History professor publishes book on reception studies
After five years of work, History Professor Xin Fan’s edited volume, “Receptions of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia” has been published.
The book, which was a collaborative effort with Professor Almut-Barbara Renger of Freie Universität Berlin in Germany, examines Western Classical tradition by comparing it to different cultures, particularly in East Asia.
During his undergraduate career in China, Dr. Fan discovered his interest in Classical antiquity and its impacts in East Asia as a Classical Studies major. Later, his Ph.D. dissertation at Indiana University centered around 20th century China and the ancient past, including Greek and Roman civilization.
Fan met Renger at a summer conference that she organized at Freie Universität Berlin in 2013. He had the chance to speak on his research, as well as sit on a panel. It was then that Renger asked Fan to participate on the editing project that became “Receptions of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia.”
Although Fan noted that the collaboration across continents has been time-consuming over the years, he has been grateful for the experience.
“It is a truly global effort in my collaboration with Professor Renger,” he said. “She is a much more experienced organizer, and I own expertise in the field of East Asian studies. So the collaboration is always complimentary, and I have grown a great deal with her help and guidance.”
Fan also mentioned the difficulty of the subject at hand. He said that many of the hours working on the book were spent trying to create a consistent style among the writings of scholars from around the world and in many different disciplines.
Still, Renger and Fan have stayed committed to making this area of study available to a wider audience.
“Many scholars in East Asia truly embrace Greco-Roman tradition as part of the common legacy for all of human society,” said Fan. “In a world that is increasingly tortured by populist politics, their efforts to shape a global cultural tradition that is inclusive rather than exclusive are even more laudable. It is our goal to introduce their works to an English-language audience. We believe that it is a vital step to an anew appreciation of cultural globalization in the 21st century.”
Along with his appreciation of Renger’s work, Fan was also thankful for the support from the Fredonia Department of History, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Dean Andy Karafa.