AAS session: Liu Xiaobo and Chinese Political Consciousness

AAS Session # 358
The Unbearable Heaviness of Becoming: Liu Xiaobo and Chinese Political Consciousness
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 5:15 PM – 7:15 PM

Chair: Jerome Cohen
Organizer: Rowena Xiaoqing He

Session Abstract:

“I have no enemies,” wrote future Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo in the closing statement for his 2009 trial that he was not allowed to deliver in court. Liu, serving an eleven-year prison term for “subverting state power,” died on July 13, 2017. Liu’s death and the tenth anniversary of Charter 08, a citizens’ manifesto that Liu disseminated and that led to his imprisonment, provide an occasion for reflection.

Liu Xiaobo’s life journey is inseparable from the historical time in which he lived. From a freewheeling literary critic amidst the “culture heat” and political awakening of the 1980s, to a participant and a peacemaker in the 1989 Tiananmen Movement, and eventually a public intellectual devoted to China’s peaceful democratic transformation, the last forty years of Liu’s life epitomized the evolution of political consciousness among Chinese intellectuals and ordinary Chinese citizens since the end of the Cultural Revolution. Liu’s experience was shaped by the historical context in China; at the same time, he himself became an agent for change. In death as in life, Liu’s name remains taboo in China.

Our interdisciplinary roundtable will engage the audience in discussing Liu Xiaobo’s personal transformation in parallel with the making of Chinese political consciousness since the Reform Era, and the implications for China and the world. Weiping Cui, professor of Beijing Film Academy, personal friend of Liu Xiaobo, and signatory of Charter 08, will share her perspectives on Liu Xiaobo and 1980s China. Panel organizer Rowena Xiaoqing He, China-born Canadian historian specializing in the Tiananmen Movement, will focus on Liu Xiaobo in 1989;Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, will consider the domestic and international contexts of Charter 08 and China’s citizens movements. Yujie Chen, Taiwan scholar focusing on criminal justice and human rights developments in Taiwan and China, will add her comparative perspectives from the experience of Taiwan. Panel chair Jerome Cohen, professor of Law and a leading expert on Chinese law and government, will suggest how past Chinese experiences inform the present and may influence the future.

Area of Study: China and Inner Asia
Discipline(s): History  Political Science Law Literature

Film, Finance, and China online panel discussion

Dear Media Friends:

(New York, NY – January 19, 2018) – Join China Film Insider and China Hollywood Society for our second jointly hosted online event!

“Film, Finance, and China,” a web panel discussing co-financing with China, will take place on Thursday, January 25 at 11 am PST/2 pm EST online.

We’ll discuss what co-financing models exist, what the trends are, and what pitfalls to avoid as an independent producer.

Our panelists will include Bennett Pozil, Executive VP at East West Bank; Cristiano Bortone of Bridging the Dragon, as well as returning speaker Rob Cain, founder of ChinaFilmBiz and writer at Forbes.

Time: 11 AM PST/2 PM EST
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2017
Where: Online
Ticket: Free

To RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/mYRhVQgdcS52Qj8H3 Continue reading

Ai Weiwei on art, activisim, and human rights

Source: The China Story (1/15/18)
Ai Weiwei on Art, Activism and Human Rights
An Interview with Ai Weiwei by Zeng Jinyan
[Translated by Gloria Davies]

Human Flow by Ai Weiwei

Source: http://www.humanflow.com/

Ai Weiwei 艾未未 is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values. Recent exhibitions include: Inoculation at Fundacion Proa in Buenos Aires, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City, Ai Weiwei on Porcelain at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul, Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., Maybe, Maybe Not at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Law of the Journeyat the National Gallery in Prague, and Ai Weiwei. Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Continue reading

Chinese students abroad and the battle for their hearts

Source: SupChina (1/18/18)
Caught In A Crossfire: Chinese Students Abroad And The Battle For Their Hearts
China’s 800,000 overseas students represent a blind spot for the Communist Party in its ongoing battle against Western ideology. But many of them are returning home with more love and appreciation for their birth country than ever before.

When 22-year-old Chinese student Langou Lian looks back at her decision to study in the United States, there’s one influence that sticks out: the Disney Channel movie High School Musical.

“I hated Chinese education,” Lian says, remembering the high-pressure test-centered schooling in her native Sichuan Province. High School Musical presented an alternative: a carefree atmosphere where even adolescent students are independent, free to speak their mind, and have a palette of social activities to choose from.

