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US-China Forum 2020

Haun Saussy

Haun Saussy

Haun Suassy

University Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Committee on Social Thought
The University of Chicago

Haun Saussy is the 17th person awarded a University Professorship at the University of Chicago, serving in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as in the Committee on Social Thought. His work attempts to bring the lessons of classical and modern rhetoric to bear on several periods, languages, disciplines and cultures. Among his books are The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse (2001), The Ethnography of Rhythm (2016), Translation as Citation (2017), Are We Comparing Yet? (2019) and the edited collections Sinographies (2007), Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2008), and Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (2010). As a translator, he has produced versions of works by Li Zhi, Jean Métellus and Tino Caspanello, among others. A collective blog he animates with several others is accessible at

Saussy's primary teaching and research interests include classical Chinese poetry and commentary, literary theory, the comparative study of oral traditions, problems of translation, and the ethics of medical care in resource-poor settings. While engagement with China is primary, Saussy recognizes that understanding any culture arises from comparison with other times, places, belief-systems, political orders, and forms of communication. Comparative literature, he feels, is the place in the modern university where this activity finds its natural home.

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