In all things, the chairman rules

Source: China Media Project (1/19/19)
By Qian Gang

In All Things, the Chairman Rules

In recent days, the above image of a roadside propaganda billboard in China proclaiming that “all” work, actions and major business must follow Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the rounds on the internet.

The three lines in the slogan on the billboard, each of which begins with “all,” in fact form what has been called “The Three Alls” (三个一切). The full phrase could be translated as follows:

All major matters are decided by Chairman Xi Jinping; all work must be responsible to Chairman Xi Jinping; all actions must heed the direction of Chairman Xi Jinping.


Continue reading

Critical Asian Humanities MA

Dear all,

After five years as a successful track within Duke’s East Asian Studies MA, Duke Critical Asian Humanities (CAH) is now a stand-alone MA program. The program provides students with training in cultural studies and critical theory within the context of modern and contemporary East Asia, and we offer informal concentrations in Global China, Japanese Empire Studies, and Borderland Korea, with an emphasis on cinema and visual culture, women’s studies and gender theory, and migration and diaspora.

Core faculty working in our program includes Professors Leo Ching, Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Claire Conceison, Guo-Juin Hong, Hae-Young Kim, Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Thomas Lamarre, LIU Kang, Yan Liu, and Carlos Rojas. Affiliated faculty include: Rey Chow, Markos Hadjioannou, Michael Hardt, Ralph Litzinger, Sucheta Mazumdar, Walter Mignolo, Cate Reilly, and Kathi Weeks.

Application deadline is January 31, and partial fellowships are available. For more information, please see our website: , or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Carlos Rojas, at


Carlos Rojas

Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Duke University

English as a national language in Taiwan

Source: The Asia Dialogue (1/17/19)
English as a National Language
Written by Isabel Eliassen and Timothy S. Rich.

Image credit: CC by <cleverCl@i®ê>/ Flickr.

For several months, Taiwanese officials have been drafting plans to make Taiwan into a Mandarin-English bilingual nation. By 2019 the government hopes to have concrete policy goals in place. So far, the policies center around increasing the number of qualified English teachers in Taiwan, utilizing free online resources, and more intensive English classes starting at a younger age.

The administration aims to make Taiwan fully bilingual by 2030. Singapore, even with a British colonial influence, took 20 years to establish English bilingual policy, with schools teaching English alongside the first languages of Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil, so Taiwan’s 2030 goal appears quite ambitious. Even if Taiwan is not fully bilingual by that time, it will be clear whether the new policies have been effective or if they need to be revised. The government has also set several short-term goals, including having versions of government websites in English and encouraging government employees to use English at work. Continue reading

Rise of Chinese science fiction

Source: Factor Daily (1/12/19)
Telling the China Story: The Rise and Rise of Chinese Science Fiction
By Gautham Shenoy

“Science fiction is as rare as unicorn horns, which shows in a way the intellectual poverty of our times”, wrote Lu Xun, one of China’s most towering and revered literary figures, writing about science fiction literature in China in his preface to his 1903 translation of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon.

116 years later, science fiction in – and from – the People’s Republic of China has come a long way since then, to become what is arguably the most popular genre of literature in China and with translations of Chinese science fiction picking up pace and finding a ready and eager audience – to the extent that some have even referred to it China’s greatest cultural export since kung fu – one can safely say that Chinese SF’s journey to the west (and elsewhere) has only just begun, with its star showing no signs of diminishing. But it wasn’t always so. Continue reading

China debates euthanasia

Source: SCMP (1/16/19)
Is it killing for kindness or convenience? China debates euthanasia
Trial judge sparks conversation by sharing his reasoning after sentencing three for assisted death of beloved family member
By Michelle Wong

A judge’s heart-wrenching account of a euthanasia trial has triggered a renewed conversation in China about an emotive subject which sharply divides the country.

The case involved a woman, surnamed Leng, from Taizhou city in Zhejiang province, eastern China, who was suffering from an autoimmune disease.

Leng had asked her son-in-law to buy rat poison to help her end the pain of her illness. The court heard that Leng swallowed the poison with her husband, daughter and son-in-law, surnamed Zhang, gathered around her bed to bid her a tearful farewell. Continue reading

UC San Diego postdocs

UC San Diego Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows

Two combined Postdoctoral/Lecturer (50/50) positions emphasizing new directions in language learning and language instruction research in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego are available beginning July 2019. Initial appointments will be for one year with the possibility of renewal contingent on performance and funding availability. We encourage applicants who can combine their primary expertise in language pedagogy, language-learning in digitally mediated environments, technology-enhanced (TE) language course design with competences in cultural studies, cognitive science, translation studies, linguistics or related fields. Ethnographic approaches to language learning and language research are also welcome. Salary and level of appointment are based on qualifications and UC pay scale. Proof of authorization to work in the U. S. will be required prior to employment (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985).

