The Stolen Bicycle nominated for Man Booker

Source: Taipei Times (3/14/18)
‘The Stolen Bicycle’ to compete with 12 books for prestigious Man Booker prize
Staff Writer, with CNA

A copy of The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-yi, published in Australia by Text Publishing, is pictured in a publicity photograph. Photo from Grayhawk Agency’s Facebook page

The Stolen Bicycle (單車失竊記), a novel written by Taiwanese author Wu Ming-yi (吳明益) and translated into English by Darryl Sterk, has been selected to contend for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize.

The novel is about a writer who embarks on a quest in search of his missing father’s stolen bicycle.

It was included on a list of 13 novels revealed on Monday by the UK-based Booker Prize Foundation, the organizer of the prize, which rewards the finest work in translated fiction from around the world that is published in the UK and available in English.

This is the first time a work by a Taiwanese writer has been included on the list.

“I’m honored to be listed among them, and the nationality [was listed] as ‘Taiwan,’” Wu said in a Facebook post, expressing his appreciation to the book’s translator, publisher and readers.

The judges considered 108 books this year, the foundation said. Continue reading

Arif Dirlik’s Life and Work–cfp

“Memorial: Arif Dirlik’s Life and Work”
CFP: China Book Review

China Book Review (ISSN1002-235X), one of the most famous journals of book review, will publish a special issue of “Memorial: Arif Dirlik’s Life and Work.” Everybody is welcome to contribute, including academic papers and reminiscence essays related to Professor Arif Dirlik, either in Chinese or English is fine, but the final versions will be published in Chinese (English papers will be translated into Chinese by professional translators), all contributions will be submitted to the editorial board for review.

Please contact Sunny Han at <> if you are interested in sharing your opinion, please send a short bio as well as a 6000-word or 5000-Chinese character paper to Sunny Han by April 26, 2018.

Sunny Han HAN PhD
Associate Professor of Art History at Shenzhen University
Member Fellow, China Writers Association
Managing Editor, Journal of East Asian Humanities

New MA program at Florida State

New MA Program in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Florida State University

The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University is pleased to announce that we will shortly start accepting applications for a new Graduate Program (MA) in East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC), scheduled to begin in Fall 2018.

Emphasizing second language instruction and an extensive knowledge of Chinese and Japanese literatures and cultures, this MA program will offer two tracks: (1) Chinese and (2) Japanese. Students entering this program will elect one of these two tracks. EALC encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary interests, correlating linguistic knowledge with numerous intellectual disciplines. Expertise of our core faculty and affiliated members is wide-ranging, including, for example: literary studies, religion, second-language acquisition, visual culture and film studies, and modern history. Our diverse curriculum, which emphasizes language and cultural proficiency, trains students who wish to continue studies in a compatible PhD or professional program, and prepares students for work in federal and foreign service, NGO fields, and language instruction. Continue reading

AAS small grants

China and Inner Asia Council Small Grants Program
Accepting Applications

Dear AAS Members Working on China, Taiwan, and Inner Asia,

The AAS/CIAC has funds to support small grants for members working on China, Taiwan, or Inner Asia. The CIAC Small Grants program is supported by generous funding by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, as well as from independent donations from AAS members that are currently in the process of being solicited (please see the following AAS webpage, bottom, to donate: We are typically able to award approximately 20 – 25 CIAC Small Grants annually (and we are hoping we can garner as much in donations as we did last year to enable this number of awards).

Qualified individuals can apply for small grants up to $2,000 in a number of categories including: research travel, travel for translation projects, conference and seminar organization, specialist or regional newsletters, and website development. Travel to conferences and book subventions are explicitly excluded, unfortunately. Continue reading

Arif Dirlik (3)

As a graduate history student, I am too young to know Prof. Dirlik personally. Nonetheless I am shocked and saddened by the news. He is still young, and I honestly thought there was still time for me to introduce myself to him, meet him, and talk to him about history, culture, various ideological -isms, philosophy… I thought there would be time for me to learn more and be better prepared to discuss such subjects with someone like him.

