KFLC 2019–cfp extension

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the abstract submission deadline for the 2019 Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, i.e. “KFLC: The Languages, Literature, and Cultures Conference, 2018” has been extended. Abstract submission will remain open until November 26th, 2019 @ 11:59 PM, EST.

For general conference guidelines, to find the Call for Papers for each track, and to submit an abstract, please visit our website: https://kflc.as.uky.edu/

As always, the success of our conference is dependent upon the hard work and enthusiasm of our participants. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to working with you this year.

Wishing you all the best,

Luo, Liang 羅靚

Buddha mania

Source: Sixth Tone (10/23/18)
Buddha-mania: Understanding China’s Buddha Building Boom
In the race to build the biggest Buddha, no one is a winner.
By Zhou Mingqi

Visitors look out at the world’s tallest Buddha statue from atop a viewing platform in Lushan County, Henan province, Aug. 26, 2017. Niu Yuan/IC)

Is there such a thing as too many Buddhas? China may be about to find out.

For the past few decades, the country has been in the midst of a Buddha-building craze. Just last year, for example, it was reported that a wealthy businessman had nearly completed “the world’s largest copper sitting Buddha” in a remote county in the northern province of Shanxi. The 22-story structure supposedly took 8 years to build and cost 380 million yuan ($57 million) — a relative pittance in the world of big Buddhas.

Travelers looking for the world’s largest Buddha statue, however, must make the trip to the neighboring province of Henan. Opened in 2008, the Spring Temple Buddha is located in Lushan County — one of the poorest counties in all of China, in which residents’ average annual discretionary income is just 12,800 yuan. In stark contrast to the poverty of the surrounding countryside, the Spring Temple Buddha, which took 11 years to complete, stands more than 208 meters tall, is plated with 108 kilograms of gold, and cost an eye-popping 1.2 billion yuan to build. Continue reading

US charges Chinese national with stealing trade secrets

Source: NPR (10/10/18)
U.S. Charges Alleged Chinese Government Spy With Stealing U.S. Trade Secrets
by Ryan Lucas

GE Aviation exhibited equipment at the Zhuhai Airshow in 2010. Now, U.S. officials say, a Chinese intelligence officer has been charged with trying to steal American jet engine technology. Kin Cheung/AP

The Justice Department unsealed charges Wednesday against a suspected Chinese spy for allegedly conducting economic espionage and trying to steal trade secrets from U.S. aerospace companies.

The alleged Chinese intelligence officer, Yanjun Xu, was extradited to the United States on Tuesday from Belgium, where he was arrested in April at Washington’s request. Continue reading

Read Chinese Reportage across the Disciplines

ACLS Workshop: Reading Chinese Reportage across the Disciplines
Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants 2018

Charles Laughlin and Li Guo
Location: University of Virginia
Reading Chinese Reportage Across the Disciplines

Poster: 2018 ACLS reportage workshop poster version 3 revised(1)-172l72r

This collaborative reading workshop explores reportage narratives in contemporary China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, including travel writings, environmental reportage, nonfiction works, and documentary films. Participants appraise the activist function of the reportage genre, assess its ideological limitations, idiosyncratic constraints and concurrent ethical challenges. The reading sessions of the workshop cross-examine literary reportage and documentary cinematography, focusing on the textualization of real life images, and the visualization of texts narrating real people and events. Ultimately, the workshop evaluates the representations, discourses, and analytical demarcations of the reportage concept, and explore new perspectives on the aesthetics of global reportage.

Charles Laughlin <cal5m@virginia.edu>

Journal of Chinese Humanities 4.1 (1)

It does not flatter a Journal of Chinese Humanities, to devote a whole issue(!) to Daniel Bell and his old-hat book and theories, which have been thoroughly refuted. In fact, it should be enough to read this assessment of Bell, short yet effective:

The Qing is dead! Long live the Qing!
By John Fitzgerald. InsideStory.au, 11 August 2015

–Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Journal of Chinese Humanities 4.1

Journal of Chinese Humanities has just released Volume 4.1 on the The Possibility of Political Meritocracy in China, a special issue focused on Daniel Bell’s 2015 book, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy.