Candidates must have the ability to contribute to important departmental foci, such as translation, the study of language through literature, and L2 pedagogy in the fields of Ancient Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, Chinese, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or Indigenous languages. Continue reading

Writers and Texts on the Move–cfp

Call for Papers: “Writers and Texts on the Move: Chinese Literature as World Literature” MLA Annual Convention, January 9-12, 2020 in Seattle, WA

Over the last twenty years, interest in Chinese and Sinophone literature around the world has grown dramatically. Writers such as Mo Yan and Liu Cixin have made literature written in Chinese increasingly visible and accessible to readers worldwide. Their success has prompted the reexamination or discovery of other writers such as Zhang Ailing and Qiu Miaojin, both of whom have been recently translated and reprinted in the New York Review of Books Classics series. This session will examine the question of how Chinese and Sinophone literature have been (and have not been) incorporated into the world literary canon. While some attempts such as those of Gao Xingjian and Liu Cixin have been spectacularly successful, others have had initial success and then faded into obscurity such as Lin Yutang, or have been rediscovered long after their death like Zhang Ailing. This session seeks to answer the question of what qualities make some literature particularly portable into the world literary canon. How do authors anticipate or cater to potential translation? Are some Chinese language works written to be translated or translated even as they are written, to borrow Rebecca Walkowitz’s term “born-translated”? How do writers face the pressure to represent and re-articulate their entire nation in their literary production? What is the relation between the writer, the text, and the world? Presentations that innovatively address these questions are especially welcome. This session is sponsored by the LLC Modern and Contemporary Chinese Forum. Please send an approximate 300-word title and abstract proposal, 250-word minimum BIO and CV by February 21, 2019 to Dr. Clara Iwasaki ( and Dr. Sijia Yao (

African literature wave in China

Source: Quartz Africa (1/15/19)
Chimamanda Adichie is leading the rise of an African literature wave in China
By Abdi Latif Dahir

An African “literary icon” arrives in China

Dear Ijeawele is a forthright and frank book, a 15-step letter about how to raise a feminist child. But when it’s published in China around April this year, it will garner its author, the celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a new status: becoming one of few African writers whose body of work has mostly, if not all, been translated to Chinese.

“By far the hottest African writer among Chinese fans today is Nigeria’s Adichie,” says Bruce Humes, an American linguist and Chinese literary translator. For years now, Humes has compiled a bilingual list of contemporary African fiction published in Chinese since the 1980s, putting together a list of novels, poetry, drama, and short story collections available to readers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Humes, who has lived and worked across China since the late 70s, has so far identified 146 translated works from 66 African authors. Continue reading

A censor for every 1000 videos

Source: China Media Project (1/13/19)

A censor for every 1,000 videos please

One prominent aspect of media control in the Xi Jinping era has been its growing brazenness. No longer is censorship quite so shrouded in secrecy as it once was. Rather, it is announced openly as a matter of social and political necessity, and as the legal obligation of every company seeking to profit from the potentially lucrative digital space.

A pair of binding documents released this past week by the China Netcasting Services Association (中国网络视听节目服务协会) are a great case in point. They openly set out the “content review” standards expected of companies providing online video services, including the removal of content that “attacks on our country’s political or legal systems”, and “content that damages the national image.” One of the documents even specifies that companies expand their internal censorship teams as business grows and changes, and that they keep at least one “content review” employee on staff for every 1,000 new videos posted to their platform each day. Continue reading

Creative Labour workshop–cfp

Call for Papers
International postgraduate workshop on creative labour in East Asia and Beyond: work, subjectivity and alternatives in the global creative economies
Dates: 16 – 18 May 2019
lace: Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Convenors: Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam); Anthony Fung (Beijing Normal University); Yiu Fai Chow (Hong Kong Baptist University); Jian Lin (University of Amsterdam)

We invite abstract submissions from post-graduate and Ph.D researchers to a workshop on creative labour in East Asia.

