Imagining Female Heroism

List members might be interested in the recent publication of “Imagining Female Heroism: Three Tales of the Female Knight-Errant in Republican China,” by Iris Ma, in Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review. The article can be accessed via the URL below:


Invented largely for urban audiences and widely circulated across multiple media, the image of the female knight-errant attracted unprecedented attention among writers, readers, publishers, and officials in the first half of the twentieth century. This article focuses on three best-selling martial arts tales published in Republican China (1912–1949), paying particular attention to their martial heroines. It also explores what granted the female knight-errant character such enduring popularity and how the writers—Xiang Kairan, Gu Mingdao, and Wang Dulu—garnered the interest of their readers. As the author points out, martial arts novelists drew on a long and rich genre repertoire formulated before 1911 while taking into consideration contemporary debates regarding gender, thereby maintaining the female knight-errant figure as a relevant and compelling construct. More importantly, the author argues, through portraying their martial heroines in relation to family, courtship, and female subjectivity, martial arts novelists resisted the prevailing discourse on Chinese womanhood of their times while imagining female heroism.


Liao Yiwu’s Prison Poetry published

I’d like to announce the publication of my translation of Liao Yiwu’s collection of prison poetry and other writings as Love Songs from the Gulags on June 4, 2019, in London, UK, by Barque Press:

Excerpts from the launch, including poetry readings by Liao Yiwu, can be viewed here:

Michael Martin Day (

New translation of Yecao

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new translation of Lu Xun’s Weeds (野草), the first in English since the Yangs’ monumental translation, by poet and translator Matt Turner. Featuring an introduction my professor Nick Admussen, and woodcuts by the artist Monika Lin. Seaweed Salad Editions, a small press in Shanghai, is the publisher.

The book is available from Small Press Distribution or through the publisher’s website.

No one here needs an introduction to the work of Lu Xun, but here are what some people had to say about the translation:

Weird syntactical swerves, psychological scratch loops, and rocket trajectories characterize these poems. Certainly, they never yield to Western Modernism’s economies. Instead, Lu Xun’s oneiric imagery is ever chocked and gusty; unexpected pronouns pop up like masked faces at a window. It would take a poet-translator as deft, daring, and refractory as Matt Turner to take on the sarcasm, playfulness, mystery, and aggressive invention of these poems in Chinese. If ever the worms of boredom have settled into your heart, this is the book that will draw them out, unthread them through your pores, and leave them to dangle until “they squint at each other and, slowly, slowly, scatter.” Continue reading

Tiananmen 30 Years On

Announcing the June/July issue of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, the “Tiananmen Thirty Years On” feature, edited by Tammy Lai-Ming Ho and Lucas Klein, along with a special feature of poems by and in mourning of Meng Lang 孟浪.

The following CONTRIBUTORS have generously allowed us to showcase their work:

Tammy Lai-Ming Ho, Gregory Lee, Ding Zilin (translated by Kevin Carrico), Andréa Worden, Shuyu Kong (with translations of poems by Colin Hawes), Ai Li Ke, Anna Wang, and Sara Tung

Bei Dao (translated by Eliot Weinberger), Duo Duo (translated by Lucas Klein), Liu Xiaobo (translated by Ming Di), Xi Chuan (translated by Lucas Klein), Yang Lian (translated by Brian Holton), Xi Xi (translated by Jennifer Feeley), Meng Lang (translated by Anne Henochowicz), Lin Zhao (translated by Chris Song), Liu Waitong (translated by Lucas Klein), Chan Lai Kuen (translated by Jennifer Feeley), Mei Kwan Ng (translated by the author), Yibing Huang (translated by the author), Ming Di (translated by the author), Anthony Tao, Aiden Heung, Kate Rogers, Ken Chau, Ilaria Maria Sala, Ian Heffernan, Reid Mitchell, Lorenzo Andolfatto, Joseph T. Salazar Continue reading

Afterlives of Chinese Communism

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to announce the release of Afterlives of Chinese Communism, a volume that includes essays from over 50 scholars from different disciplines and continents. Without any pretense to exhaust such a broad subject, the book aims to provide a guide for understanding how the intellectual legacies of the Mao era shape Chinese politics today.

Each chapter discusses a concept or practice from the Mao era, what it meant in its historical context, and what has become of it since. The authors respond to the legacy of Maoism each in their own way, considering the lessons we can learn from the communist era today, and whether there is a future for the egalitarian politics that communism once promised.

