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  • MEAL 1

Figures of the World: The Naturalist Novel and Transnational Form

Speaker: Christopher Hill (Associate Professor | Asian Languages and Cultures | University of Michigan)

Moderator: Daniel Poch (Associate Professor | School of Modern Languages and Cultures | University of Hong Kong)

Date: 10 November 2021 (Wed) 10:00–11:30 am (HK Time)

*9 November 2021 (Tuesday) 9:00–10:30 pm (EST, New York)

*9 November 2021 (Tuesday) 6:00–7:30 pm (PST, LA)

Christopher Hill's Figures of the World: The Naturalist Novel and Transnational Form overturns Eurocentric genealogies and globalizing generalizations about “world literature” by examining the complex, contradictory history of naturalist fiction. The book traces the history of naturalist fiction from its emergence in France in the 1860s through its spread around the world from North and South America to East Asia. Novels by Émile Zola, Tayama Katai, Frank Norris, and other writers reveal conspicuous departures from metropolitan models as writers revised naturalist methods to address new social conditions. Hill will talk about the method for transnational comparison he developed while writing the book and how it might be used in other fields in the humanities. Speaker: Christopher Hill is Associate Professor of Japanese Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. He has developed new methods for transnational analysis through books on the history of nationalist thought and the global circulation of the novel. He currently is writing on Japanese intellectuals and the decolonization of Asia and Africa.

Emerging Research on Modern East Asian Literature Seminar Series by MEAL Research Cluster introduces authors of recently published monographs to the HKU community. The series is coordinated by Dr. Su Yun Kim (, Dr Pei-yin Lin (, and Dr. Alvin Wong (

For registration of the seminar, go to



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