But after she arrived in the U.S., that rosy Hollywood image became complicated. “The one word that describes my impression of America before coming is freedom,” Lian says. “[But] after I studied here for a while, I started to kind of understand American society. My impression went from good to bad.” Continue reading

Gender in Chinese contemporary art


22 FEBRUARY, 14:00-18:30

This international symposium, co-organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia and Central Academy of Fine Arts China, will explore the role that gender has played in the development of Chinese contemporary art.

The symposium is split into two sessions. The first gives a critical overview of the subject, including a paper by Monica Merlin that will provide a history of contemporary art by women in China, a paper by Ros Holmes that will take up the new condition of artistic creation and distribution through digital and mediated spaces, and a panel discussion moderated by Wenny Teo. The second session will focus on individual practices, with artist presentations from Nabuqi, Ma Qiusha and Ye Funa followed by a discussion moderated by Song Xiaoxia. Continue reading

Cinema Journal–call for translations

Cinema Journal — Call for Translations

Below you will find the Cinema Journal‘s call for translation proposals for 2018, open to those on the list who are also members of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. Please note a change from previous years: in addition to accepting translations of single texts of 8,000 to 10,000 words, the journal will now be accepting curated groups of smaller texts adding up to that word count. Any inquiries specific to Chinese-to-English translations may be directed to hongwei_chen@brown.edu


Hongwei Thorn Chen <hongwei_chen@brown.edu>

Cinema Journal
Call for Translations 2018

Cinema Journal publishes translations of outstanding scholarly and creative work. The originals may be in any language and come from any period or geographic region. We welcome two types of proposals: (1) a single text such as a journal article, book chapter, or self-contained section of a book that focuses on a particular topic in a unified, coherent way; and (2) a group of smaller texts that are linked thematically, geographically, or otherwise.

The total word count of the introduction and translated text(s) should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words in English. One grant-in-aid of $1,000 will be paid to the translator(s) for copyright clearance and as honoraria. Proposals to translate one’s own work will not be considered. Continue reading

Porn consumption in China

Source: Sixth Tone (1/10/18)
Porn Consumption in China: The Hard Facts
A series of national surveys show that viewing sexually explicit content has no effect on rates of sex crimes.
Pan Suiming
[Pan Suiming is a professor emeritus and the honorary director of the Institute for Research on Sexuality and Gender at Renmin University of China in Beijing.]

This is the third article in a series on gender and sexuality in China. Parts one and two can be found here.

Sola Aoi is a well-known former adult film star in Japan with legions of young fans in China, including more than 18 million followers on Weibo, a microblogging platform. She has called for friendship between China and Japan and is an enthusiastic advocate of public welfare, traits that have led Chinese netizens to bestow upon her an endearing nickname: Teacher Aoi.

Aoi is one of the most popular stars among Chinese porn viewers. Between 2000 and 2015, I conducted four nationwide surveys into the country’s sexuality, all of which asked the following question: “Currently, there are many videos, DVDs, images, and photographs that depict explicit sexual content. Have you viewed any in the past 12 months? It does not matter how you came into contact with them.” Continue reading

How China infiltrated US classrooms

Nice article revisiting the ongoing expansion of the Confucius Institutes, though pretty much concerned with the US only–Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: Politico (1/16/18)
How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms
Even as they face criticism, Chinese government-run educational institutes have continued their forward march on college campuses across the United States.

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made an announcement to great fanfare: The university would soon open a branch of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese government-funded educational institutions that teach Chinese language, culture and history. The Confucius Institute would “help students be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Nancy Gutierrez, UNC Charlotte’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and “broaden the University’s outreach and support for language instruction and cultural opportunities in the Charlotte community,” according to a press release. Continue reading

Becoming Environmental–cfp

Please see the below CFP for a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies, based out of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University, Montréal.

Deadline for submission is March 31, 2018.

Call for Submissions: “Becoming Environmental: Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change”
Special Issue of  Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies

Synoptique is inviting submissions for an upcoming special issue entitled “Becoming Environmental: Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change.” The focus of this issue will be on the increasing entanglements of global economies of extraction and the circulation of media. The title of this issue is inspired by Jennifer Gabrys’ “becoming environmental” of sensory technologies (2016), where computational media becomes constitutive to the very environment, and subject formation within it, rather than simply operating in the environment as a backdrop. We propose to expand this imperative to the distinctive ways media—from computation, infrastructures, screens, technologies of circulation, and different modes of visualization—become environmental, remaining attentive to how these emerging human/nonhuman relations are constantly reconfigured, if not naturalized, via the state, global market, or other ideological projects. Continue reading

Chinese composers with an ear to the world

Source: NYT (1/12/18)
Chinese Composers With an Ear to the World

Joel Sachs conducting the New Juilliard Ensemble. Mr. Sachs is the founder and organizer of Juilliard’s annual Focus! festival, concentrating this year on contemporary Chinese music. Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

What makes Chinese music Chinese? After a century of revolution and change, how do contemporary Chinese composers understand and reflect their heritage, even as they try to connect with global audiences?

