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Fifty-Seven Years Between Auckland Degrees

19 May 2006

Fifty-Seven Years Between Auckland Degrees

A New Zealander internationally renowned as a Chinese fiction scholar will receive an honorary Doctor of Literature degree in Auckland next week.

Professor Patrick Hanan will receive the degree at The University of Auckland on 23 May (Fale Pasifika, Wynyard Street, 7.30pm).

Professor Hanan graduated from the university with a BA in 1948. He completed an MA in English, with first class honours, in 1949.

After gaining his PhD in Chinese at the University of London in 1960 Professor Hanan taught at three highly ranked universities: London, Stanford and Harvard.

Professor Hanan held a named professorial chair at Harvard, where he remains an emeritus professor. Harvard has long been the leading Western centre for the study of Chinese language, literature, history and philosophy.

Professor Hanan almost single-handedly pioneered the study of pre-modern vernacular Chinese fiction and has translated early twentieth century fiction. His work has advanced understanding of late imperial Chinese literature and of Li Yu, one of the greatest Chinese story writers. His translations have given their authors' work a new life in English.

He has trained several generations of younger scholars and, at 79, is still engaged in writing and research. He has visited China often since 1957 and is internationally respected for building Western awareness of China.

A scholarship to support academic study in China by students of The University of Auckland was established by Professor Hanan and his wife Anneliese in 2001, in memory of his parents.

He received his secondary education at Dilworth School in Auckland.


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