Poetry in the Age of Global Media

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce the publication of my book Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media, which is just out from Columbia University Press. I am extremely grateful to the MCLC scholarly community for helping make the book a reality.

Make It the Same explores how poetry—an art form associated with the singular, inimitable utterance—is increasingly made from other texts through sampling, appropriation, translation, remediation, performance, and other forms of repetition.

Two chapters deal primarily with poetry in Chinese, including work by Yi Sha 伊沙, Hsia Yü 夏宇, and Yang Lian 楊煉. The book as a whole offers a novel account of modern and contemporary literature that is of relevance to scholars of Chinese literature and culture. It shows how modernist and contemporary literature is defined not by innovation—as in Ezra Pound’s oft-repeated slogan “make it new”—but by a system of continuous copying. In Make It the Same, I argue that the old hierarchies of original and derivative, center and periphery are overturned when we recognize copying as the engine of literary change.

For more information on the book, see https://cup.columbia.edu/book/make-it-the-same/9780231190022, where you can use the code CUP30 to receive a 30% discount. Though the book is a bit pricy at present, I hope you might consider ordering it for your institution’s library.

Warmest wishes,
Jacob Edmond

Out now: Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, July 2019)

Alai’s In the Cloud

Source: News China (Sept. 2019)
Requiem on the Ruins
By Liu Yuanhang

Book launch for In the Cloud, May 25, 2019

In his latest novel In the Cloud, award-winning ethnic Tibetan writer Alai breaks his decade-long silence on his experience with death during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. In an interview with NewsChina, Alai discusses past trauma, his literary transformations and social challenges to come

Alai was working on his mythological novel The King of Gesar at his home in Chengdu, Sichuan Province when the ground violently trembled under his feet.

“At that moment I was writing about the fury of the gods, who make the entire world quiver in fear. It took me a few seconds to judge whether the violent quake was real or my imagination. I felt the tremor instantly spring up from the ground to my desk and it almost flung me to the floor. Then I realized it was not from my hallucination. It was a real earthquake,” reads the preface of In the Cloud, Alai’s latest book released on April 30. Continue reading

Revisiting Liaozhai zhiyi

I am glad to announce the publication of the first issue of Ming Qing Studies. Monographs:

Revisiting Liaozhai zhiyi 聊齋誌異  



This book is the first of a series of volumes that accompany the annual publication of Ming Qing Studies. The series will publish a volume for each issue, and this is a supplement to MQS 2018. Every volume consists of a focused essay, or collects a few essays on the same topic. Mini-monographs, research reports, and occasional papers of length comprised between 20,000 and 60,000 words are also considered for publication. Monograph n. 1 is:

Revisiting Liaozhai zhiyi 聊齋誌異, by Paolo Santangelo Continue reading

Chinese Environmental Humanities

Hello, I am pleased to announce that the first Chinese Environmental Humanities anthology is finally out. I’d appreciate if you can recommend it to your librarian to purchase this book.

Here I’d like to thank all the scholars involved in this project: Profs. Joni Adamson, Scott Slovic, Kiu-wai Chu, Haomin Gong, Xinmin Liu, Dong Isbister, Ralph Litzinger, Jeffrey Nicolaissen, Xiumei Pu, Steve Roddy, Steve Rachman, Darryl Sterk, Christopher K Tong, Fan Yang, Winnie Yee, Runlei Zhai, 釋昭慧. Thanks for being part of this CEH family, it’s such an honor to work with all of you!

I also want to express my gratitude to the following scholars: Patrick D. Murphy, Masami Yuki, Serpil Oppermann, Karen L. Thornber, Sheldon Lu. Thank you for being part of the family as well. Finally, I am indebted to the editor-in-chief of Chinese Literature and Culture in the World Series (Palgrave), Ban Wang, for the invitation. It’s been a wonderful journey working with you and the Palgrave crew. Continue reading

“Teaching the PRC” PRC History Review 4.2

The PRC History Review
Volume 4, Number 2 (August 2019)
Special Issue: Teaching the PRC

The PRC History Group is very excited to announce the newest issue of The PRC History Review, which features a series of essays on teaching the PRC. An extra special thanks to our guest editors, Brian DeMare and Covell Meyskens, for all of their work on this issue, which also includes contributions from (in the order they appear) Rebecca Karl, Marc Matten, Emily Wilcox, Gail Hershatter, Ralph Thaxton, Kirk Denton, Denise Ho, Guobin Yang, Jeremy Brown, Stefan Landsberger, Elizabeth Perry, Eddy U, Sun Peidong, and Kaiser Kuo!

