RMMLA lit and film panels–cfp

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

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

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words along with a short biography to <rmmla2017@gmail.com> by March 1, 2017. Notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent out no later than March 30, 2017. Continue reading

An Wang postdocs reminder

Reminder: An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships deadline Jan. 30
Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies: An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 competition for the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships in Chinese Studies. Research topics may cover any period of Chinese history or contemporary China and involve any academic discipline. A strong working knowledge of Chinese and English is required. Each fellow will be expected to pursue his or her own research and contribute to Fairbank Center programs. Priority will be given to candidates working in the fields of a) Environmental Humanities/Social Sciences or b) Digital Humanities/Social Sciences; however, applications are also welcome from scholars in other fields.

The fellowship period is from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018. Continue reading

Cashing in on dystopia

Source: supchina (1/3/16)
Cashing in on dystopia
By David Bandurski
Through a simple mobile transaction, you, too, can be Big Brother.

A screenshot of the film Nineteen Eighty-Four, based on the dystopian novel by George Orwell of the same name, shows the image of “Big Brother,” the supreme figurehead of the dictatorship of Oceania.

In a piece called “The Long March to Privacy,” The Economist once talked about the advancements Chinese had made in their attitudes toward privacy. After decades in which virtually every aspect of their lives had been “an open book,” subject to constant government scrutiny, Chinese citizens were now “beginning to bristle at the intrusiveness of nosy employers, data-mining marketers and ubiquitous security cameras.” Continue reading

MLA Asian literatures reception


Please join us for the Social Gathering and Networking Event Arranged by the Forums LLC Asian American, LLC East Asian, LLC Korean, LLC Ming and Qing Chinese, LLC Modern and Contemporary Chinese, and LLC Japanese to 1900.

Cosponsored by Columbia University Press, Cambria Press, De Gruyter Press, and Penn State Asian Studies Department.

Date: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Time: 8:45–10:00 p.m.,
Venue: 411-412, Philadelphia Marriott
The reception is open to all scholars working in Asian literatures.

Best wishes,

Ben Goodman
Marketing Dept, Cambria Press

East Asian Media Studies–cfp reminder

Please note that the proposal submission deadline is on Jan 10, 2017

Call for Papers: East Asian Media Studies Conference at Harvard
East Asian Media Studies Conference
May 6-7, 2017, Harvard University

Keynote Speakers:
Rey Chow (Duke University)
Thomas Lamarre (McGill University)

We invite proposals to the East Asian Media Studies conference at Harvard University. The conference aims to provide a venue for presenting research on historical and contemporary media in East Asia and for discussing the current state and possible futures of this rapidly expanding field of inquiry. Continue reading

Invisible Planets review

Source: Inverse (11/29/16)
Chinese Science Fiction Is the Future of Science Fiction
Ken Liu’s anthology ‘Invisible Planets’ spotlights a growing genre demographic.
By Ryan Britt

Chinese science fiction writers are having more fun with the genre than anyone else, and in fact, might even be producing its best new works. And now, in the years following the success of Liu Cixin’s award-winning novel, The Three-Body Problem, western audiences are starting to take notice.

For an easy introduction to this massive subgenre, see Ken Liu’s new anthology of short fiction, Invisible Planets, which highlights his favorite contemporary translated Chinese science fiction. And for readers who want to dive more deeply, three essays at the end of the book argue over the actual definition of Chinese science-fiction. In his essay “The Worst of All Possible Universes,” Liu Cixin himself believes that The Three-Body Problem actually helped to recontextualize science fiction in China very recently. In 2006, at the time of Three-Body’s publication in China, he wrote, “China’s science fiction market was anxious and depressed. The long marginalization of science fiction as genre led to a small and insular readership.” Continue reading

China’s great leap backward

From: Sarah Gardner <xxoomom@gmail.com>
Source: The Atlantic (Dec. 2016)
China’s Great Leap Backward
The country has become repressive in a way that it has not been since the Cultural Revolution. What does its darkening political climate—and growing belligerence—mean for the United States?
By James Fallows


Oliver Munday

What if China is going bad? Since early last year I have been asking people inside and outside China versions of this question. By “bad” I don’t mean morally. Moral and ethical factors obviously matter in foreign policy, but I’m talking about something different.

Nor is the question mainly about economics, although for China the short-term stability and long-term improvement of jobs, wages, and living standards are fundamental to the government’s survival. Under China’s single-party Communist arrangement, sustained economic failure would naturally raise questions about the system as a whole, as it did in the Soviet Union. True, modern China’s economic performance even during its slowdowns is like the Soviet Union’s during its booms. But the absence of a political outlet for dissatisfaction is similar. Continue reading

Time to ramp up China’s soft power (1)

Happy new year,

A comment on “Time to ramp up China’s soft power” by Harvey Dzodin:

It seems it is also time for research on today’s breed of Fellow Travellers.

There are many precedents for such studies, beginning with the research on Soviet fellow travellers in Europe and elsewhere who sang Stalin’s praises and eagerly helped to bolster Soviet “soft power,” even after they learned about what Stalin was doing.