The book is available for free download with ANU Press, but is also available for purchase in paperback from Verso Books. If you appreciate the initiative and wish to show your support for this kind of innovative publishing model, please consider buying a copy.

The Editors, Ivan Franceschini (, Christian Sorace, and Nicholas Loubere

Vol. 31, no. 1 of MCLC

MCLC is pleased to announce the imminent publication of vol. 31, number 1 (Spring 2019). Find the table of contents, with links to abstracts, below. If you subscribe to MCLC, you should be receiving your copy in the next few weeks. For those of you who don’t subscribe, isn’t it time? Keep in mind that back issues of the journal are available through JStor, but with a two-year lag. If you would like to subscribe or order a single copy of this issue, please contact Mario De Grandis (

Kirk Denton, editor


The Nuoso Book of Origins

The Nuosu Book of Origins: A Creation Epic from Southwest China
TRANSLATED BY MARK BENDER AND AKU WUWU FROM A TRANSCRIPTION BY JJIVOT ZOPQU (University of Washington Press, 2010). 296 pp., 17 bandw illus., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
$30.00S PAPERBACK (9780295745695)
$95.00X HARDCOVER (9780295745688)

The Nuosu people, who were once overlords of vast tracts of farmland and forest in the uplands of southern Sichuan and neighboring provinces, are the largest division of the Yi ethnic group in southwest China. Their creation epic plots the origins of the cosmos, the sky and earth, and the living beings of land and water. This translation is a rare example in English of Indigenous ethnic literature from China. Continue reading

Ming-Qing Studies 2020–cfp

Call for Papers
Ming Qing Studies 2020
edited by Paolo Santangelo (Sapienza University of Rome)

We are glad to inform you that the new edition of Ming Qing Studies 2019 will be published by WriteUp Site before the end of the year (see table of contents below).

Applicants are encouraged to submit abstracts for the next issues of Ming Qing Studies. The contributions should concern Ming-Qing China in one or few of its most significant and multifaceted aspects, as well as on East Asian countries covering the same time period. All articles will be examined by our qualified peer reviewers. We welcome creative and fresh approaches to the field of Asian studies. Particularly appreciated will be the contributions on anthropological and social history, collective imagery, and interdisciplinary approaches to the Asian cultural studies. All submitted papers must be original and in good British English style according to our guidelines and editorial rules. Please email an abstract (300-500 words, plus a basic bibliography) in MS Word or pdf attachments along with your biographical information to the addresses listed below. Please mention your full name with academic title, university affiliation, department or home institution, title of paper and contact details in your email. Continue reading

Almost Island special issue

Welcome to Issue 19 of Almost Island:

This issue continues our dialogue with leading Chinese poets and novelists, ongoing since 2009. The dialogue was begun by Chinese poet Bei Dao and Indian novelist and poet Sharmistha Mohanty. The most recent meeting between Indian and Chinese writers, curated by Almost Island and the Chinese journal Jintian, took place in October 2018 in Hong Kong and Hangzhou.

Scholar Lydia H. Liu, in her essay The Gift of a Living Past, a tribute to Ashis Nandy, which we publish here, says:

“Confucius traveled from state to state—across many warring states before the unification in BCE 221—offering advice to the heads of states and attempting to counsel them, but everywhere he went, Confucius’s ideas were met with indifference and rejection. With his noble aspirations getting nowhere, Confucius gained the reputation of a homeless dog. The astonishing thing is that not only did the Master not mind being called homeless dog but he found the epithet to be a suitable description of his plight.I suspect that the story tells us something interesting about the defeat and survival of rootless intellectuals, and this story is the polar opposite of what you get from the official discourse of Confucianism in China. Continue reading

One-way Street Magazine

Source: NeoCha (5/22/19)
Reading the World
By Allen Young

Four times a year, a compact paperback with a simple cover hits Chinese bookstores, its pages filled with essays, notes, interviews, long-form nonfiction, book reviews, poetry and short stories by some of the most spirited voices from China and abroad. One-Way Street Magazine, as the quarterly is known in English—the Chinese name Dandu name might be translated as “independent reading” or “reading alone”—is a journal that thinks books and ideas are worth arguing about, and for the past ten years it’s created a small but vital space for intellectual debate. Highbrow but unpretentious, it’s a platform for opinions, articles of faith, and moments of doubt—in short, a public conversation about cultural life.

