Chinoperl 36.1

CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature No. 36.1 (July 2017)
Special Issue: Chinese Opera, Xiqu, and New Media, 1890s-1950s
Edited by XU Peng and Margaret Wan

To access abstracts and download the essays, link here:



Hearing the Opera: “Teahouse Mimesis” and the Aesthetics of Noise in Early Jingju Recordings, 1890s-1910s XU PENG

Qi Rushan, Gewu (Song-and-Dance), and a History of Contemporary Peking Opera in Early Twentieth-Century China HSIAO-CHUN WU

Locating Theatricality on Stage and Screen: Rescuing Performance Practice and the Phenomenon of Fifteen Strings of Cash (Shiwu guan, 1956) ANNE REBULL Continue reading

Encyclopedia of ethnic groups

Source: China Daily (8/4/17)
China publishes first encyclopedia of ethnic groups
By Xinhua

China publishes first encyclopedia of ethnic groups

The first encyclopedia of China’s 56 ethnic groups. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has published its first encyclopedia of its 56 ethnic groups.

The 15-volume encyclopedia has more than 45,000 entries and 6,400 color images. It deals mainly with the history, politics, military, religions and customs of the ethnic groups.

The Han ethnic group makes up around 91 percent of the total population, according to the 2010 census.

Some 1,000 researchers have been involved in compiling the encyclopedia since 1997, according to the editor-in-chief Li Dezhu.

Late ethnologist Fei Xiaotong, also honorary editor-in-chief, said in the foreword that the book will open a window for the world to understand China’s ethnic groups.

Fei passed away in 2005.

Book on first students to study in US after CR

Source: Global Times (7/11/17)
First group of Chinese mainland students to study in US after Cultural Revolution talk about their experiences in recent book
By Li Jingjing

Eleven members of the first group of 52 students sent to the US in 1978 pose for a picture in 2009. Photo: Courtesy of Qian Jiang

While it may be a common sight to run into a student from the Chinese mainland at universities around the world today – more than half a million students from China went abroad for educational purposes in 2016 – a little more than 40 years ago you would be hard-pressed to find a single one. That all changed in 1978, when top Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made the decision after the end of Cultural Revolution (1967-77) to send out a large number of students to study abroad. Deng felt that this move would be a vital part of China’s reform and opening-up. Continue reading

Remember Little, Forget More

Source: China Daily (7/27/17)
Woman writer from Xinjiang features her life in new book
By Li Hongrui

Woman writer from Xinjiang features her life in new book

Remember Little, Forget More. [Photo/]

Li Juan, a Xinjiang-based writer born in the 1970s, has won wide acclaim for her prose featuring Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region since she wrote for a newspaper.

Having published eight books, she saw her latest work published recently after five years of break.

The new book, Remember Little, Forget More (Ji Yi Wang San Er), is a collection of prose about her life, especially her childhood in Xinjiang.

Although born in a small town in Xinjiang, Li is the child of immigrants from Sichuan province. She also once stayed in Sichuan for some time when she was young. Continue reading

On Monster Hunt as an Ecological Fable

Source: Association for Chinese Animation Studies (ACAS) (June 28, 2017)
Monsters to Die For: On Monster Hunt as a Ecological Fable
By Haiyan Lee

The 2015 animated feature film Monster Hunt (Zhuoyao ji) is a popcorn caper served up by a mainland-Hong Kong coproduction team led by director Raman Hui who cleverly meld the nonsensical (moleitau) conventions of Hong Kong cinema with state-of-the-art CGI technologies. It also rehashes the well-worn Hollywood motif of a bumbling everyman turned reluctant superhero. The film seems to have touched a chord with Chinese audiences: it broke numerous box office records and became the highest-grossing domestic film (though this reputation was disputed). Here, I propose to read the film as an allegory that packs a none-so-subtle ecological message: that we can learn to live with others, human as well as non-human, so long as we are imaginative enough to imagine the impossible. Continue reading

LARB China Channel

Dear MCLCers,

The Los Angeles Review of Books will launch its new China Channel this fall. The China Channel will host a broad range of writing and multimedia about China and the Sinophone world, with an emphasis on literature and culture, and will be accessible to a general audience.

As a commissioning editor, I invite you to pitch and submit essays, book reviews, and multimedia content. Please send your ideas and work to

Feel free to email me as well at I look forward to reading/seeing/hearing your submissions. Continue reading

Cross-Currents no. 23

New China-Related Content: Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review (June 2017 open-access online issue)


The Local in the Imperial Vision: Landscape, Topography, and Geography in Southern Song Map Guides and Gazetteers
Fan Lin (Leiden University)

Book Reviews:

Such Stuff as Qing Borderlands are Made On
David A. Bello, Washington and Lee University

Kwangmin Kim. Borderland Capitalism: Turkestan Produce, Qing Silver, and the Birth of an Eastern Market. Stanford, 2016.
Jonathan Schlesinger. A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule. Stanford, 2017. Continue reading

Bulletin of Institute of Modern History 95

Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, no. 95 [Special Issue]

The latest issue of Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Vol. 95 is now available online at:

