New publication on Chinese contemporary art

Dear List Members,

I would like to inform MCLC list members of my recent publication with MIT Press. Dissidence: The Rise of Chinese Contemporary Art in the West is a study of the Western reception of Chinese contemporary art since 1989. In this book, I propose that Western based art-world institutions recognize and valorize dissident gestures – artistic and political – as a means of distinguishing the singular originality of an artist, work, or genre. This book then explores how this valorization of dissidence has influenced the recognition and rise of Chinese contemporary art.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach combining sociology and art history, the book follows the careers of nine Chinese artists – Wang Du, Wang Keping, Huang Yong Ping, Yang Jiechang, Chen Zhen, Yan Pei-Ming, Shen Yuan, Ru Xiaofan, and Du Zhenjun – as they moved from China to France before, during, and after 1989.  Through an analysis of the artists’ production, exhibitions, relationships with art-world agents, curatorial essays, and art reviews, I demonstrate how Chinese art and artists after the Tiananmen Square incident were valued not only for their artistic dissidence (their formal innovations), but also for their perceived political dissidence – that is, how their work was and, in many cases continues to be, understood and recognized as a dissident resistance to the regulation of free expression in China.  The book concludes by considering how the valorization of Chinese contemporary art highlights the often-unrecognized relationship between contemporary art and liberal democracy, and how this relationship, in turn, makes supporting contemporary art a political dilemma for China.

All the best,

Marie Leduc, Ph.D. <>

Beida accuses student marxists of criminal activity

Source: Sup China (11/15/18)
Peking University accuses student Marxists of criminal activity

After the apparent kidnapping of two students, the campaign to crush Marxist activist organizations at Peking University (PKU) and other prestigious schools is not slowing down. Click here for a recap of the story so far. The latest:

  • “The Peking University committee of China’s ruling Communist Party declared the establishment of an ‘internal control and management’ office to enforce discipline on campus, including day-to-day inspections and patrols on school grounds,” according to CNN.
  • PKU authorities also “sent a message to all students on Wednesday, November 14, accusing Marxist activists of ‘criminal activity,’ and warning that ‘if there are still students that want to defy the law, they must take responsibility,’” according to Agence France-Presse.
  • There is a petition demanding the release of detained students and workers:Demand the release of kidnapped students and workers in China.

—Jeremy Goldkorn

Police detain more labour activists

Source: Hong Kong Free Press (11/14/18)
Chinese police detain more labour activists, group says
By Pak Yiu

Jasic Technology support groups

Jasic Technology support groups from Peking University and other colleges pose for a group photo in Shenzhen, southeastern China’s Guangdong province, Aug. 21, 2018.

Chinese police have detained three more labour rights supporters, an activist group said, in a crackdown on a workers movement that drew in leftist students fired by an official call to return to Marxism.

The Jasic Workers Solidarity group said police in the central city of Wuhan “violently arrested” three of its members on Sunday, with one of them pinned to the ground by at least three officers.

That follows Friday’s police raids on the homes of at least 10 activists who were detained in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, including students from some of China’s top universities, the group had said earlier. Continue reading

Tiny terracotta soldiers found

Source: Live Science (11/13/18)
Hundreds of Tiny Terracotta Warriors Found Guarding 2,100-Year-Old Chinese Site
By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor

A 2,100-year-old pit containing a mini “Terracotta Army” has been discovered in China. Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Cultural Relics

Inside a 2,100-year-old pit in China, archaeologists have discovered a miniature army of sorts: carefully arranged chariots and mini statues of cavalry, watchtowers, infantry and musicians.

They look like a miniaturized version of the Terracotta Army — a collection of chariots and life-size sculptures of soldiers, horses, entertainers and civil officials — that was constructed for Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Continue reading

ACCL 2019–cfp reminder

Deadline for receipt of abstracts is November 30, 2018.  Please email all submissions in WORD format to the ACCL Communications Team at

The Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature (ACCL) invites paper and panel proposals for its 2019 biennial conference, to be held between July 17 and 19, 2019 on the campus of Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China.

