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Learn 'How Chinese Things Became Oriental'

By Clark Bellar

(March 2, 2015) — On March 3, the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky and the Department of English will host a talk by Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins, titled "How Chinese Things Became Oriental." The presentation will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday, in the Niles Gallery of the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A session as well as refreshments.

Jenkins is an associate professor of English and cultural studies at McMaster University in Ontario and editor of the journal Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Her talk will focus on the relationship between England and China in the 17th and 18th centuries, specifically pertaining to how modern English identity evolved by identifying with, rather than against, China.

By examining England's interest in Chinese objects, Jenkins argues that 17th and 18th century art and literature imitating Chinese styles played a significant role in shaping modern English taste and style.  

The presentation will combine elements from Jenkins' book, "A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism" as well as from her latest project pertaining to funniness, humiliation and the uncanny within 18th century English literature.

Jenkins graduated from Columbia University in 1998, and received her master's and doctoral degrees from Brown University in 2000 and 2005, respectively.