Discussion Group: Transitioning into the Vernacular: China and Greece in Parallel

This session revolved around the figures of Hu Shih (1891-1962) and Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), leading intellectuals in China and Greece respectively in the early 20th century and fervent supporters of the use of the vernacular language in their national literatures. Were they coming from a common background? Is there a way we could associate their work, despite their geographical and cultural differences? What could the case of Kazantzakis and Hu Shih contribute to current debates on World Literature theory?


Claudio Russello holds an MA in theory and practice of translation from and into Chinese (SOAS, University of London) and an MSt in modern Greek studies (University of Oxford). He is currently a DPhil candidate in modern Greek studies at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research focuses on the role of modernism throughout the 1960s in Greece. His research interests include comparative and world literature, translation theory, and reception studies in Greek literature.