Death of Lin Ruiming

Colleagues interested in Taiwanese literature may wish to know that the renowned stalwart of Taiwan literary scholarship Lin Ruiming 林瑞明 also known by his penname Lin Fan 林梵 passed away on Monday. Lin was probably best known for being the founding director of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立台灣文學館), which he headed up in its early planning days of 2003-2005. Lin was ever present at the Museum. His other major achievement was his work on the doyen of early Taiwan literature, Lai He 賴和, whose complete works he edited. He also compiled a collection of Lai He’s original manuscripts.

Lin Ruiming wrote poetry under his penname Lin Fan. He studied history at National Chenggong University 國立成功大學 and received an MA in history from National Taiwan University. He lived most of his life in his hometown of Tainan, where the Museum is located. He had an effervescent personality and a convivial way of welcoming people to Taiwan. For years, he battled kidney disease and was regularly tethered to dialysis, but he never spoke of it and he never let it slow him down. He championed the culture of Taiwan as few others have and his presence will be missed but not forgotten.

Christopher Lupke
University of Alberta

Kowallis lectures

Members might be keen on the series of lectures Jon Kowallis, Chair Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, is delivering in China.  He has just given three lectures for the Zhifang Distinguished Professorial Lecture Series at Fudan University’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature.  Sorry this announcement came so late.  Details can be found here:

Tomorrow (23 Nov) at Zhejiang University Professor Kowallis will deliver the keynote address “Lu Xun’s Classical-style Poetry and Me.”  The following day Saturday (24 Nov) at Hangzhou Normal University he will present on the topic titled “A Great Discovery.”  This will be followed by another lecture next Tuesday (27 Nov) at the Communication University of China, Beijing, on “Understanding Wild Grass by Talking to Oneself: Lu Xun’s Yecaothrough the Lens of Ziyan Ziyu and the Prism of the Past.”


Wah Guan Lim

Gate of Memories wins Chinese sci-fi award

Source: China Daily (11/4/18)
Cyborg story wins Chinese sci-fi award
By Xinhua

Chen Qiufan (R). [File photo/IC]

CHONGQING – A novel about human-robot relations won the best saga novel prize of the 9th Xingyun (Nebula) Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction, which was announced Saturday.

Gate of Memories by Chinese writer Jiang Bo [江波] tells of a time when humans turn their bodies into machines to extend lifespan but face a looming attack from super AI. Continue reading

Jin Yong passes away at 94

Source: SupChina (10/30/18)
Legendary Chinese Novelist Jin Yong Passes Away At 94
By Jia Guo

Louis Cha, China’s famed wuxia (martial arts) novelist who wrote under the name Jīn Yōng 金庸 — and was one of the most recognized writers in modern Chinese history — passed away in Hong Kong on Tuesday at the age of 94 after battling a long-term illness.

Born in 1924 in Zhejiang Province, Cha moved to Hong Kong in 1948 and started his career as a journalist. Subsequently, he co-founded the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao 明报 in 1959 and served as its first editor-in-chief. The paper now has four North American branches, in Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York. Continue reading

Feng Zikai exhibit

Source: China Daily (10/26/18)
National Art Museum commemorates painter Feng Zikai

A painting by Feng Zikai. Photo/

The National Art Museum of China recently opened an exhibition of Feng Zikai’s paintings to honor the 120th anniversary of his birth. Having achieved a unique style in painting, writing and translation, Feng is a prestigious literatus of the 20th century China.

Three collections of his works are on display. Feng’s unpretentious tone and strokes indicate his reflection about the social reality and also his friendship with Master Hong Yi, a Chinese Buddhism monk and an artist.

The exhibit runs through Nov 4.

If you go: 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays). National Art Museum, 1 Wusi Avenue, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6400-1476.

