Reportage special issue for MCLC–cfp reminder

Dear colleagues,

This is a friendly reminder that the abstract for the MCLC special issue “Reportage and Its Contemporary Variations” is due by August 31. Please send abstracts of 500 words by August 31, 2017 to both guest editors, Charles Laughlin (cal5m@virginia.edu) and Li Guo (li.guo@usu.edu), and the general editor, Kirk A. Denton (denton.2@osu.edu). Selected abstracts will be invited to submit full manuscripts (30-50 pages, double-spaced) by May 15, 2018 for consideration of inclusion in the special issue for Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in Fall 2019.

https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2017/06/17/contemporary-reportage-at-work-special-mclc-issue-cfp/

Li Guo <li.guo@usu.edu>

The Cultural Revolution on Trial review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Man He’s review of The Cultural Revolution on Trial: Mao and the Gang of Four (Cambridge UP, 2016), by Alexander C. Cook. The review appears below, but is best read at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/manhe/

My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

The Cultural Revolution on Trial:
Mao and the Gang of Four

By Alexander C. Cook


Reviewed by Man He
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July, 2017)


Alexander C. Cook, The Cultural Revolution on Trial: Mao and the Gang of Four. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. xv, 277 pp. ISBN: 9780521135290 (hardback).

“What did it mean for the Chinese to use a legal trial to address the injustices of the Cultural Revolution?” (10). Alexander C. Cook raises and answers this key question in The Cultural Revolution on Trail: Mao and the Gang of Four. Conducted over the winter of 1980-81, the Gang of Four trial was the defining event of China’s post-Mao transition in legal, political, and cultural senses. Not only did it signal a return to law and order after the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, it affirmed the continuing rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its authority to render a verdict on China’s recent past. Despite the trial’s importance, there has been little English scholarship on the subject, due to the inaccessibility of archival materials and, paradoxically, the widespread availability of “partially redacted courtroom transcripts” (4). The former is an expected bureaucratic hurdle, but the latter is also problematic because the “linguistic engineering” (9) of such documents is apt to make outsiders complain about the empty jargon, leaving only insiders alert to “the heavy freight of meanings that words . . . could convey” (10). Not content to allow these factors to let the trial languish in an “analytical black hole” (7), Cook has devised a compelling means to tackle the issue. Alternating between chapters that focus on legal documents and court proceedings (dealing with the indictment, testimony, and verdict, respectively) and chapters on relevant literary works (in the genres of reportage, psychological realism, and personal memoir), Cook succinctly unveils the legal, political, and cultural meanings hidden in socialist legal and literary narratives, as well as the broader political and social implications of the trial. In other words, by reading legal documents in a literary way and literary narratives politically; Cook demonstrates to outsiders and insiders alike that there is something intriguing and far-reaching about this apparent “show trial.” Continue reading

On Listening to Enemy Radio

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Yurou Zhong’s translation of “On Listening to Enemy Radio,” by Ah Cheng. The translation appears below, but is best read at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/zhongyurou/.

Enjoy,

Kirk Denton, editor

On Listening to Enemy Radio

By Ah Cheng[1]

Translated by Yurou Zhong


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July 2017)


Ah Cheng as an educated youth in Yunnan, circa 1970.

June 4, 1989 marked the end of the 1980s, concluding the decade one year early. The year 1976 had ended the 1970s, bringing that decade to a close four years early. However, adding the last four years of the 1970s to the next nine-year decade, it could be said the 1980s lasted for thirteen years. As for the decade of the 1970s, it really started from the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. From 1966 to 1976, that was ten whole years. To use “decade”[2] to measure time is neither accurate nor appropriate. Life is not like pork and cannot be measured one slice at a time. For me, the 1970s was long. Every day stretched out like a year.

One day, when I was laboring away in the mountains, I realized that all the history books I had read since I was little concerned big events and the people involved in them. But there were only a handful of big events in those people’s lives. How did they live out the rest of their eventless and mundane lives? Did they also experience the same feeling I did of their days stretching on and on without end? The 1970s was the best time for me, with my endless energy and quick reactions, so quick that I could hardly keep up with myself. I had to constantly tell myself: Slow down and slow down a bit more; you have nothing but time. Continue reading

When True Love Came to China review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Haiyan Lee’s review of When True Love Came to China (Hong Kong UP, 2015), by Lynn Pan. The review appears below, but is best read at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/haiyanlee/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC book review editor for literary studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy,

Kirk Denton, editor

How the Chinese Fell in Love with Love, Caveats and All:
Review of When True Love Came to China

By Lynn Pan


Reviewed by Haiyan Lee
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2017)


Lynn Pan, When True Love Came to China. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2015. vii, 325 pp. ISBN-9789888208807. Hardcover. $65.00/£54.95.

In her novel Dept. of Speculation (2014), Jenny Offill relates the experiments of the nineteenth-century French doctor Hippolyte Baraduc who claimed to have photographed the emotions. Allegedly, he found that different emotions produced different images on the photographic plate: “Anger looked like fireworks. Love was an indistinct blur.”

After Baraduc, no photographer has attempted to replicate this feat. But the wordsmiths of the world—the novelist, poet, playwright, and the occasional philosopher—never cease trying to limn that indistinct blur. And it is, familiarly, the European men and women of letters who have done most of the heavy lifting, with their invention of a sublime, exclusive, all-engulfing, and bound-for-matrimony love that goes by the name of “romantic love” or “true love.” Continue reading

Queer Marxism in Two Chinas review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Jia Tan’s review of Queer Marxism in Two Chinas (Duke UP, 2015), by Petrus Liu. The review appears below, but is best read at its online home here: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/jia-tan/. My thanks to Jason McGrath, MCLC book review editor for media studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy,

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Queer Marxism in Two Chinas

By Petrus Liu


Reviewed by Jia Tan
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2017)


Petrus Liu, Queer Marxism in Two Chinas. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015. 256pp. ISBN: 978-0-8223-5972-2 (Cloth: $84.95) ISBN: 978-0-8223-6004-9 (Paperback: $23.95)

In the past two decades, the term “queer” has gained increasing academic momentum in China studies across disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, film and media studies, communication, and literary studies. What does it mean to queer China studies, and where is this emergent field of queer China studies moving? And conversely, what is the significance of this sub-field for the broader field of queer studies? Petrus Liu’s Queer Marxism in Two Chinas is a timely and highly original book that provides theoretical interventions to the above questions. Taking into account the geopolitical implication of the “two Chinas,” the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Liu proposes the framework of queer Marxism as an antidote to major debates and concerns in both queer studies and area studies. Continue reading

Vol. 29, no. 1 of MCLC

We are pleased to announce publication of vol. 29, no. 1 (Spring 2017) of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. Find the table of contents below, with links to abstracts. For those of you who are subscribers, you should be receiving your copy within the next few weeks. If you have any questions about your subscription, please contact SHI Jia, my assistant, at mclc@osu.edu. We rely on subscriptions for our survival, so please keep your subscription up to date! Shi Jia will also handle new subscriptions and sales of individual copies. A reminder that essays from back issues of MCLC, with a two-year lag, are available in pdf through JSTOR:

http://www.jstor.org/journal/modechinlitecult

Kirk Denton, editor

Volume 29, Number 1 (Spring 2017)

Articles

Reportage and Its Contemporary Variations–special MCLC issue cfp

Reportage and Its Contemporary Variations: A Special Issue of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
Guest edited by Charles Laughlin and Li Guo

This special issue welcomes essays on reportage narratives in contemporary China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as explorations of nonfiction, documentary, and the art of the real in film, media, theater or visual arts. From late imperial Chinese exploration narratives about Southwest borderlands to modern author Ai Wu’s travel accounts of Yunnan and Burma, from the Leftwing League’s promotion of reportage as a pathway to proletarian realism in the 1930s to the use of cinéma vérité and direct cinema in contemporary documentary filmmaking, Chinese reportage has found expressions in a nexus of genres, reflecting evolving and polyphonic aesthetic modes and cultural discourses. Xiaomei Chen (1985) observes that the assimilation of Chinese reportage as a genre into the canonical literary system attests to the demands of political and literary history and also highlights the reportage reader’s ethical obligations or what Chen called “lectorial competence.” Yingjin Zhang (1993) argues that reportage illustrates “the ideological workings of narrative” and “consciously interpellates individuals (writers, characters and readers) as subjects in their own rights.” Charles Laughlin (2002) proposes that the “association of the crowd and its collective subjectivity with a theatrical narrative space is the basis of the ‘chronotope’ underlying the modern Chinese reportage narratives.” Yin-Hwa Chou (1985), Zuyan Chen (1993), Thomas Moran (1994), Rudolf Wagner (1992), Shenshen Cai (2016) and others contributed rich studies on the hybrid modes and canons of modern and contemporary Chinese reportage, ranging from early twentieth century travel memoirs to chronicles in the new millennium. Continue reading