The issue is available online here: Special Issue: Teaching the PRC. Table of Contents appears below.

Fabio Lanza <flanza@email.arizona.edu>

Editorial Introduction
Brian DeMare, Tulane University and Covell Meyskens, Naval Postgraduate School

Why Mao? Why Now? A Brief Essay on Pedagogy and Possibility
Rebecca E. Karl, New York University Continue reading

My Mountain Country

Ye Lijun’s My Mountain Country
Translated from the Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Foreword by Christopher Merrill

Contemporary Chinese poet Ye Lijun’s My Mountain Country in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s translation, with a foreword by Christopher Merrill and an essay by the poet-translator, is just published by World Poetry Books.

Read some poems here and here. To order: SPD (pre-order: Amazon)

In this remarkable English debut, award-winning Chinese contemporary poet Ye Lijun offers readers a lyrical diorama of nature and the inner world. By turns intimate and profound, Ye’s poems in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s masterful translations make music of everyday silences, and illuminate the invisible openings in our lives. In this vital collection by one of China’s essential literary voices, each encounter is an invitation, wherein a village, a nest, a telescope, or a book proves to be a transient guide to the unknown.


CFP (General Issues) – Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature
// Seeking Contributions for General Issues //

A general issue appears in March, and its submission deadline is April 1 of the preceding year.

If you have any questions regarding your submission, please send email to prism@ln.edu.hk.

Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature presents cutting-edge research on modern literary production, dissemination, and reception in China and beyond. It also publishes works that study the shaping influence of traditional literature and culture on modern and contemporary China. Prism actively promotes scholarly investigations from interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives, and it encourages integration of theoretical inquiry with empirical research. The journal strives to foster in-depth dialogues between Western and Chinese literary theories that illuminate both the unique features of each interlocutor and their shared insights into issues of universal interest. Prism is a new incarnation of Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese (JMLC), founded in 1997 by the Centre for Humanities Research of Lingnan University. For submission guidelines and a more detailed description of Prism, visit prism-journal.org. Continue reading

Maoist Laughter

Dear friends,

We are pleased to announce the publication of Maoist Laughter coedited by Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath. The book is now available from Hong Kong University Press (https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/1731.php).

[From the back cover] During the Mao years, laughter in China was serious business. Simultaneously an outlet for frustrations and grievances, a vehicle for socialist education, and an object of official study, laughter brought together the political, the personal, the aesthetic, the ethical, the affective, the physical, the aural, and the visual. The ten essays in Maoist Laughter convincingly demonstrate that the connection between laughter and political culture was far more complex than conventional conceptions of communist indoctrination can explain. Their sophisticated readings of a variety of genres—including dance, cartoon, children’s literature, comedy, regional oral performance, film, and fiction—uncover many nuanced innovations and experiments with laughter during what has been too often misinterpreted as an unrelentingly bleak period. In Mao’s China, laughter helped to regulate both political and popular culture and often served as an indicator of shifting values, alliances, and political campaigns. In exploring this phenomenon, Maoist Laughter is a significant correction to conventional depictions of socialist China.

You can preview the introduction “The Study of Laughter in the Mao Era” by Ping Zhu and Chapter 8 “The Revolutionary Metapragmatics of Laughter in Zhao Shulin’s Fiction” by Roy Chan on the HKUP website (https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/con/1731.pdf).

Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History no. 104

Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, no. 104

The latest issue of Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Vol. 104 is now available online at: http://www.mh.sinica.edu.tw/bulletins.aspx



When Direct Governance Encounters Frontier Customs: Institutions, Miao Customs and “Miao Bandits” in the Miao Frontier of Western Hunan from the Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
By Xiaohui Xie

Medical Treatment, Law and Local Society: A Re-exmination of the “Liu Liang Medical Case” in the Republic of China
By Ji Ling-hui

The Guomindang’s Provincial Party Headquarters in Shanxi: A Study of Organization and Personnel, 1938-1944
By Liang Xinlei

[Book Reviews]

Chao Shu-kang, Sparks and Incense: The Chinese Communist State Structure in Mass Culture and Local History, Reviewed by Wu Zhe

Posted by: Jhih-hong Jheng bimhas60@gmail.com

Made in China 4.2: Under Construction

Dear Colleagues,

I am glad to announce the publication of the latest issue of the Made in China Journal. You can download the pdf for free at this link: https://madeinchinajournal.com/2019/07/25/under-construction-visions-of-chinese-infrastructures.

