An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese SF

Dear List Members,

We are happy to announce the publication of The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction by Columbia University Press. Theodore Huters and I spent years working on this project, together with a group of excellent translators and scholars. The CUP webpage for the book is here:

The anthology features some of the most important works by science fiction writers Liu Cixin, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, Egoyan Zheng, Chi Hui, Xia Jia, as well as by writers experimenting with science fiction motifs and elements, such as Lo Yi-chin, and Dung Kai-cheung.

We are most grateful to our contributors, translators, editors, and so many people who have helped us work on this project. Thank you!

Mingwei Song <> and Theodore Huters

Ideas and History in China’s Independent Cinema

I’m pleased to announce publication of my book Postsocialist Conditions: Ideas and History in China’s “Independent Cinema,” 1988-2008 (472 pp.) by Brill. This book offers a comprehensive survey and trenchant critique of China’s “Independent Cinema” by the sixth-generation auteurs. By showing the multi-valence of the postsocialist conditions in contemporary Chinese society, their films articulate a new cultural-political logic in postsocialist China, which is also the logic of the market in this era of neoliberal transformation, brought about by the forces of marketization since the late 1980s. The directors laudably show the spirits of humanism and the humanitarian concerns of the underclass, yet the shortage and repudiation of class analysis prohibits the artists from exploring the social contradictions and the cause of class restructuration.–Xiaoping Wang <> Continue reading

Journal of Chinese Humanities 4.1

The latest issue of Journal of Chinese Humanities now available! Below, please find the table of contents and see the link for more information:

Volume 4, Issue 1, The Possibility of Political Meritocracy in China, 2018

ISSN: 2352-1333
E-ISSN: 2352-1341

“Introduction to The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy,” by Daniel A. Bell, pp.: 1–5 (5)

“A Critical Discussion of Daniel A. Bell’s Political Meritocracy,” by Yushun Huang and Kathryn Henderson, pp.: 6–28 (23)

“Building a Modern Political Ecology and the Need to Demystify Political Meritocracy,” by Jingxi Liu and Anja Bihler, pp.: 29–48 (20) Continue reading

Xu Zhangrun essay

Here’s an essay by Xu Zhangrun 許章潤, “Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes” (我們當下的恐懼與期待), as translated and introduced by Geremie Barmé.

Barmé introduces the essay as follows:

Xu Zhangrun’s essay ‘Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes’ 我們當下的恐懼與期待, offers words of warning to China’s leaders, as well as a series of practical (although unimaginable) policy suggestions. Xu’s style is a heady admix of the most dense kind of writing combining the vernacular with the literary registers of written Chinese. Despite the sometimes knotty circumlocutions, it is an incisive, amusing and sarcasm-laden work. It does not spare its reader literary references, quotations from important traditional and modern works, the use of historical analogy, or indeed contemporary jokes and vulgarities.

Although the author’s message is clear, his layered and nuanced prose may well be overlooked by the careless reader or dismissed by those ignorant of Chinese discourse as mere affectation, nothing more than an effort to appeal to sanctified tradition, a kind of pedantic footnoting or a flashy display of scholarship. However, for those familiar with modern Chinese prose more generally, such devices are par for the course. This kind of literary-historical-intellectual 文史哲 usage adds both literary validation and strength to prose that appeals both to the heart and the mind of the Chinese world. Merely to mine this kind of writing for transient and ill-conceived political purposes, or to fail to appreciate the broader cultural, social and political ambience that it reflects — one far beyond the limited purview of the Communists and their immediate critics — is to overlook an essential part of Chinese cultural expression.

Xu’s original article may be found via this link:

Interview with Christopher Rea

Before Crazy Rich Asians, which opens today, there were the Chinese celebrities in the 1930’s. In his latest book Imperfect Understanding: Intimate Portraits of Modern Chinese Celebrities, Professor Christopher Rea (University of British Columbia) takes us into the world of Chinese elites and what they had to say about each other. Louise Edwards, Scientia Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales, hails Professor Rea’s latest book as “satirical, witty, and compulsive reading.”

So, what did it mean to be a celebrity in modern China? In Imperfect Understanding, Christopher Rea presents fifty brilliant pen sketches of Chinese cultural and political elites, written and edited in 1934 by Wen Yuan-ning, a Cambridge-educated ethnic Hakka from Indonesia and a master literary stylist. In this interview, Christopher Rea discusses whatImperfect Understanding reveals about the politics fame in China, then and now. Continue reading

International Journal of Chinese Education 7.1

International Journal of Chinese Education 7.1

The latest issue of International Journal of Chinese Education now available! Below, please find the table of contents and see the link for more information:

Volume 7, Navigating Higher Education to Enhance Student Success, 2018

ISSN: 2212-585X
E-ISSN: 2212-5868

“Navigating Higher Education to Enhance Student Success,” by Hamish Coates, pp.: 1–5 (5)

“Student Success as a Social Problem,” by Brendan Cantwell, pp.: 6–21 (16)

“International Student Success: A Multilevel Perspective on Factors That Contribute to the Success and Quality of the Experience Abroad,” by Umesha Weerakkody and Emeline Jerez, pp.: 22–41 (20)

“Engaging Students as Participants and Partners: An Argument for Partnership with Students in Higher Education Research on Student Success,” by Kelly E. Matthews, pp.: 42–64 (23) Continue reading

The China Nonprofit Review 10.1

The China Nonprofit Review 10.1

The latest issue of The China Nonprofit Review now available! Below, please find the table of contents and see the link for more information:

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2018
ISSN: 1876-5092
E-ISSN: 1876-5149

Research Article

“A Study of Social Think Tanks in China: Dilemma, Trends and Breakthroughs,” by Dong Wang, pp.: 1–33 (33)

“Investigation into Funding Strategies of Social Enterprises,” by Shengfen Zheng, pp.: 34–61 (28)

“A Literature Review on the Publicness of Chinese Social Organizations,”by Yina Geng, pp.: 62–107 (46) Continue reading

Journal of Chinese Cinemas 12.2

Issue 12.2 of Journal of Chinese Cinemas is out!

