Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool phd opportunities

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University—Humanities and Social Sciences PhD Opportunities

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is a research-led international University, jointly founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

The University is now offering 5 PhD scholarships at our Humanities and Social Sciences cluster, and we welcome applications from high calibre candidates interested in pursuing a research degree in the areas listed below:

China Studies: Chinese society, Chinese politics and economy, Chinese history, literature and culture.

English: Linguistics, Literature, Translation and interpreting studies

Media, Film and TV arts: Digital/New media, Film, television and visual culture, Journalism, Media and Communication, Media and Culture. Continue reading

Death sentence for a life of service

Source: Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia (1/22/19)
A Death Sentence For a Life of Service
By Amy Anderson

Note: This article written by Amy Anderson is based on interviews with Tashpolat Tiyip’s friends, students and relatives. Their identities cannot be revealed due to obvious reasons. 

Sometime after he disappeared in 2017,  Tashpolat Tiyip, the president of Xinjiang University, was sentenced to death in a secret trial.  The Chinese state has provided no justification for this horrifying violation of human rights. Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, it has simply taken his life away. Drawing on interviews with Tiyip’s students and relatives, this article tells the story of his life and demonstrates the grotesque absurdity of the Chinese totalitarian state. A man who has dedicated his life to furthering the vision of the state and his people appears to have been sentenced to death for this effort.

A Geographer with a Dream

Tashpolat Tiyip, born in 1958, came of age during the infamous Cultural Revolution during his teenage years. Upon his graduation from high school in 1975, he was asked to join the “Down to the Countryside Movement” and worked as a Red October tractor driver in the fields of Nilka County, in Ili Prefecture.  After six months of saving his salary he was able to buy an Uyghur-Chinese dictionary. According to one of his relatives, every evening he would memorize at least 50 new Chinese words, which he would repeat over and over again while he was driving the tractor in the field from dawn to dusk.  His favorite thing to do after work was to sit beside the Ili River. From a young age he dreamed of becoming a geographer and exploring the physical landscape of the Uyghur homeland. He had faith in a better future as he studied Chinese and enjoyed the sunset over the Heavenly Mountains. 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: https://asianmideast.duke.edu/graduate/ma-cah , or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Carlos Rojas, at c.rojas@duke.edu.

Sincerely,

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

HK Cinema through a Global Lens MOOC

HKU MOOC: HONG KONG CINEMA THROUGH A GLOBAL LENS

Registration is now open for the fifth offering of Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens, the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Hong Kong cinema to be produced anywhere in the world.  The online course starts on January 22, 2019. Enjoy the conversation on Hong Kong cinema with internationally-recognized film studies scholars Professor Gina Marchetti and Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park from the HKU Department of Comparative Literature and Dr. Stacilee Ford from the HKU Department of History and American Studies Program with the creative assistance of HKU TELI (Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative).

The edX platform hosts Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens, which is free of charge on the Internet. Lively and student-centered, this MOOC is appropriate for secondary, tertiary, and lifelong learners from all corners of the globe, who have a good command of the English language. Teachers are welcome and encouraged to adapt various modules and materials for their own classroom or e-learning needs. The course explores globalization through Hong Kong cinema featuring crisp analyses of the actors and filmmakers whose lives and films connect the local Hong Kong scene to global histories, events, and trends. Throughout the six-week course, students will encounter stars including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Maggie Cheung as well as award-winning directors such as John Woo, Mabel Cheung, Andrew Lau, and Wong Kar Wai. Continue reading

Michigan to close Confucius Institute

Source: Caixin Live (12/11/18)
University of Michigan to Close Confucius Institute
By Tanner Brown

The University of Michigan said Monday it will not renew its agreement with the Confucius Institute when the partnership expires in 2019.

The university cast the reasoning as a desire to expand its own internal China-focused programs.

“This transition is driven by a desire to more broadly include the work of exploring and studying Chinese visual and performing arts within U-M’s regular academic and cultural units,” said James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs, according to a university announcement.

Confucius Institutes, which are affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, have provoked concerns about political influence on the universities where they are hosted. Several in the U.S. have closed amid such concerns.

By the end of last year, 525 Confucius Institutes and 1,113 Confucius Classrooms had been established in 138 countries and regions in the 14 years since the first one was opened in Seoul, South Korea.

Conducting research in Xinjiang

See below: “I came to the conclusion that not only was my proposed study unfeasible, but also that it would be ethically indefensible for me to continue pursuing ethnographic research in [Xinjiang] for the foreseeable future.” –Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: Asian-Studies.org, Asia Now Blog (12/12/18)
Change of Plans: Conducting Research in Xinjiang
By Elise Anderson

A slogan painted on a wall in a Turpan neighborhood, which reads in Uyghur: “Loving the homeland and Xinjiang; unity—making contributions; working hard; helping one another; opening up; progressing.” This and all other photos by the author, June 2018

In April 2018, the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies awarded me a Small Grant to travel to Ürümchi (Urumqi, Wulumuqi), Xinjiang, China, to conduct a two-week feasibility study on the topic of “Gender and Music in Uyghur Society.” I planned to draw on my extensive connections in the region to conduct preliminary interviews and participant-observation, as well as to collect written and audio/visual resources, all with the goal of eliciting themes related to how gendered social expectations impact music-making and other forms of cultural production for members of the Uyghur minority. I envisioned this trip as marking the start of my first post-Ph.D. project. Continue reading

Gaokao public outcry (1)

Unmentioned by this article, but essential to understanding it, is the fact that since 1985 the gaokao has not been a uniform national exam.  Zhejiang’s license to customize the exam for Zhejiang students dates from 2003. Wikipedia says that 16 provinces and municipalities customize their exams.