Special Issue on Urban Guidebooks and Representations of Space


Spatial Features of Temple Destruction Campaigns in Modern Chinese Cities
By Paul R. Katz

The City and the Seaside: Constructing Leisure Culture and Space at Beidaihe, 1890s-1930s
By Poon Shuk-wah

City Guidebooks and the Spatial Transformation of Modern Qingdao
By Ma Shuhua‧Zhao Chengguo Continue reading

Made in China 2.2

Dear Colleagues

I am glad to announce the publication of the latest issue of Made in China, the open access quarterly on Chinese labour and civil society supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World, the Australian National University. You can download the pdf for free and subscribe at this link: Below you can find the editorial of the new issue:

The Good Earth

In June, the government of the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Accords, severely undermining the global effort to contain climate change. Since then, China has entered the fray, attempting to portray itself as a world leader on environmental issues. Considering that China is currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, this development might appear paradoxical. Nevertheless, in recent years the Chinese authorities have become increasingly concerned with the toll that environmental catastrophes are taking on the health of the country’s citizens, as this has the potential to spark unrest that could negatively affect governmental legitimacy. The ‘airpocalypses’ that have hit major Chinese cities and the ‘cancer villages’, where disease has spread due to soil and water pollution caused by industries, are just two instances of major environmental scandals that have made the headlines in China over the years. It is in light of this crisis—and also in an attempt to capitalise on environmental protection economically—that the Chinese leadership has been pushing forward ambitious plans for ‘environmental rejuvenation’, which include new policies and massive investments in renewable energies. Continue reading

Return of the show trial

My new publication on the Stalinist show trial, including as revived and adapted for our times, in China:

The Return of the Show Trial: China’s Televised “Confessions,” Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Volume 15, Issue 13, Number 1. (June 25, 2017). Now online at:

–ps. Today I also published an article in a Swedish paper, sparring with a Swedish government minister who is right now in China, to seal export deals. The Prime Minister who leads that delegation has said, yesterday, that he has “brought up” the case of our kidnapped citizen Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong-based publisher and bookstore owner, who has been held without trial since he was abducted from Thailand(!) in October 2015.

My article is in Swedish: “Kan Sverige låtsas ha relationer med Kina som om inget hänt?” Magnus Fiskesjö. Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten, Aktuella frågor. 27 juni 2017 04:00am.

–Our hopes are that the Swedish delegation now in China can bring home our citizen on their plane, which takes off tomorrow.

Magnus Fiskesjö

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 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:

Kirk Denton, editor

Volume 29, Number 1 (Spring 2017)


Book of Xi’s anecdotes

Source: China Daily (6/16/17)
Book of Xi’s anecdotes a best-seller
Volume presents stories president has used in speeches and articles
By LI XIAOKUN | China Daily

Book of Xi's anecdotes a best-seller

The cover of Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping

A new look at President Xi Jinping’s style and thoughts about China will open a fresh window on his leadership as a book of anecdotes and sayings he has mentioned in his speeches and articles is already gaining widespread interest from bookstores and the public just days after publication.

The book, Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping, is also winning over literary critics with its informal look on the challenges facing 21st century leadership.

“President Xi Jinping’s public speaking style has two characteristics — it is highly persuasive and has a strong cultural appeal. Reading this book, I’m reminded of his unique charisma,” said Kang Zhen, a professor at the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University. Continue reading

Legacy of the Chinese Empire

Hello–may I mention my newest publication:
“The Legacy of the Chinese Empires: Beyond ‘the West and the Rest.'” By Magnus Fiskesjö. Education About Asia 22.1 (Spring 2017), pp. 6-10.

In a special issue on “Contemporary Postcolonial Asia,” now available & downloadable at:

This article starts with the observation that imperialism and colonialism aren’t exclusively “Western” phenomena. To think so is to miss the long view of history, and this not only impedes our understanding of empires and colonialisms generally, but it also undermines our ability to understand China, itself historically a colonialist empire built on conquest. The article briefly explains major aspects of Chinese imperialism and colonialism, and why this history and legacy today is so often obscured, and denied — even though the legacy of the Chinese empires continues to weigh so heavily on China today.

Sincerely, Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Interview with Scott Savitt

Source: LA Review of Books Blog (5/31/17)
Crashing the Party: An Interview with Scott Savitt
By Matthew Robertson

Editor’s Introduction: The China Blog often publishes something at this time of year that looks back in one way or another to the June 4th Massacre of 1989, an act of state violence that curtailed a national movement whose biggest protests took place at Tiananmen Square.  This year is no different.  Our June 4th anniversary post this time takes the form of an interview with an eyewitness to the demonstrations and crackdown of 1989, Scott Savitt, who has recently published a memoir, Crashing the Party: An American Reporter in China, which deals in part with the dramatic events that convulsed Beijing and captivated television audiences around the world twenty-eight years ago. Matthew Robertson, a researcher and translator, conducted the interview, which begins after a brief introduction he provides to Savitt’s life and Crashing the Party, which Publisher’s Weekly describes as the work of a “smart, thrilling memoirist.” -Jeff Wasserstrom Continue reading