Dr. Laifong Leung will talk about the Chinese community in Canada in the 20th century in “Chinese Canadian Stories: From Early Literature to Modern Archives.” Having completed extensive research to reconstruct the much neglected literary contributions of the immigrants from Guangdong province in China to the body of Chinese Canadian literature, professor Leung discusses groundbreaking research on the literary activities of the early Chinese immigrants in BC, examining the literary and cultural activities of the Cantonese speaking Chinese immigrants in B.C. from the Gold Rush era to the 1990s in order to present an accurate picture of Chinese community.
In examining the “wall poems” written by early Chinese in the detention center in Victoria, B.C, to the huge Collection of Poetry in 1957 by the Chinese Timesnewspaper, her talk explores the major characteristics of these poems and particularly the incorporation of images in order to show the transformation of Chinese classical poetry in the diaspora. As part of this program, tours of UBC’s cultural collections will complement this talk afterwards: (A) The Museum of Anthropology featuring the oral history lab and Cantonese Opera collection; and (B) The Chung Collection of early Chinese Canadian historical materials at UBC Rare Books & Special Collections.
Dr. Laifong Leung taught Chinese literature, language, and calligraphy at the University of Alberta. Her publications include many books on classical Chinese poetry and post-Mao literature, and a Mandarin language textbook. Her current projects include developing the Chinese learning courseware Concise Interactive Chinese and working on a forthcoming co-authored book History of Literary Interactions between China and Canada. She is the co-founder and current Chair of the Chinese Canadian Writers Association and editor of the e-journal of the Canadian Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Association. Laifong Leung completed her MA and PhD at the University of British Columbia in Asian Studies. Laifong is currently a board of director at the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia.