China Seminar | 11 November 2004

More About Nightingales and Magpies: Voices Out of China

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

Twice before, Professor Kwok introduced for the China Seminar the writings of a young writer by the name of Yu Jie. To Yu we owe the expression of “Nightingales and Magpies” as representing respectively the song of the free individual and the crowing of state-harnessed intellectuals. In his continuing search for nightingales, Professor Kwok will present Huang Xiang, the poet who initiated the “opening up” of China, a full generation before Yu Jie.

Professor D. W. Y. Kwok, the founding convener of the China Seminar, is professor emeritus of history at the University of Hawaii, where he has taught Chinese history and world civilizations. He has concurrently served in numerous administrative posts, including chair of Asian Studies, chair of the Department of History, and director of the Center for Chinese Studies. He also founded and directed the university’s Asia Fellowships Program for Journalists. Among his publications are: Scientism in Chinese Thought, 1900-1950 (1965, 1971); Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (with Richard J. Smith, 1993); his translation and editing of Yan Jiaqi and Gao Gao’s Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution (1996); and The Urbane Imagination: Ideas of Civilization in the Chinese Garden (1997).