Baghdad and Beijing in Book Art

The Program in Chinese Literature and Culture at EALAC and CSSAAME Journal presents
Baghdad and Beijing in Book Art
a lecture by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, American University of Beirut.
Thursday, November 1, 2018 6:10pm-7:30pm
403 Kent Hall
Columbia University

This talk focuses on the work of the Iraqi artist Rafa Nasiri (1940-2014) and his autobiographical account Rihlati ila Sin (My Journey to China, 2012). It explores cross-cultural encounters between Baghdad and Beijing in the context of geopolitical change after the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Iraq Revolution of 1958.

Sonja Mejcher-Atassi is an associate professor of Arabic and comparative literature at the American University of Beirut. She was a fellow in residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 2017-18. Her research centers on modern Arabic literature, book culture and art, museum and collecting practices, private libraries, cultural/intellectual history and memory, and aesthetics and politics. Her publications include Rafa Nasiri: Artist Books ed. with May Muzaffar (2016); Reading across Modern Arabic Literature and Art (2012); Museums, Archives and Collecting Practices in the Modern Arab World ed. with John Pedro Schwartz (2012); Writing a ‘Tool for Change’: ‘Abd al-Rahman Munif Remembered (ed.) in MIT EJMES Vol. 7 (2007); in addition to numerous book chapters and journal articles. She is currently working on a biography of the Palestinian writer Jabra Ibrahim Jabra and an edited volume on the Syrian playwright and public intellectual Saadallah Wannous.

Moderated by Professor Lydia H. Liu

Posted by: Harlan Chambers <>

An evening of East Asian vocal arts

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about an upcoming East Asian vocal concert at Swarthmore College on Nov. 3, 8-9:30PM. Guest artists from Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul will deliver the world’s greatest cultural treasures—Kunqu, Noh and Pansori—in one evening, with selection of the most canonical compositions: Tanci (The Ballad from Palace of Lasting Life), Kiyotsune and Hagomoro (The Feather Mantle), and Ch’unhyanga (The Song of a Faithful Wife). This concert highlights these seamlessly merged, musically invaluable arts. The concert is free and open to the public. If you are in Philadelphia area during the next weekend, please let me know and I will reserve seats for you.

I myself will be the vocalist in the Kunqu performance. While both the Noh and Pansori singers are in the lineage of UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in their native soils, respectively, as a Kunqu singer I will represent the branch of the Chinese heritage that has almost been forgotten–my master of Kunqu, Mr. ZHU Fu, studied Kunqu under a disciple of Aisin Gioro Putong, the brother of China’s last emperor, in the last few years of the Cultural Revolution, and passed on all that he learned from Ye to me in 2002, before I came to the US to pursue my Ph.D. degree at the University of Chicago.

There will also be a reception after the concert, which offers opportunities to mingle and communicate with guest artists.

Best wishes,
Peng Xu <>

Wen C. Fong dies at 88

Source: NYT
Wen C. Fong, Shaper of Met Museum’s Asian Collection, Dies at 88
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By David Barboza

Wen C. Fong at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2000. He curated some of the museum’s biggest exhibitions of Asian art. Credit: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

Wen C. Fong, a renowned scholar who helped the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York build one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Asian art, died on Oct. 3 in Princeton, N.J. He was 88.

His wife, Constance Tang Fong, said the cause was leukemia.

A leading figure in the history of Chinese art, Professor Fong taught for 40 years at Princeton University, where in the 1950s he established the nation’s first doctoral degree program in Chinese art and archaeology.

Beginning in the early 1970s he was a driving force behind the Met’s ambitious effort to expand its collection of Asian art, including masterworks from China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and India, and add space in which to display it. Continue reading

Xinjiang and the Uyghur Question in China Today

If you are in or around New York, you’re welcome to come to this event, on October 29th at NYU.

Xinjiang and the Uyghur Question in China Today

Roundtable Participants: Jim Millward, Ajinur Settiwaldi, Magnus Fiskejo, and Huang Yifan
Moderated by Rebecca Karl
Monday, October 29, 4-6pm
907 Kimmel Center, NYU

Rebecca E. Karl <>
History Department

Stan Lai at SOAS

Taiwanese playwright and director Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan), will be speaking at SOAS University of London on Saturday 13 October 2018, 3-5 pm. Free entry. All welcome.