I discovered Prof. Dirlik too late. I only started reading him when I was working on my first year research paper on the historiography of the Taipings. I was immediately struck by his depth, complexity, deep understanding of Chines intellectual history and sharp perception. He is as much a historian as a philosopher, and I thought no one studying Chinese intellectual history (or modern Chinese history really) can afford not reading him. I wish I had been brave enough to make his acquaintance.

Lin Yang <>
History, UCSD

Arif Dirlik (2)

I met Arif Dirlik in 1989, the Fall of 1989 to be exact, at a dinner banquet organized in his honor by the History Department at Nanjing University. I had been brought there by a friend, who thought I would enjoy meeting this Professor from Duke University. I had laryngitis and could barely croak. Somehow, Arif and I managed to have a deep conversation that evening, between my hoarseness and the continual demands to down more shots of baijiu. I have been involved in a conversation with Arif ever since.

Arif was my PhD advisor at Duke University. He was a marvelous advisor. He taught me many things. Most important, I think, is that he taught me how to be fearlessly radical and radically fearless in my intellectual work, my personal life, and my institutional practice. As many of us know, Arif was not an easy person to get along with sometimes, and he sure did know how to insult folks and hold grudges. But he was a serious thinker and a serious scholar and deeply committed to the radical proposition of possibility. One could forgive him much because of that. Continue reading

Navigating the MLA for East Asianists

MLA Session “Navigating the MLA for East Asianists”

This year at the MLA annual meeting in NYC, I will lead Session #275 on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 10:15 am – 11:30 am in Concourse G, Hilton Hotel, entitled “Navigating the MLA for East Asianists.” I welcome literary/cinema/cultural studies scholars in East Asia to attend, and others as well. The MLA is a complicated, multifaceted academic association, and it could be described as “byzantine” and “arcane.” But as the largest humanities academic association in the world, it is important. The good news is that in recent years the MLA has undergone a massive structural transformation and now there are FORUMs dedicated to the following: “Chinese Literature before the 14th Century”; “Ming and Qing Literature”; “Chinese Literature and Culture from 1900”; “East Asian Literatures” (mainly comparative); “Japanese Literature before 1900”; “Japanese Literature and Culture after 1900”; “Korean Literature”; and most recently “Southeast Asian Literatures and Cultures.” I have noticed with the influx of participants and increased interest from scholars in East Asian Studies that many people have questions about the MLA. Thus, we decided to organize this session to provide an introductory outline. The session will be split in half with the first half essentially me describing the various components of the MLA and the second half open discussion and questions. Here are some of the facets that will be covered: Continue reading

Afternoon with Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan

The Exilic Gaze and the Activist Lens:
An Afternoon with Documentary Filmmakers Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Michelson Theater, Department of Cinema Studies, NYU
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan are two important members of the Chinese independent documentary community that emerged in Beijing in the 1990s. The community has since flourished and transformed into a complex cluster of groups with diverse social, political, and aesthetic aspirations, as well as wider regional dispersal. Currently based in Hong Kong, veteran independent director Huang Wenhai (Dream Walking 2005, We 2008) and human rights activist, feminist scholar, blogger and filmmaker Zeng Jinyan(Prisoners in Freedom City, 2007), joined hands in making We the Workers (2017). The epic-scale film documents migrant workers of two generations in Southern China who have tried to organize themselves to protest against the unfair compensation and sub-human workingconditions that have been part of the price tag of the economic miracle in China.

2:00 pm -5:00 pm We the Workers 凶年之畔, directed by Huang Wenhai & produced by Zeng Jinyan, 2007, 173 min.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Panel discussion with Huang Wenhai, Zeng Jinyan, Prof. Angela Zito (Center for Religion and Media, NYU) & Prof. Feng-Mei Heberer (Cinema Studies, NYU), moderated by Prof. Zhen Zhang (Cinema Studies, NYU).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Religion and Media, NYU.

Free and open to the public.

Yangdon’s death

Dear all,

I’m deeply saddened to pass on the news of the death of the author Yangdon (Ch. Yangzhen 央珍). She passed away in Beijing in October. Yangdon was best known for her novel Wu xingbie de shen 无性别的神 (A God Without Gender), and for blazing a trail for Tibetan women’s writing in Chinese. She will be greatly missed.

