Reading Liu Xiaobo

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 2:00 PM

This event is part of the International Literature Festival Berlin’s (ILB) worldwide reading of prose writings and poems by the Chinese author and 2010 Nobel Peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo on March 20th 2012.

Liu Xiaobo is a writer, literary critic, professor and most importantly, a public intellectual and human rights activist. Liu was imprisoned three times for political reasons prior to his most recent arrest in 2008, following which he was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment due to his role in circulating the Charter 08 manifesto calling for multiparty constitutional government in China. Since the late 1980s, Liu’s writings have been banned in China, and few young Chinese people have read them or even heard of him. In the West, Liu was equally obscure until the 2010 Nobel awards were announced. This January, Harvard University Press published a collection of Liu’s critical essays and prison poetry from the last two decades, No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems (with a forward by Vaclav Havel), which gives English-language readers a chance to hear his courageous voice.

The purpose of this proposed reading is to share Liu Xiaobo's works with a broader audience, and to engage students at SFU and the local community by reading Liu’s human rights literature in different languages. In between these readings, scholars and experts will give an introduction and commentary on the significance of Liu’s activities and his writings.

Program (preliminary)

  1. Welcome and Introduction (5 Min.)
  2. A Portrait of Liu Xiaobo (Video, Blackway Productions, 10 min.)  
  3. Reading (1): Poems (Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish, 15 min.)
  4. Writers and Public Intellectuals in China (Professor Shuyu Kong, 15 min.)
  5. Charter 08 and Human Rights in China (video, Professor Pitman Potter, 5 min.)
  6. Reading (2): Charter 08 (10 min.)
  7. Writings of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates (Professor Eleanor Stebner, 15 min.)
  8. Reading (3): I have no enemies (5 min.)
  9. Reading (4): Poems (audience, English, Chinese, 10 min.)

2–4 pm, March 20, 2012

Room 1425, SFU downtown campus, Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
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Institute for Humanities, Department of Humanities, Asian Canada Program, the World Literature Program and David Lam Centre, all at SFU.