We are glad to announce that the latest issue of Journal of Chinese Cinemas has just been published online. The print edition will follow shortly. Special thanks to Xinyu Dong and Jonathan Rosenbaum for editing this special issue, titled “Comedy Mutations”! This is also the first of a number of special issues in which the journal collaborates with non-China film scholars, in this case the eminent critic and cinephile Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Yomi Braester and Weihong Bao, editors-in-chief

Table of Contents:
Editorial – Xinyu Dong and Jonathan Rosenbaum
“Eulogistic Comedy as Domestic Soft Power: Biopolitical Self-Fashioning in It’s My Day Off (1959),” by Yingjin Zhang
“Two fools: Comedy as Dialectical Tension in Mid-Century Chinese Cinemas,” by Evelyn Shih
A Chinese Ghost Story : A Hong Kong Comedy Film’s Cult Following in Mainland China,” by Hongjian Wang
“Black Comedy Films in Postsocialist China: Case study of Ning Hao’s Crazy Series,” by Hui Liu
“Taiwanese Comedies under the Shadow of the Chinese Market,” by James Udden
“Comedy mutations: a dialogue,” by Xinyu Dong and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Posted by: Yomi Braester <>

JOSA special issue on Asian women

I would like to announce the publication of a special issue on Asian women: JOSA (Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia) no. 49 – Women in Asian Society and Culture, guest edited by Lily Xiao Hong Lee and Sue Wiles. It contains thirteen articles by authors from Asia, Europe, America and Australia and period covered ranges from third century BCE to the twentieth century. For more details, see:

All the best,
Lily Xiao Hong Lee (Dr.)
Honorary Associate
University of Sydney

“The Metaphor Detox Centre” excerpt

Source: (8/5/18)
Dystopia with Chinese Characteristics: An Excerpt from Sheng Keyi’s “The Metaphor Detox Centre”

Journalist Yao Minzhu became acquainted with a few fellow patients at the centre. Like them, she’d heard of shelters, treatment centres for drug addiction, mental health clinics and so on, but only once she was dispatched to the Metaphor Detox Centre did she learn of its existence. She read the following introduction on the wall of the centre’s reception hall:

As a society’s level of civilization progresses, new illnesses will always emerge to threaten the physical and mental health of the people. The Metaphor Malady is one such disease. It is a form of mental illness, but one that does not entirely belong to the psychological domain. During its initial stage it is not easily detectable; in its middle stage it affects social stability; and in the latter stage involves descent into a manic state of which the patient is unaware. Its potential for contagion and harm is not inferior to a ton of dynamite placed within a crowd.

At present, newly diagnosed cases are growing at a rate of over fifty per cent, sufferers in the mid- or late-stage account for eight per cent of the total affected population, and the mortality rate is four per cent. The government has allocated specialists and funds to establish the Metaphor Detox Centre, which is devoted to servicing the afflicted. The great majority do recover, and relapses are rare. Since the Centre was established it has repeatedly won praise from the authorities.

(The Metaphor Detox Center, excerpted from Sheng Keyi’s new novel, 锦灰.  This passage translated from the Chinese by Bruce Humes. Foreign language rights agent: Andrew Nurnberg)

Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, no. 99

The latest issue of Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Vol. 99 is now available online at:


Was Jesus a Filial Son? Changes in the Discourse on Filial Piety in Chinese Christianity from Late Ming to Early Republican China
By Lu Miaw-fen

The Transformation of Mobilization: The Rectification of Leftist Tendencies in the Taihang Base Area
By Wang Longfei

[Research and Discussion]

Intellectual History and Modern History: Recent Trends in English-language Scholarship
By Fu Yang

[Book Reviews]

Fan Guangxin, Confucian Canonical Scholarship as Arts of Governance—Jingshi Ideal among Late Qing Neo-Confucian Moral Philosophers of Hunan, Reviewed by Chiu Wenhao

Posted by: Jhih-Hong Jheng

Changpian no. 20

长篇 // Changpian // Longform

Welcome to the 20th edition of Changpian, a selection of feature and opinion writing in Chinese. With other resources devoted to the many interesting sound bites from Chinese social media, this newsletter focuses instead on some of the wealth of longer writing that is produced in Chinese, both in traditional news media and on platforms like WeChat. Changpian includes any nonfiction writing, from stories and investigations to interviews and blog posts, that I found worth my time – and that you might like as well. It aims to be relevant to an understanding of Chinese society today, covering topics in and outside the news cycle. The selection is put together by me, Tabitha Speelman, a Dutch journalist and researcher currently based in Leiden, The Netherlands. Feedback is very welcome ( or @tabithaspeelman). Back issues can be found here.

Lots of writing to choose from this month. Thanks for reading. Changpian will skip an issue and be back in October.

干货// Ganhuo // Dry Goods

In this section, I highlight any (loose) themes that stood out in my recent reading.

The on-going small explosion of Chinese writing on #MeToo and gender issues follows a new, large wave of sexual harassment accusations within higher education, civil society and the media. Many note the debate is surprisingly diverse and worthwhile. A couple of articles that stood out to me (and that I saw working links to):

An Initium piece in which several women involved in exposing harassment at 中山大学in Guangzhou explain their careful activism (see here for a WeChat version) predates this past week’s media storm. The women respond to gender studies scholar Huang Yingying, who wrote a more cautious piece on the movement for a policy journal calling for a ‘localized’ definition of sexual harassment. Continue reading