The archival access may not be there for this on today’s generation of China travellers, but we need something insightful like Michael David-Fox’s book Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941, on the interaction between gullible Westerners and the Soviet soft power institute VOKS — which can seem quite similar to the role of the Confucius Institutes today. Continue reading

The End of Fiction, the Start of Politics

Sino-Platonic Papers is pleased to announce the publication of its two-hundred-and-sixty-sixth issue:

“The End of Fiction, the Start of Politics: Lu Xun in 1926-1927,” by Eva Shan Chou.


This and all other issues of Sino-Platonic Papers are available in full for no charge. To view our catalog, visit http://www.sino-platonic.org/

best wishes,

Victor Mair <vmair@sas.upenn.edu>

A tale from Xi’s new China

Source: The Guardian (1/2/17)
A human rights activist, a secret prison and a tale from Xi Jinping’s new China
Peter Dahlin spent 23 days in a ‘black prison’ in Beijing, where he says he was deprived of sleep and questioned with a ‘communication enhancement’ machine. Here he tells the story of his incarceration and expulsion from the People’s Republic
By Tom Phillips in Chiang Mai


Some nights Peter Dahlin says he tucks a “big-ass knife” under his bed in case intruders come for him as he dozes; others he cannot sleep at all.

“They’ve kidnapped people several times here before,” says the 36-year-old Swedish human rights activist, chain-smoking Marlboro cigarettes as he remembers the 23 days he spent in secret detention in China.

It has been a year since Dahlin became one of the first foreign victims of President Xi Jinping’s war on dissent. Continue reading

A Monkey King’s Journey to the East

What follows is an excerpt from an illustrated essay that appears in the newly launched online publication China Heritage, which is based in author Geremie Barme’s new home in New Zealand.  It is well worth reading in full and the site is one to watch.

Jeff Wasserstrom <jwassers@uci.edu>

Source: China Heritage
A Monkey King’s Journey to the East
By Geremie R. Barmé

imagesThe following meditation is an envoi to 2016 which, according to the traditional Chinese calendar, was the Year of the Golden Monkey and it offers a reflection on the long years that lie ahead.

— The Editor, 1 January 2017

The 13 January 1967 issue of Time magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline ‘China in Chaos’. Fifty years later, Time made US president-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a ground-swell of mass support, both men rebelled against the established order in their respective countries and set about throwing the world into confusion. Both share an autocratic mind set, Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Donald Trump as Chairman of the Board. As Jiaying Fan noted in May 2016, both also share a taste for ‘polemical excess and xenophobic paranoia’. For his part, Mao’s rebellion led to national catastrophe and untold human misery. Continue reading

Top China stories of 2016

Source: SupChina (12/30/16)
Top China news of 2016
By Editor
SupChina’s roundup of the most significant news about China in the past year.

The world’s largest radio telescope, located in southwest Guizhou Province. A project of $180 million, it was completed in July and began operations in September. / Deng gang – Imaginechina

The year 2016 was characterized by political upheaval across the world, but not in China. Many of the most important China stories reported throughout the year — whether in politics, the economy, or society — are about trends that have been forming for several years.

We’ve chosen five China news themes that we believe are most representative of the state of the Chinese nation and its relation to the world in 2016. Beneath our top five you can find links to other stories that defined the year, divided into the categories we use in our SupChina daily newsletters. Continue reading

Shanghai moves to curb international programs in schools

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (12/29/16)
Shanghai’s Move to Curb International Programs in Schools Worries Parents


Wu Dongmei, right, is worried that the international school program her 14-year-old son, Wu Zhengxuan, is enrolled in might be replaced by Shanghai’s education commission. Credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

BEIJING — For the past two years, Wu Dongmei’s 14-year-old son has been attending a private school in Shanghai that offers an international program that prepares students for higher education abroad. All had proceeded smoothly — until recently, she said.

On Oct. 19, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission summoned the principals of 21 local private schools to explain draft regulations that would restrict international programs in Grades 1 through 9, the years of compulsory education in China. The commission accused schools that had replaced the officially mandated curriculum, which includes classes in political ideology, of “infringing on China’s education sovereignty.” Continue reading

Time to ramp up China’s soft power

Source: China Daily (12/27/16)
Time to ramp up China’s soft power
By Harvey Dzodin | chinadaily.com.cn

Time to ramp up China's soft power

A round table meet is held at the Ancient Town Summit 2016 in Guiyang on Dec 13. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]

China has already achieved better soft power success at home than before. Recently I attended the Qingyan Ancient Town Summit in Guiyang, Guizhou province. Progress in building attractions such as ancient towns is accelerating and China Development Bank even funds financially sound proposals.

Although we don’t think of the Forbidden City as an ancient town, it is the granddaddy of them all, and among the world’s most visited museums. Its dynamic director Shan Qixiang spoke about his successful efforts to make it more authentic, user-friendly, accessible and profitable. Continue reading

iPhone City

Source: NYT (12/29/16)
How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner
A hidden bounty of benefits for Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, the world’s biggest iPhone factory, is central to the production of Apple’s most profitable product.
By David Barboza


ZHENGZHOU, China — A vast, boxy customs center acts as a busy island of commerce deep in central China.

Government officers, in sharply pressed uniforms, race around a maze of wooden pallets piled high with boxes — counting, weighing, scanning and approving shipments. Unmarked trucks stretch for more than a mile awaiting the next load headed for Beijing, New York, London and dozens of other destinations. Continue reading