Generally all human labour is potentially embodied with creativity (McGuigan 2010: 324). In the past two decades, however, the circulation of capital has delimited creativity as a definitive feature that distinguishes certain occupations in the so-called creative industries. Policy makers around the globe, following the 1990’s British government, embrace the ‘creative industries’ discourse and trumpet creative work for its bohemian spirit, autonomy and playfulness. Nevertheless, critiques have noted that the real situation of creative work is not as autonomous, self-expressive and fulfilling as imagined by creative-industry policies. Creative workers have become a creative precariat, suffering under precarious working conditions and surrounded by problems such as short-term contracts, unequal earnings and a lack of unions (Curtin and Sanson, 2016; Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011). Discourses surrounding creativity function as elements connected by the ‘creativity dispositif’, to implement job creation while also to discipline youthful population – to be creative (McRobbie 2016; Reckwitz 2017). Continue reading

Dead Pigs wins award

Source: China Daily (1/13/19)
Chinese film wins jury award at Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival
By Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-13 15:01

A poster of film “Dead Pigs”. [Photo/VCG]

PALM SPRINGS — Chinese film “Dead pigs” won a jury award Saturday at the 30th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).

“Dead Pigs” by Cathy Yan received Ricky Jay Magic of Cinema Award, an honor for a film “that exemplifies a pioneering spirit in furthering the language of storytelling and the magic of cinema.”

“Dead Pigs” is Yan’s directorial debut. It is inspired by a real incident of dead pigs floating in a river in China, and expands to cover the stories of five characters, namely, a pig farmer, a salon owner, a busboy, an expat architect and a rich girl. The narrative is set against China’s fast urburnization in recent years.

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and won a special jury award for Ensemble Acting, with stars including Vivian Wu, Haoyu Yang, and Meng Li.

Yan was born in China and grew up in the United States. She said the film is “a little dark” but “also funny and dramatic.” Continue reading

China enjoys increased book sales

Source: China Daily (1/11/19)
China enjoys more bookstores, increasing sales
By Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-11 08:18

[Photo provided to]

China had 225,000 bookstores and sales outlets for books at the end of 2018, a 4.3-percent increase from the previous year, according to an annual report on the country’s bookstore industry released Tuesday.

Issued by China’s Books and Periodicals Distribution Association, the report showed that the total sales revenue of publications in China reached 370.4 billion yuan (about $54.1 billion) last year, up 5.9 percent year on year, while 158 billion yuan was from retail, which enjoyed an 11.3-percent growth.

Private bookstores played a significant part in the development, as 85 of the over 160 popular Sisyphe Bookstore chain as of October last year were opened in 2018 alone, and Yanjiyou, another popular brand, opened another 53 bookstores from January to November last year, according to an article on Wednesday’s People’s Daily. Continue reading

Leave No Dark Corner

Leave No Dark Corner, an Australian documentary about the Social Credit system, aired last September. In case other list members missed it then as I did, I’d like to commend it to your attention. It’s well made, despite resorting to a couple of “re-enactments” along with its riveting interviews. The half-hour film focuses on three people: a young professional who, with her cadre husband, thinks the social credit system will do wonderful things for the Chinese people; Liu Hu, the Chongqing journalist whose career was terminated  by the system; and Tahir Hamut, a Uyghur refugee who describes how the system works in Xinjiang.

A. E. Clark <>

Chinese Literature Today free access

From Jan 14 to Jan 31, 2019, readers can view and download the full contents of Chinese Literature Today 7(2) via Taylor&Francis’s CLTwebsite ( This current issue features poet Yu Xiuhua 余秀华, writer Ai Wei 艾伟, and scholar Dai Jinhua 戴锦华. Please take advantage of this promotion period. After Jan 31, you will have to subscribe to have access to the full contents of this issue on the T&F website. 

Ping Zhu <>

Confession of a Jade Lord

Source: Daily Sabah (1/4/19)
A gem of Uighur literature: Alat Asem’s ‘Confessions of a Jade Lord’

A gem of Uighur literature: Alat Asem's ‘Confessions of a Jade Lord'

A gem of Uighur literature: Alat Asem’s ‘Confessions of a Jade Lord

In 2013, Uighur novelist Alat Asem published ‘Confessions of a Jade Lord,’ earning the Jun Ma Literature Prize, and a translation into English in 2018. As vice-chair of the Xinjiang Writers Association, Asem, who was born in Xinjiang in 1958, has an ear for preservation in the midst of cultural endangerment

On March 13, 2013, Alat Asem, author of 11 novels and seven collections of short stories, dated the last page of his book, “Confessions of a Jade Lord.” The year began bitterly when Amnesty International reported the death of his colleague, fellow Uighur writer Nurmemet Yasin. In the wake of the 2009 Urumqi riots, the harsh climate in the westernmost Chinese region of Xinjiang continues to worsen for its indigenous peoples. Dark clouds drift in from Beijing, the seat of government in the People’s Republic of China, where the ethnic Han majority rules over 1.3 billion people uncontested. Among the country’s 55 recognized minorities, the Uighur people of Xinjiang are targeted for practicing Islam in the midst of the territorial bids and geopolitical crises that afflict Central Asia. Continue reading