The ACCL, dedicated to the study of literary relations between China and the rest of the world, has been an active and ever-growing scholarly association for almost three decades.  Our biennial conference is our primary venue for the discussion of Chinese and world literatures among scholars from around the world.

Our conference theme for 2019 will be “Airing the States”.  Since the earliest Confucianizing exegeses of the Classic of Poetry’s “Airs of the States”, inter-regional comparison of Sinophone literatures has been a foundational reminder of the complex polyphony of what, to the outside world, has often seemed a monolithic tradition.  Although we are a very long way from the world of the Zhou Dynasty, recent research trends in our field reflect an interest in how the geography of literary exchange is not simply that between nation and world, but also within intranational regions, or across international regions.  Modern literature’s central role in airing the aspirations of the nation-state has been long understood; how does literature of any period also air notions of region which must be understood as part of literary comparison?  Are cross-cutting identities of gender, class, or ethnicity ever aired in a comparable rhetoric of regionalism?  Or, in our age of resurgent national consciousness, must we air out our previous conceptions of the regionalizing state of literary comparison? Continue reading

Another crackdown on online expression

Source: Sup China (11/14/18)

The National Internet Information Office of China, the country’s top cyber authority, has launched yet another crackdown against online expression, with “self-media,” blogs, and microblogs squarely in the crosshairs.

  • More than 9,800 blogging accounts have been erased from the internet since the campaign started on October 20, according to a statement (in Chinese) from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).
  • Reasons include spreading “politically harmful information” (政治有害信息 zhèngzhì yǒuhài xìnxī), creating rumors that disrupt the normal social order, and circulating vulgar content that has a negative impact on teenagers. “The chaotic nature of these self-media accounts seriously trampled on the dignity of laws and regulations, harmed the interests of the people, shaped online public opinion in a negative way, and caused strong backlash from the society,” the statement reads.
  • The move comes after a series of commentary articles published by the People’s Daily in October, which criticized bloggers, also known as self-media practitioners, for writing clickbait, spreading rumors to mislead the public, and being driven solely by profit. The Party’s house newspaper also urged authorities to introduce more laws and regulations to restore order in the space of online information. (All links in Chinese).
  • In August 2017, China initiated investigations into top social media sites, including WeChat and Weibo, claiming that they failed to comply with cyber laws. One month later, the cyberspace authorities moved to monitor conversations on WeChat more closely, which prompted many users to impose self-censorship by deleting chat groups. Continue reading

Taiwan accuses China of election meddling

Source: Asia Times (11/8/18)
Taiwan’s government accuses China of meddling in elections
A senior Democratic Progressive Party political advisor has compared Beijing’s alleged actions to Russia’s annexation of Crimea

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (centre left) poses for a group photo during a campaign event with grassroots supporters in Taipei on November 7. Photo: AFP / Chris Stowers

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (centre left) poses for a group photo during a campaign event with grassroots supporters in Taipei on November 7. Photo: AFP / Chris Stowers

Amid reports of Chinese “meddling” in upcoming local elections on November 24, one advisor close to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has described the situation as far more severe than is generally realized.

Writing from Washington DC, Antonio Chiang, vice-president of the General Association of Chinese Culture and a presidential advisor, told Asia Times: “I am here in DC to talk about China’s influence on our elections.

