Language Shattered available

With apologies for blowing my own horn: list members may be interested to learn that Language Shattered: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and Duoduo (1996) is now available at (scroll down to PDF icon)

It can also be read and searched online in the HathiTrust Digital Library, or downloaded from


Maghiel van Crevel <>

Chinese Studies Research Group, 3/4

Please join us for the 2nd meeting of the academic year for the Chinese Studies Research Group (San Francisco Bay Area).

This group is designed to create a sense of community among Chinese Studies scholars in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our meetings are an opportunity to hear and discuss interesting research in progress (typically from one faculty member and one doctoral candidate) and to network with people with similar interests.

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: University of San Francisco, Fromm Hall, Maier Room

Blogging in A Heritage Language: Epistemic Stance and Identity Positioning of Chinese Heritage Language Learners 
Yang Xiao-Desai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University

A Re-examination of He Zhu’s 1096 Restored Poem of Being Moved and Lodging the Feelings in Words
Stuart Sargent, Independent Scholar Continue reading

English to Chinese translators needed

Dear All,

We are looking for some scholars to translate introductory notes from English to Chinese. The book is on traditional Chinese literature, and it is in English. We are working on a Chinese version of the book. If you would like to contribute, for each passage, you would need to help find the original Chinese literary texts referred to in the English translation, and then translate the English introductory notes into Chinese. If you are interested, please contact me at for more information.

Liyan Shen

Social Change in China summer school

The Department of China Studies of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University invites students of all nationalities to the China Studies Summer School in “Social Change in China”.

The summer school runs from Saturday 1 to Saturday 29 July 2017 and will take the students to Xi’an, Chengdu and Hangzhou, as well as introducing them to Suzhou, the home of XJTLU.


This course is concerned with the major changes undergone by Chinese society since the beginning of reform and openness strategy in 1978. Placing these changes in historical perspective, it focuses on three broad topics, each of which is considered in depth: social classes; regional diversity; equality. All three are set in the historical context of China’s emergence as a growing international economic and political force. This course bring students to historical sites in Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xi’an and Chengdu. Work on the three broad topics will follow a similar pattern, comprising lectures, discussion groups, site explorations and practical projects. Continue reading

Iron Moon review (1)

This is a great review. Very detailed, all interesting details that make you want to check out the book, the books and the film, the subjects in question.


is impo
is impo
or is it
or are you

MW February 2017

I wrote this one the day before Maghiel van Crevel’s review of Iron Moon came out. It came out of another poem I wrote after reading another recent post on the MCLC list about an article called Best Investigative Stories in China 2016. Continue reading

David Keightley (1932-2017)

We have lost a giant in Chinese studies. David Keightley was a wonderful person and scholar whose work on ancient China and its antecedents inspired me a lot, and is highly relevant to modern China studies, too, especially because of the intense struggles today, over how to understand China’s past. I was lucky to meet him one last time, when he graced my presentation on just that topic, at Berkeley two years ago. In sadness, Magnus Fiskesjö <> Continue reading

Youqin Wang refuses to let victims of the CR be forgotten

From Magnus Fiskesjö,
Source: The University of Chicago Magazine (Winter 2017)
Cultural revelations: Youqin Wang refuses to let the victims of China’s Cultural Revolution be forgotten
By Jake Smith, AB’13

Wang’s home is filled with artifacts of her quest to memorialize the dead. (Photography by John Zich)

Youqin Wang was 13 years old when her fellow classmates beat her middle school vice principal, Bian Zhongyun, to death.

The events of August 5, 1966, hadn’t begun so violently. “They just poured ink on the [vice] principal’s head,” recalls Wang. But over the course of the afternoon, she watched as students at the girls’ middle school attached to Beijing Teachers University traded in the ink for boiling water and took up clubs spiked with nails. When the administrator fell unconscious, students threw her body into a garbage cart. Continue reading

Ren Hang dies at 29

For an obituary in Chinese and more of Ren’s photographs, see here. Maghiel van Crevel  <>

Source: British Journal of Photography (2/24/17)
Controversial and renowned Chinese photographer Ren Hang dies aged 29
Written by Tom Seymour

All images © Ren Hang, courtesy of Taschen

Ren Hang, one of the leading lights of the new generation of Chinese photographers, despite enduring censorship and intimidation from the authorities throughout his career, has died at the age of 29, his gallerist has confirmed.

Ren Hang was arrested many times for his sexually explicit, joyously celebratory photography. Although he was globally renowned, he never gained the recognition he deserved in his home country, in part because he was repeatedly denied the opportunity to display his work in Beijing and throughout China. Continue reading

Yang Zhenning courts controversy

Source: Global Times (2/23/17)
Nobel laureate courts controversy over decision to come back to China

Yang Zhenning and his wife attend the award ceremony for 2016 China’s Most Influential Figures of the Year on December 8 in Beijing. This was the most recent time the couple was seen in public. Photo: IC

World-renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Yang Zhenning has recently come under the spotlight again.

