The 20th century saw an »Aestheticization of Politics« (Benjamin). Humanism became a politically arbitrary slogan, while at the same time forming a shared basis for communication between artist and audience. This volume investigates the current intercultural transformation and spreading of humanism-inspired literature and theater arts through the example of the English and Chinese traditions. This also sheds light on an important aspect of cultural globalization. It turns out that humanism in today's art has long ceased to be the rigid rationalism or scientific positivism with which it used to be frequently associated. Rather, it influenced autobiographic narrations and plays (Gao Xingjian), favored very personal experiences vis-à-vis an institutionalized and anonymous history (Mo Yan), and promoted new interpretations of a Western narrative canon (Wu Hsing-kuo and his play »Lear«).
Alexander C.Y. Huang (Prof. Dr. habil.) forscht und lehrt an der Fakultät für Anglistik und leitet das »Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare«-Programm an der George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA. Er ist Herausgeber des »The Shakespearean International Yearbook«, Research Affiliate des Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Literatur) und Präsident der Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies.