Envisioning an International Community: Proletarian Arts in East Asia

This project explores the relation between internationalism and leftist literature in early twentieth century China and East Asia. A study of internationalism amongst leftist movements offers important insights into technologies and strategies for building coalitions across national, linguistic and cultural boundaries. I propose that examining workers organizations and their literary and cultural links to internationalism in early twentieth century China and East Asia help us better understand the wider implications of literary practices in modern literatures and societies. My main focus will be on May Day, a festival to celebrate workers around the world; Esperanto, an artificial language used to improve communication between workers; anti-war movements, where workers unite to protest against military aggression by national governments; and the gender
and reproductive politics of medical hygiene. In order to reconstruct these international networks of exchange this project examines yet unexplored archival sources from China and East Asia.

Faculty Supervisor:

Atsuko Sakaki


Edwin Michielsen



Cultural studies



University of Toronto


Globalink Research Award

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