On Tuesday, the faculty office of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced that 94-year-old Yang, together with Turing Award winner and computer scientist Yao Qizhi, 70, had given up their American citizenship and have officially become CAS Chinese academicians, the highest academic title in China. Continue reading

RMMLA lit and film panels–cfp reminder

Call for Papers: Chinese Literature and Film Since 1900 Panels at the 2017 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Convention.
Davenport Grand Hotel, Spokane, Washington, October 12-14, 2017

Abstract Submission deadline: March 1, 2017

We welcome paper proposals that address a range of critical issues and themes relating to modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Home, displacement, travel, and migration
  • Violence, trauma, memory, and forgetting
  • Folk tradition, the supernatural, and the issue of belief
  • Animals, humans, and post-humanism
  • Ecology, landscape, time and space
  • Gender, class, and ethnicity
  • Author, auteur, and adaptation
  • Sinophone literature and cinema

Continue reading

The Great Wall review (2)

I appeared on a program on Voice of America Chinese yesterday, and I made some of the same points as the ChinaFile forum. Actually I saw the Chinese version (meaning there was no English audio) back in December, which may have made the film look less odious to me than it does to most other people! I was surprised to learn that the international version is 80% English.

Charles A. Laughlin  <>

The Great Wall review (1)

Source: China File (2/23/17)
Can China Expand its Beachhead in Hollywood?
A ChinaFile Conversation with Stanley Rosen, Ying Zhu, and Clifford Coonan

Frazer Harrison—Getty Images. Director Zhang Yimou (L), and actors Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, and Matt Damon at the premiere of ‘The Great Wall’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on February 15, 2017 in Hollywood, California.

With The Great Wall, a classic army vs. monsters tale, director Zhang Yimou has brought America the most expensive Chinese film ever created. The movie may be backed by a Hollywood studio and it may star no less an American icon than Matt Damon, and yet it proffers China as the source of military might and moral right. Hollywood and China’s commissars have always made for strange bedfellows, but have they finally figured out how to beget viable offspring? Will other major stars follow Damon’s example and act in films that promote Beijing’s message? Will American audiences watch them? Will Chinese? Can propaganda ever make for a real blockbuster? Or will the powers on both sides someday relent and let a director like Zhang make the kind of nuanced human dramas that made his name in the first place?—The Editors Continue reading

The Great Wall review

Source: Chinese Film Insider (2/22/17)
Film Review: ‘The Great Wall’ is The Best of Zhang, The Worst of Zhang

Every day while CFI’s Hollywood readers take in the business of the Chinese film industry, the actual movies can sometimes seem exotic or remote. But in major US cities, mainstream Chinese films are increasingly available: thanks to Wanda’s purchase of AMC and distributors like China Lion, they get American theatrical releases practically simultaneous to their premieres at home. Though they receive virtually no publicity outside the non-Chinese community, these films are more than worth seeking out by anyone serious about engaging the Chinese industry, understanding the Chinese sensibility and familiarizing themselves with China’s talent pool. Periodically, CFI will review and point readers in the direction of noteworthy US releases of contemporary commercial and independent Chinese titles.

The Great Wall (2016), story by Max Brooks, Edward Zwick & Marshall Hershkovitz; screenplay by Carlo Bernard & Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy; directed by Zhang Yimou. Distributed by Universal Pictures (cinemas here). Grade: B+

The first coproduction between China and the US directed by an A-list auteur from either country, Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall was long anticipated, and then anticlimactic once its Chinese run last December failed to attain the record-breaking earnings necessary to justify its megabudget cost.  Arriving in the US this past weekend and earning some US $21.5 million as of Tuesday morning, the hybrid monster movie/war epic is a curious specimen, representing Zhang at both his best and worst. Continue reading

Iron Moon review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Maghiel van Crevel’s review of Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry (Buffalo: White Pines, 2016), edited by Qin Xiaoyu and translated by Eleanor Goodman, and the sister documentary film Iron Moon, directed by Qin Xiaoyu and Wu Feiyue. The review appears below, but is best read online at:

My thanks to Michael Berry, MCLC book review editor for translations, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Iron Moon: An Anthology of
Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry
Iron Moon (the film)

Edited by Qin Xiaoyu, Tr. by Eleanor Goodman / Directed by Qin Xiaoyu and Wu Feiyue

Reviewed by Maghiel van Crevel
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February, 2017)

Qin Xiaoyu, ed, Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry. Translated by Eleanor Goodman. Buffalo NY: White Pine Press, 2016.

Poetry is the most ubiquitous of literary genres. It is written and recited and read and heard for families and festivals, in love and on stage, in prayers and protests, at imperial courts and in factories. In China, associations of poetry and factories, and of poetry and manual labor at large, are anything but far-fetched. One recalls the story of poetry production, which is really the only right word here, being whipped up to keep up with steel production during the Great Leap Forward (quite aside from the results in terms of quality, for poetry or for steel). And less frenetic, more sustainable instances of the linkage of poetry and labor throughout the Mao era, with factories – and drilling rigs, construction sites, and so on – generally depicted as good places. But today, poetry + factories + China conjure up a different picture. One thinks not of the proletariat but of the precariat, and not of glory but of misery. Continue reading