Below you can find the editorial:
Under Construction: Visions of Chinese Infrastructure

We shall sing the great masses shaken with work, pleasure, or rebellion: we shall sing the multicolored and polyphonic tidal waves of revolution in the modern metropolis; shall sing the vibrating nocturnal fervor of factories and shipyards burning under violent electrical moons; bloated railroad stations that devour smoking serpents; factories hanging from the sky by the twisting threads of spiraling smoke; bridges like gigantic gymnasts who span rivers, flashing at the sun with the gleam of a knife; adventurous steamships that scent the horizon, locomotives with their swollen chest, pawing the tracks like massive steel horses bridled with pipes, and the oscillating flight of airplanes, whose propeller flaps at the wind like a flag and seems to applaud like a delirious crowd.’ Continue reading

Land Wars

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announce the publication of my new book Land Wars: The Story of China’s Agrarian Revolution. The book is now available for purchase from Stanford University Press at https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30630.

Land Wars draws on new archival sources, but also on vivid narrative accounts of rural revolution from Ding Ling, Eileen Chang, and William Hinton. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with the connections between narrative and history.

From the back cover:

Mao Zedong’s land reform campaigns comprise a critical moment in modern Chinese history, and were crucial to the rise of the CCP. In Land Wars, Brian DeMare draws on new archival research to offer an updated and comprehensive history of this attempt to fundamentally transform the countryside. Across this vast terrain loyal Maoists dispersed, intending to categorize poor farmers into prescribed social classes, and instigate a revolution that would redistribute the land. To achieve socialist utopia, the Communists imposed and performed a harsh script of peasant liberation through fierce class struggle. While many accounts of the campaigns give false credence to this narrative, DeMare argues that the reality was much more complex and brutal than is commonly understood—while many villagers prospered, there were families torn apart and countless deaths. Uniquely weaving narrative and historical accounts, DeMare powerfully highlights the often devastating role of fiction in determining history. This corrective retelling ultimately sheds new light on the contemporary legacy of land reform, a legacy fraught with inequality and resentment, but also hope.

Brian DeMare <bdemare@tulane.edu>

Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 6.1

I am pleased to share “Emotion and Visuality in Chinese Literature and Culture”, the newest issue of the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (6:1), edited by Zong-qi Cai and Shengqing Wu.

The new issue is now available in print and online. Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, made freely available, here: https://read.dukeupress.edu/jclc/issue/6/1

Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 
Volume 6 Issue 1    April 2019
Special Issue Emotion and Visuality in Chinese Literature and Culture

Table of Contents

Emotion, Patterning, and Visuality in Chinese Literary Thought and Beyond

Su Shi Renders No Emotion

The Emotive Object in Medieval China
JEFFREY MOSER Continue reading

Which Classic?

MCLC Resource Center is pleased announce publication of Yichun Xu and Frederick Bowman’s translation of the first chapter of Which Classic? (何典), by Zhang Nanzhuang 張南莊.

Which Classic? is a ten-chapter comic novella written in the traditional linked-chapter form. Circulated in manuscript form for several decades, it was first published by Shenbao Guan in 1878 and remained an obscure book until it was rediscovered by May Fourth scholars, such as Liu Bannong 劉半農, Lu Xun 魯迅, and Wu Zhihui 吳稚暉, who recognized it as one of the earliest extant novels to make extensive use of Wu-dialect vocabulary. Which Classic? is composed in a peculiar hybrid language that makes use of Wu vernacular vocabulary, classical Chinese, and plain Chinese (白話文). Its heterogeneous language is the source of much of the novella’s humor. Frequently a given phrase will have one meaning when read as plain Chinese but another when read in Wu vernacular. This implied second reading is often silly or obscene and serves to add to the irreverent and tongue-in-cheek tone of the work as a whole. In this translation of the first chapter of Which Classic?, the translators have attempted to convey these multiple linguistic levels as often as possible, but such plays on words are, of course, a particular challenge to the translator. The translators are working on a rendering of the entire novella.

The translation can be accessed here: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/which-classic/


Kirk Denton, editor

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw5mwW8X5AQ

Michael Martin Day (mday@nu.edu)