Here are two links about the news:

And a profile of Yangdon in English:

Christopher Peacock <>

MLA New Permanent Forum in SE Asian Literature

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has approved our proposal for a permanent Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (CLCS) forum in Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian Diasporic literature and culture.  The forum welcomes proposals on any aspect of literature and cultural production related to Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian diasporas, including Sinophone studies (the 2018 Convention in New York City will feature several panels related to Southeast Asia, including presentations on Sinophone topics).  The inaugural forum chair is Cheryl Narumi Naruse of Tulane University.

All MLA members are invited to the first business meeting of this newly established forum at the 2018 MLA Convention on 4 January 2018, 8:45-10:00 p.m., room Clinton, in the New York Hilton Midtown. This meeting will be an opportunity to meet other scholars working on Southeast Asian related topics as well as a time to discuss future MLA sessions, elect executive committee members, and plan forum activities.

We look forward to seeing you.


The Executive Committee of the Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian Diasporic CLCS Forum

Cheryl Narumi Naruse (chair)
Ben Vu Tran (secretary)
Sheela Jane Menon
Brian Bernards <>

Dazibao exhibition

Source: Sup China (11/14/17)
When Words Kill: ‘Big-Character Posters’ Are Testament To Tenacity And Suffering In One Of China’s Darkest Periods

In China in Ten Words, translated into English by Allan H. Barr, author Yu Hua gives a trenchant description of big-character posters (大字报 dàzìbào) as he experienced them as a child:

At the outset of the Cultural Revolution “big-character posters” started to appear. Political screeds rendered in clumsily handwritten characters — and now and again some elegantly written ones, too — these were the first acts of the disenfranchised masses in challenging the power of officialdom. Written on broadsheets are big as decent-sized windows and posted on the walls that ran alongside city streets, shorter versions took the form of two sheets of paper mounted one on top of another, while longer ones involved five or six sheets set out in a horizontal row. In the years to follow, these big-character posters would become the largest exhibition of calligraphy China has ever seen: all across the country, in cities and towns, big streets and small, walls were decorated with them. People would gather in the streets and read the posters with undisguised relish, for although they all employed much the same revolutionary rhetoric, they began to criticize officials and their high and mighty ways. Continue reading

Xu Zhimo event

I’m one of the organizers for the Xu Zhimo event in New York tomorrow. The reason that we are conducting the event in Chinese is that the event is not in the form of a symposium, but rather readings of Xu’s poems and music tributes. We do have some speeches and readings in English such as the remarks by Dr. Tony Hsu, Xu Zhimo’s grandson and a UN interpreter (on a poem he translated into English). See the event program at: (in English) (in Chinese)

For people who are interested, you are welcome to tune in live streaming from 2 to 4:30 pm tomorrow at

The event description is at

Yong Ho <>

ACCL membership and conference survey

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, many of you have participated in the leadership election for the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature—thank you for taking the time to vote!

As the incoming ACCL president, I have posted a survey asking for basic membership registration data, and for your preferences regarding the location of our next biennial conference, in 2019.  Membership is free, and we welcome all those in related fields who are interested.  The survey is online here:

Please forward this link to any colleagues or graduate students whom you think might be interested in joining ACCL, and fill out the survey no later than December 15.  Although in my recent election statement, I did propose holding the next conference in Vancouver, I am serious about following the preferences of the membership.  If there is a clear majority or plurality in favor of a specific location, I will arrange the conference there; if there is a more ambiguous result, I will try hard to arrange the conference at a convenient site which attracted significant support.  In order to be open with you all about these results, I will share with the ACCL membership a summary of the aggregate preferences after the close of the survey, though of course individual identifying information will be kept confidential.

I have confirmed with multiple Chinese scholars that the Survey Monkey website is available from within the PRC, though it loads very slowly.  In case anyone finds it impractical to access the above link, I have attached a form-fillable ballot, which you may return directly to me at

Thanks, and best wishes,
Daniel Fried <>
2017-19 ACCL President