-century medi history, and ethnography and ethics of medical care.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637