These are questions that get to the heart of a musical culture that remains largely veiled to American listeners. The Juilliard School’s annual Focus! festival of new composition is trying to pull aside that veil, to make the world of music a bit smaller. With “China Today,” a series of six free concerts from Jan. 19 to 26, the school is avoiding traditional Chinese instruments and foreign-based composers, choosing instead to concentrate on Chinese artists living and working in their own country, and using the same instrumental forces as those in the United States and Europe. Continue reading

Frost boy

Source: NYT (1/14/18)
‘Frost Boy’ in China Warms Up the Internet, and Stirs Poverty Debate
查看简体中文版  | 查看繁體中文版

View image on Twitter

Frost Boy

BEIJING — On a bitterly cold morning this month, Wang Fuman, 8, set out for school as he usually did, walking 2.8 miles through mountains and streams until he reached the warmth of his third-grade classroom.

When Fuman arrived two hours later, his classmates erupted in laughter. The freezing temperatures had covered his hair, eyebrows and eyelashes with frost, making him look like a snowman. His cheeks were chapped and bright red. Continue reading

UT-Austin rejects Chinese funding

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: Washington Post (1/14/18)
University rejects Chinese Communist Party-linked influence efforts on campus
Josh Rogin

Tung Chee-hwa, then-chief executive of Hong Kong, in 2004. (Anat Givon/AP)

As part of a broad effort to interfere in U.S. institutions, China tries to shape the discussion at American universities, stifle criticism and influence academic activity by offering funding, often through front organizations closely linked to Beijing.

Now that aspect of Beijing’s foreign influence campaign is beginning to face resistance from academics and lawmakers. A major battle in this nascent campus war played out over the past six months at the University of Texas in Austin.

After a long internal dispute, a high-level investigation and an intervention by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the university last week rejected a proposal by the leader of its new China center to accept money from the China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The Hong Kong-based foundation and its leader, Tung Chee-hwa, are closely linked to the branch of the Chinese Communist Party that manages influence operations abroad. Continue reading

How commercial ties make for self-censorship

Interesting article on just how China commercial ties pave the way for Chinese state cooption of foreign media into self-censorship — Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Huang, Jaw-Nian. “The China Factor in Taiwan’s Media: Outsourcing Chinese Censorship Abroad.” China Perspectives [quarterly journal of the CEFC (French Center for Research on Contemporary China) in Hong Kong] no. 3 (2017): 27-36.


ABSTRACT: To investigate how the Chinese government extends its influence to manipulate extra-jurisdictional media, this case study investigates Taiwan’s experience. It suggests that as Taiwanese media companies become embedded in the Chinese capital, advertising, and circulation markets, the Chinese authorities increase their ability to co-opt them with various economic incentives and threats, leading to self-censorship and biased news in favour of China. Using process tracing as the principal method, and archives, interviews, and secondary literature as principal data sources, the study supports the transferability of the “commercialisation of censorship” beyond China. Liberal states around China must design institutions protecting the media from inappropriate intervention by both domestic and foreign political and economic forces.
Continue reading

University of Hong Kong position

The University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1911, the University of Hong Kong is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in teaching and research, and has been at the international forefront of academic scholarship for many years. The University has a comprehensive range of study programmes and research disciplines spread across 10 faculties and over 140 academic departments and institutes/centres. There are over 28,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students who are recruited globally, and more than 2,000 members of academic and academic-related staff coming from multi-cultural backgrounds, many of whom are internationally renowned.

Tenure-Track Associate Professor/Assistant Professor in Modern Chinese Literature in the School of Chinese (Ref.: 201701737)

Applications are invited for tenure-track appointment as Associate Professor/Assistant Professor in Modern Chinese Literature in the School of Chinese, to commence on September 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter, on a three-year fixed-term basis, with the possibility of renewal and with consideration for tenure before the expiry of a second three-year fixed-term contract. Continue reading

Seeking essays on Xie Jin

Dear MCLC subscribers,

I am editing a Chinese book featuring English essays on XIE Jin (1923-2008) and his films to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Xie’s passing. Does anyone have a published English article on XIE that can be translated into Chinese? Please let me know. This book is tentatively titled Xie Jin and His Legacy to the World: A Collection of Essays. If interested, please contact me at shaoyis@gmail.com. Thank you very much.

Shaoyi Sun <shaoyis@gmail.com>
Co-Director, Center for Cinematic Arts, Shanghai Theater Academy