Revolution and Its Narratives review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Nicolai Volland’s review of Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966 (Duke University Press, 2016), by Cai Xiang. The review appears below but is best read online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/volland/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy,
Kirk Denton, editor

Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist
Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966

By Cai Xiang
Edited and translated by Rebecca E. Karl and Xueping Zhong


Reviewed by Nicolai Volland
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2017)


Cai Xiang, Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966. Ed. and trans. by Rebecca E. Karl and Xueping Zhong. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016. xxix, 450 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-6069-8.

The past decade has witnessed a renaissance of studies on Chinese socialist cultural production—including literature of the 1950s and early 1960s as well as that of the Cultural Revolution. This trend is observable in both English- and Chinese-language scholarship. Dialogue between these academic communities, however, remains limited, at least as far as published output is concerned. While translators have made available to Chinese readers many English-language studies of, say, Republican era history, the amount of literary criticism translated into Chinese remains limited (with the exception of theory); this is especially so for critical studies of post-1949 literature. Flows in the opposite direction, from Chinese to English, are an even rarer species. Nonetheless, several translation initiatives over the past decade have set out to bring more of contemporary Chinese literary criticism to the attention of English readers. These include Hong Zicheng’s (洪子誠) A History of Contemporary Chinese Literature, translated by Michael Day; and Debating the Socialist Legacy and Capitalist Globalization, a volume of essays edited by Xueping Zhong and Ban Wang.[1] With Cai Xiang’s (蔡翔) Revolution and Its Narratives, translated by Rebecca Karl and Xueping Zhong, we are given a monograph-length study that contains a wealth of fresh and original observations on literature from the 1950s and 1960s, all the while offering insights into current (21st century) academic debates in China. Continue reading

Milena Doleželová-Velingerová Memorial Prize donations

As mentioned in a posting a few weeks ago, the authors of the volume Crossing between Tradition and Modernity: Essays in Commemoration of Milena Doleželová-Velingerová (1932-2012) (Prague: Karolinum Press, 2016) have donated the royalties to MCLC to create the Milena Doleželová-Velingerová Memorial Prize. The (possibly) annual prize will be awarded to the best essay published in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in a calendar year. The royalties from the book are not enough to sustain the fund for more than a couple of years, so I am appealing to the MCLC community to consider making a donation. Any amount would help. There’s a “DONATE MONEY” link on the main page of the MCLC site (http://u.osu.edu/mclc/). Or you can go directly to the link below (it’s a secured site):

https://www.giveto.osu.edu/makeagift/OnlineGivingDonation.aspx?Source_Code=WA&Fund=301588

I hope you will consider making a donation. We would be most grateful.

Kirk A. Denton
Editor, MCLC

Camel · Nietzschean and Woman

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Sean Macdonald’s translation of “Camel · Nietzschean and Woman,” by Mu Shiying, as part of our online publication series. The translation appears below and online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/macdonald/

Enjoy,

Kirk Denton, editor

Camel · Nietzschean and Woman

By Mu Shiying[1]

Translated by Sean Macdonald


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April 2017)


I

The spirit will become a camel.

Many heavy things await the spirit over there, await that weight-bearing, strong, and awesome spirit: because the heavy and the heaviest things are able to increase its strength.

“What is heavy anyway?” So asks the weight-bearing spirit; thus it kneels down like a camel, preparing to be well laden again.

“What is the heaviest thing, you heroes?” asks the weight-bearing spirit. “Allow me to bear those things, so that I may rejoice in my strength.”

