Coming of Age and Learning to Live (With Ghosts) in Borneo's Rainforest


Prof. Dr. Alison M. Groppe (Modern Chinese Literature, University of Oregon)

Datum und Zeit

06. Mai 2021, 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr


The lecture will take place via Microsoft Teams, in English.
Join us via this link.


What does it take to "come of age": what kinds of experience or revelations bring about maturation? How is coming of age shaped by identity and historical milieu? As seen in his award-winning, semi-fictionalized memoir End of the River (大河盡頭, 2008-2010), for Borneo-born, Sinophone Taiwan author Li Yongping (1947-2017), coming of age involves discovering the horrors of his homeland's history rooted in Borneo's history of European colonialism and Japanese imperialism, and realizing how these destructive patterns loiter in the present.

In this lecture, I will analyze how the novel deploys a rhetoric of haunting to criticize the oppression of Borneo by European colonizers and Japanese imperialists while simultaneously interrogating Li's own masculinity and relationship with Borneo - as a son both of Borneo and Chinese immigrants, who grew up in but then abandoned Borneo to live and write in Taiwan.


Asien-Orient-Institut - Sinologie