This is doubtless a complex matter which I am not qualified to judge, but it seems to me that varying the questions (as well as the grading protocols) from province to province compromises a national exam’s ability to ration access to the best universities based on merit.

A. E. Clark <aec@raggedbanner.com>

Gaokao public outcry

Source: SCMP (12/5/18)
No marks for Chinese education bosses sacked after exam results public outcry
Investigation confirms what students and parents suspected. Grades were distorted and results unfair after wrong policy decision.
By Phoebe Zhang

China’s college entrance exams, commonly known as gaokao, are a time of enormous pressure for students, as results can determine their future. Photo: Handout

Two top education officials have been fired while another two are under investigation amid accusations that grades were manipulated in China’s college entrance exams.

Authorities in eastern China’s Zhejiang province launched an investigation following public protests last month over the results of English language test results in the exams, commonly known as gaokao. Protesters complained of unfairness and questioned the scores.

On Wednesday the provincial government announced on social media that an inquiry committee, headed by provincial governor Yuan Jiajun, had concluded there had been a “wrong policy decision” by the Zhejiang Education Department. Continue reading

Chinese influence and American interest

Source: Hoover Institution (11/29/18)
Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance
Edited by Larry Diamond

[This is a summary of a long report that can be found here]

For three and a half decades following the end of the Maoist era, China adhered to Deng Xiaoping’s policies of “reform and opening to the outside world” and “peaceful development.” After Deng retired as paramount leader, these principles continued to guide China’s international behavior in the leadership eras of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Admonishing Chinese to “keep your heads down and bide your time,” these Party leaders sought to emphasize that China’s rapid economic development and its accession to “great power” status need not be threatening to either the existing global order or the interests of its Asian neighbors. However, since Party general secretary Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the situation has changed. Under his leadership, China has significantly expanded the more assertive set of policies initiated by his predecessor Hu Jintao. These policies not only seek to redefine China’s place in the world as a global player, but they also have put forward the notion of a “China option” that is claimed to be a more efficient developmental model than liberal democracy. Continue reading

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

Cornell halts China university ties over academic freedom

Source: Financial Times (10/27/18)
Censorship: Cornell halts China university ties over curbs on academic freedom
US institution says Renmin punished students for supporting workers’ rights
By Yuan Yuan in Beijing

Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, New York. Cornell’s industrial and labour relations school has had a partnership with China’s Renmin University since 2014 © Dreamstime

Cornell University of the US has suspended two academic exchanges and a research programme with China’s Renmin University because of concerns over academic freedoms, the first case in years of a foreign university halting a partnership with a Chinese counterpart for such reasons.

The move came after several students of Renmin, a top ranked Chinese institution, said they were punished by the school for speaking out online about workers’ rights and for supporting workers’ attempts to unionise in the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen this summer, Cornell told the Financial Times. Continue reading

Beida president replaced with party chief

Source: Radio Free Asia (10/25/18)
China Replaces Head of Peking University With Communist Party Chief
RFA

Hao Ping (L), the new president of Peking University, and predecessor Lin Jianhua, who was removed amid a campaign the Chinese Communist Party to increase control over higher education. Peking University

China’s ruling Communist Party has appointed its own representative to head one of the country’s most prestigious universities, as the administration of President Xi Jinping continues its ideological crackdown on academic life.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Hao Ping as the new president of Peking University,” state news agency Xinhua reported in a brief announcement.

He will replace Lin Jianhua, who was removed from the position.” Continue reading

Marxist activist missing after police raid

Source: SCMP (10/12/18)
Fears for young Marxist activist missing after police raid in China
Yue Xin was detained along with about 50 other activists, many of them young Marxists, who joined campaign for union rights at Jasic Technology
By Guo RuiMimi Lau

Yue Xin (centre) was taken into custody on August 24 along with about 50 other activists. Photo: Mimi Lau

A young rights activist who called for China’s top university to be transparent about its investigation of a rape case and joined a labour dispute in Shenzhen has not been seen for more than six weeks after she was detained by police.

Yue Xin, 22, was taken into custody on August 24 along with about 50 other activists, many of them young Marxists, who were involved in a labour rights protest in Shenzhen. Continue reading

Fan Bingbing violates grammar rules (1)

Excuse me, but this is ridiculous. Of course we already know, that Fan Bingbing’s police handlers would have vetted and approved every sentence, every comma. Or, they wrote the whole thing! This is what typically goes on, when somebody is disappeared. See my writings on this:

Confessions Made in China, http://www.chinoiresie.info/confessions-made-in-china/
The Return of the Show Trial: China’s Televised “Confessions,” http://apjjf.org/2017/13/Fiskesjo.html

So, the high school teachers that supposedly complained about her confessional statement’s grammar, should be ashamed! Continue reading