Please see the announcement and Facebook event page below:


Rossella Ferrari 費萊麗
Reader in Chinese and Theatre Studies
Regional Managing Editor (China), The Theatre Times

Fairbank Center events

A few recent events we have recorded at the Fairbank Center might be of interest to MCLC subscribers:

Recent Developments in Xinjiang, with Adrian Zenz

Speaker: Adrian Zenz, Lecturer in social research methods, European School of Culture & Theology, Germany. Dr. Zenz is author of the recently published paper, ‘”Thoroughly Reforming Them Towards a Healthy Heart Attitude” – China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang,’ (Central Asian Survey 2018).

Moderator: Mark Elliott, Vice Provost, International Affairs, Harvard University

Co-Sponsored by:

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies
East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, and Asian Studies Panel Discussion

Panelists: Continue reading

Xi Xi wins 2019 Newman Prize

CONTACT: Jonathan Stalling at stalling@ou.eduor 405-325-6973

NORMAN, OK—An international jury has selected the Hong Kong poet Xi Xi 西西(born 1937) as the winner of the sixth Newman Prize for Chinese Literature. She is the third female Newman laureate, and the first from Hong Kong.

Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for U.S.-China Issues, the Newman Prize is awarded biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition, and is conferred solely on the basis of literary merit. Any living author writing in Chinese is eligible. A jury of seven distinguished literary experts nominated seven poets this spring, and selected the winner in a transparent voting process on October 9, 2018.

Winner Xi Xi 西西(the pen name of Zhang Yan 張彥) will receive USD $10,000, a commemorative plaque, and a bronze medallion at an academic symposium and award banquet at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, on March 7–8, 2019. In addition to this year’s nominating juror, Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (Hong Kong Baptist University), other nominees and jurors include Yu Xiuhua 余秀华, nominated by Nick Admussen (Cornell University); Wang Xiaoni 王小妮, nominated by Eleanor Goodman (Fairbank Center, Harvard University); Xi Chuan 西川, nominated by Lucas Klein (University of Hong Kong); Xiao Kaiyu 萧开愚, nominated by Christopher Lupke (University of Alberta); Zheng Xiaoqiong 郑小琼, nominated by Maghiel van Crevel (Leiden University); and Bei Dao 北岛, nominated by Wang Guangming (Capital Normal University). Continue reading

Protest against Springer bowing to censorship (2)

I would just note that the Frontiers journals — of Literary Studies, of History, etc. etc. — published in coordination with Brill, are also heavily subjected to censorship, apparently voluntarily undertaken by the editors in coordination with policies of the PRC State. Various special issues have been bowlderized by editors in order to conform to presumed censorship requirements. Brill seems to happily sponsor such pre-emptive activity.

Rebecca Karl <>

Protest against Spring bowing to censorship (1)

Hooray, Heidelberg academics, editors in new action against Springer’s bowing to Chinese censorship!

Earlier, 1,200 scholars agreed, here:

I am already on my personal boycott of Springer –I withdrew my pending contribution to an encyclopedia and will not publish in any of their outlets until they change. They should apologize to the world, for bowing down to the Chinese Communist Party censorship machine!

Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Protest against Springer bowing to censorship

Heidelberg, October 2, 2018

Press Release: In Protest against Springer Nature Bowing to Censorship Demands, Editors of “Transcultural Research” Book Series Decide to Discontinue Publishing with Springer Nature

The present and former editors of the book series Transcultural Research agreed to discontinue the publication of this series with Springer Nature. Asked by their Chinese distributors to take off from their on-line package a number of articles that touched on subjects such as the Cultural Revolution or the 1989 Tiananmen protests and their suppression, Springer acceded without even informing the authors of the articles concerned. Answering a letter of protest from the editors of the Transcultural Research Series, Springer claimed it was just abiding by local laws and proudly reported that by doing so it had actually increased sales in China. Continue reading