“They are playing the same game, like the Russians in Crimea.” Continue reading

TAP, fall 2018

The fall 2018 issue of the Trans Asia Photography Review, “Family Photographs”, is now available online at (you may need to refresh your browser to view the new contents). This issue, which is guest edited by Deepali Dewan, features the following articles and book reviews:

Introduction, Deepali Dewan

“A Treasury of Rays”: Finding a Winter Garden in Palestine, Alessandra Amin

Thinking of a Place, Surendra Lawoti

Diaspora and Performance: Reenacting the Family Album, Jessica Nakamura

Family Intact: An Experience of being Photographed, Suryanandini Narain

Finding Family in The Times of India’s Mid-Century Kodak Ads, Jennifer Orpana

Photos Unhomed: Orphan Images and Militarized Visual Kinship, Thy Phu

Modern Family: The Transformation of the Family Photograph in Qajar Iran, Staci Gem Scheiwiller

Review of Guts, by Masaki Yamamoto, Sebastian Galbo

Please take a look, and spread the word to your networks!

All the best,
Sandra Matthews, Editor

KFLC 2019–cfp extension

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the abstract submission deadline for the 2019 Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, i.e. “KFLC: The Languages, Literature, and Cultures Conference, 2018” has been extended. Abstract submission will remain open until November 26th, 2019 @ 11:59 PM, EST.

For general conference guidelines, to find the Call for Papers for each track, and to submit an abstract, please visit our website:

As always, the success of our conference is dependent upon the hard work and enthusiasm of our participants. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to working with you this year.

Wishing you all the best,

Luo, Liang 羅靚

Colorado grad conference–cfp reminder

Reminder: Apply to the 2019 CUBASGA Conference

The CU Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association (CUBASGA) invites submissions for its annual graduate conference, which will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder on February 15–16, 2019. All researchers in the humanities are encouraged to apply, so long as their research is related to Asian literatures and/or cultures.

Our keynote speakers for this year will be Professor Christopher Rea (University of British Columbia) and Professor Tomiko Yoda (Harvard). Keynote speakers and University of Colorado faculty will also be on hand to provide feedback to presenters throughout the conference. In addition to highlighting research in Asian Studies, our conference focuses on professional development for graduate students by providing them opportunities to improve their presentation skills and develop their academic networks.

Applicants should submit an abstract (no longer than 300 words) and a résumé or curriculum vitae to by November 23, 2018. Please send all inquiries to the aforementioned email address. You are also welcome to visit our website at Continue reading

Gate of Memories wins Chinese sci-fi award

Source: China Daily (11/4/18)
Cyborg story wins Chinese sci-fi award
By Xinhua

Chen Qiufan (R). [File photo/IC]

CHONGQING – A novel about human-robot relations won the best saga novel prize of the 9th Xingyun (Nebula) Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction, which was announced Saturday.

Gate of Memories by Chinese writer Jiang Bo [江波] tells of a time when humans turn their bodies into machines to extend lifespan but face a looming attack from super AI. Continue reading

Hang Seng University MA programmes

Hang Seng Management College has just been granted university status by the Government of Hong Kong SAR. Now we are The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. The Translation School has two MA Programmes on offer, one new, one not so new. The CAT MA should be of interest to sinologists.

Two MA Programmes in Translation Offered by the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

Master of Arts in Translation (Computer-aided Translation) (MA-TCAT)

This programme offers systematic training in computer-aided translation (CAT) and state-of-the-art translation technology in the era of AI and big data. The programme aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers in the language and translation industries. Students get first-hand experience in a wide range of professional tools, including automatic translation systems, translation memories, terminology databases, and integrated translation platforms. They learn how to apply CAT skills to specialised translation projects across domains (e.g., science, business, medicine and law) and professional language services, including collaborative translation, web localisation, bilingual copywriting and editing, and digital marketing. Continue reading

Michigan State position

Department: Linguistics, Germ, Slavic, Asian, Afr Lang, Michigan State University
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Faculty, Education/Training, Union

Working/Functional Title: Inst/Ast Professor of Chinese Studies

Position Summary
The Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages of Michigan State University invites applications for a nine-month fixed-term position in Chinese with the possibility of renewal at the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor, beginning August 16, 2019. Specialization open. The teaching load is six courses a year, typically one language class and two integrative studies courses per semester, including one larger lecture course that involves TA supervision.

Required Degree: Doctorate Continue reading