Printed on the cover of every issue is the journal’s English motto, “We read the world,” while underneath a line in Chinese adds: “A source for worldwide youth thought.” One-Way Street aims to put writers from around the globe in dialogue with their Chinese counterparts. “We’re a journal that grew out of a bookstore, and reading has always been our primary vehicle for knowledge,” says Wu Qi, the editor-in-chief. “And in a globalized age, we want the object of that knowledge to be the entire world.” Each issue ends with a handful of capsule reviews of new and noteworthy titles that haven’t yet appeared in Chinese. Recently they’ve covered books by Martha Nussbaum, Rachel Cusk, Timothy Snyder, and Teju Cole, among many others, and though there’s a distinct Anglophone bias, this section epitomizes the journal’s mission: to read deep and wide and to respond in a reflective, critical spirit.

Continue reading

Silk Gauze Audio books

Rickshaw Boy now available as an audiobook

New audiobook imprint, Silk Gauze Audio, has published an audiobook of Rickshaw Boy by Lao She. The Howard Goldblatt translation of Camel Xiangzi (骆驼祥子) is narrated by Jason Wong. An accompanying ebook contains a glossary of all the text’s Chinese names in characters/pinyin and new annotations. More details can be found here:

Recordings of two Lao She short stories, translated by Don J Cohn, are also currently available for free on the imprint website:

Silk Gauze Audio specialises in English translations of modern Chinese fiction. Its website aids discovery and access to titles in print and audio. Designed principally for people less familiar with China, the site and titles are also intended as an entertaining resource for China scholars past and present. The catalogue will build slowly with more titles planned for release over the summer. Focus for the first year is on early modern fiction (1919-1949). In year two, later modern and contemporary titles will be presented. Continue reading

Wu Tianming and Chinese Cinema–cfp

For possible publication in Sino-American Journal of American Comparative Literature《中美比较文学》
Wu Tianming and Chinese Cinema
Abstract submissions are due June 7th

In the history of Chinese cinema, Wu Tianming 吴天明 (1939.10.19- 2014.3.4) stands as remarkably distinctive and original. What is particularly notable about his work is the way he works back and forth across the divide between tradition and modernity to pose the questions that continue to shape Chinese cinema today. Although his work has provoked a considerable amount of scholarship, there is no comprehensive treatment of his complete works in a single place.

The Chinese film collection and the Confucius Institute at the University of South Carolina will organize the 10thAnnual International Conference on Chinese Cinema in Orlando, FL on Oct 3rd-6th, 2019, with a focus on “Chinese Cinema and World Cinema”. This will provide a platform for critics to rethink Wu Tianming’s legacy in relation to the development of Chinese cinema and in the context of world cinema. Discussions on Wu Tianming and his films will be organized into panel(s) at the conference, and then selected for publication as a special collection on the bilingual Sino-American Journal of American Comparative Literature journal published by the China Social Sciences Press. Continue reading

Blood Letters of a Martyr

Source: LARB, China Channel (5/19/19)
Blood Letters of a Martyr
By Ting Guo
Ting Guo talks to Lian Xi about his new biography of Lin Zhao

On May 31, 1965, 33-year-old Lin Zhao was tried in Shanghai and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. She was charged as the lead member of a counter-revolutionary clique that had published an underground journal decrying communist misrule and Mao’s Great Leap Forward, a collectivization campaign that caused an unprecedented famine and claimed at least 36 million lives between 1959 and 1961.

“This is a shameful ruling!” Lin Zhao wrote on the back of the verdict the next day, in her own blood. Three years later, she was executed by firing squad under specific instructions from Chairman Mao himself.

Lin Zhao’s father committed suicide a month after Lin’s arrest, and her mother died a while  after her execution. In Shanghai, where I grew up and where Lin was tried, imprisoned and killed, the story (the sort told only in private) goes that Lin’s mother was asked to pay for the bullets that killed her daughter. It is also said (in private) that in the years that followed, at the Bund, the former International Settlement on the Huangpu River, one could see Lin’s mother crying and asking for Lin’s return. Continue reading

Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, no. 103

The latest issue of Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Vol. 103 is now available online at:


Mysteries over the “Famous Thirteenth Article”: Controversies Arising from the Supplementary Treaty Signed by China and Britain in 1843
By Lawrence Wang-chi Wong

Gentry Power and Trust Crisis in Late Qing Jiangnan: A Case Study of Changshu
By Xiaoxiang Luo

Qian Mu’s Road to Academia Sinica Academician
By Chi-shing Chak

[Book Reviews]

Yu Miin-ling, Shaping the New Man: Chinese Communist Party Propaganda and the Soviet Experience, Reviewed by Mao Sheng

Posted by: Jhih-hong Jheng <>