. . . all those heavy things, the weight-bearing spirit takes it all onto its back, like a laden camel galloping toward the desert, the spirit thus speeds toward its desert. (from “Of the Three Metamorphoses” in Thus Spoke Zarathustra)[2] Continue reading

Interview with Chen Qiufan

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce Sun Mengtian’s interview with science fiction writer Chen Qiufan. The interview, which was conducted in Chinese in December of last year, is here translated into English. The interview appears below and can be read online at:

http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/sunmengtian/

Enjoy,
Kirk Denton, editor

China and Chinese SF:
Interview with Chen Qiufan

By Sun Mengtian

Interview conducted in Chinese, translated by Sun Mengtian


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April 2017)


Chen Qiufan. Courtesy of Chen Qiufan

Chen Qiufan (陈楸帆), also known as Stanley Chan, is one of the leading figures of a young generation of Chinese Science Fiction (SF) writers who were born in the 1980s. His work has won multiple awards, including Taiwan’s Dragon Fantasy Award, China’s Milky Way Award for Science Fiction, and China’s Nebula Award for Science Fiction. His stories often revolve around contemporary social, political and economic problems in China, thus many critics describe his SF as “realist SF.” Many of his stories are characteristic of the Cyberpunk subgenre, and he is oftentimes called “China’s William Gibson.” He is mostly concerned with the alienation effect of modern technology and society. The English version of his first novel, The Waste Tide, is coming out in early 2018. Continue reading

Red Legacies in China review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Xing Fan’s review of Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution (Harvard University Asia Center, 2016), edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang. The review appears below, but is best read online at:

http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/xingfan/

My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy,

Kirk A. Denton, Editor

Red Legacies in China:
Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution

Edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang


Reviewed by Xing Fan
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2017)


Jie Li and Enhua Zhang, eds., Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution>. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016. 424 pp. ISBN: 9780674737181

Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution pays close attention to three interconnected questions: What constitutes red legacies in post-Mao China? How do these red legacies interact with the present? And what do we make of these interactions? The anthology includes twelve essays whose authors employ multidisciplinary, multifaceted, and multidimensional approaches, interpretations, observations, and reflections. Red Legacies in China is an important title for scholars, educators, students, and general readers who are interested in the cultural legacies of the Communist Revolution, read in the context of China’s economic, political, and ideological transformations. Continue reading

The Edge of Knowing review

MCLC and the MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Laurence Coderre’s review of The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature (University of Washington Press, 2016), by Roy Bing Chan. The review appears below, but is best read online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/coderre/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History,
and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature

By Roy Bing Chan


Reviewed by Laurence Coderre
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2017)


Roy Bing Chan. The Edge of Knowing: Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016. xi, 221 pp. ISBN: 9780295998992; $50.00 (hardcover)

The historical stakes, ethical pitfalls, and representational limitations of Chinese realism as a twentieth-century literary practice constitute well-worn terrain for the field of modern Chinese literature. Indeed, one might even suggest that these concerns are foundational to the discipline as a whole. Whether in the erstwhile construction or ongoing deconstruction of Cold War-era Chinese literary historiography, realism—and its discontents—must always be reckoned with. More specifically, the preoccupation with the real remains a—if not the—dominant historiographical thread connecting the literary engagements of the May Fourth generation, the critical realism of the 1930s, and the effort to remake the world through literature and art undertaken during the Mao period. We, collectively, know this narrative by heart, and although there may be some disagreement on the particulars—what about modernism? to what extent are all-out critiques of realism anachronistic?—we generally abide by this account’s basic tenets. 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: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/vancrevel4/

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
and
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

Crossing between Tradition and Modernity

I’m happy to announce publication of Crossing between Tradition and Modernity: Essays in Commemoration of Milena Doleželová-Velingerová (1932-2012) (Prague: Karolinum Press, 2016). After Professor Doleželová-Velingerová’s untimely death in 2012, a group of her students decided to put a volume of essays together to honor her life and career. This is the final product of those efforts. We are grateful to the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for supporting publication of the volume. The book is not yet available on Amazon, but will be, I’m told. The University of Chicago Press distributes Karolinum Press books, so it will eventually be available on its website as well. See the blurb and table of contents below for more information on the book.

On a related note, we have pooled the royalties from this volume into a fund at MCLC to establish the Milena Doleželová-Velingerová Memorial Prize, a (possibly) annual prize for the best essay published in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in a calendar year. The royalties from the book are not enough to sustain the fund/prize for more than a couple of years, so I am appealing to the MCLC community to consider making a donation. There’s a “DONATE MONEY” link on the main page of the MCLC site (http://u.osu.edu/mclc/). Or you can go directly to the link below (it’s a secured site):

https://www.giveto.osu.edu/makeagift/OnlineGivingDonation.aspx?Source_Code=WA&Fund=301588

I hope you will consider making a donation. We would be most grateful for your contribution. Continue reading