  1. Introduction to The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy

Daniel A. Bell.
Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 1 – 5, 2018

  1. A Critical Discussion of Daniel A. Bell’s Political Meritocracy

Yushun Huang and Kathryn Henderson.
Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 6 – 28, 2018

  1. Building a Modern Political Ecology and the Need to Demystify Political Meritocracy

Continue reading

The Abnormal in Imperial China–phd studentship

XJTLU PhD Studentship – Monster Tales: The Abnormal in Imperial China

The Department of China Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University invites applications from suitably-qualified candidates for a full-time PhD scholarship in the field of Chinese classical literature. The successful candidate will consider the cultural significance of the “monster” in traditional China through an analysis of the so-called zhiguai 志怪 tales or “accounts of the strange”. The project assigned to the doctoral candidate will complement the one undertaken by Dr Cesarino and Prof Goodman titled “Monster Tales: The Abnormal in Imperial China”, yet the student will be required to undertake his/her own independent research by focusing on a period of his/her choice between the Six Dynasties, the Tang/Song era (preferred) and the Qing dynasty. Continue reading

MULAN International Film Fest

Source: RADII (7/25/18)
Toronto’s Newest Film Fest Wants to Show “the Real, Unfiltered Picture of China”
by Josh Feola

Toronto’s Newest Film Fest Wants to Show “the Real, Unfiltered Picture of China”

When University of Toronto grad Shen Wei announced to her family that she planned to quit her job as a financial analyst and switch to filmmaking, it caused a crisis. Luckily, a friend and fellow U of T alum had more constructive advice: “Maybe you could start a film festival, so at least there would be one for you to showcase your future works.”

What started as a kidding-not-kidding joke has grown into the Mulan International Film Festival (MULANIFF), a week-long program of talks and screenings that will be held across multiple venues in Toronto from August 10-17. Continue reading

University cuts ties with Confucius Institute

Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: Pensacola News Journal (2/7/18)
UWF cuts ties with controversial Chinese-affiliated Confucius Institute
By Joseph Baucum

Citing a lack of student interest, the University of West Florida will not renew its contract this year with the Confucius Institute, a state-affiliated installation of the Chinese government that on Monday drew the condemnation of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for its representation of China’s history and policies at Florida academic institutions.

George Ellenberg, senior vice president and provost at UWF, said university officials started analyzing the school’s relationship with the institute last year. Funded and overseen by Hanban, an affiliate of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the institute started operations at the university in 2013. Continue reading

Poetry Anthology in Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo

A Press Release on February 1st, 2018, by Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC)
As a literary tribute to Liu Xiaobo from worldwide Chinese poets and writers, a public release of A Poetry Anthology in Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo is launched on February 1st in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Right before the opening of the 2018 Taipei International Book Exhibition on February 6, a new book entitled The Contemporary: A Poetry Anthology in Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo is publicly released in both Hong Kong and Taiwan by Waves Culture Media, an independent press in Hong Kong. The anthology has been triggered by an incident occurring in the summer of 2017 when  Langzi (Wu Mingliang), a Guangzhou poet and member of ICPC, was arrested for his participation in an effort to comply a collection of poems to commemorate Liu Xiaobo, capturing the international attention to the human rights infringement in China. Continue reading

HKU rallies behind suspended students

Source: Sup China (1/25/18)
Hong Kong University Groups Rally Behind Students Suspended For Protesting Mandarin Test
“We urge the president of other universities to stand out to safeguard free speech and academic freedom at Hong Kong universities”: joint statement from more than 10 Hong Kong university student unions.

Andrew Chan Lok-hang 陈乐行 (left) and Lau Tsz-kei 刘子颀, Hong Kong Baptist University students

Lau Tsz-kei 刘子颀, the university’s student union president, and Andrew Chan Lok-hang 陈乐行, a fifth-year student at the HKBU School of Chinese Medicine, were barred from classes for violating the HKBU students’ code of conduct. They were involved in an eight-hour standoff at the school’s language center last week, in which they used foul language and appeared to aggressively confront the staff.

According to Chin, the decision had nothing to do with politics and was made because teachers at the scene felt threatened and insulted by the students’ behavior. He said that both he and the school were facing immense pressure due to the incident — from whom or what, he did not specify — adding that the ongoing disciplinary proceedings would take a few weeks to complete. At one moment during the announcement, Chin appeared to hold back tears. Continue reading

Ming Qing Yanjiu XXII–cfp

Ming Qing Yanjiu XXII 2018
Call for papers
Deadline: April 18, 2018

MING QING YANJIU ISSN 1724-8574; EISSN: 2468-4791
Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Dept. of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies
Published by BRILL

MING QING YANJIU, founded in 1992, is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated primarily to advanced studies of pre-modern China. This journal provides a forum for scholars from a variety of fields related to late imperial and early republican period that aim to have a cross-disciplinary discourse. Contributions in sociology, literature, psychology, anthropology, history, geography, linguistics, semiotics, political science, and philosophy, as well as book reviews are welcome.

  • Manuscripts should be submitted to Ming Qing Yanjiu, Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Piazza S. Domenico Maggiore 12, 80134 Napoli, ITALY. Email: mingqing@unior.it and to baochai2@gmail.com Continue reading

U of Wisconsin position

Assistant Professor of Modern China Studies
Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks a scholar of the humanities or qualitative social sciences with expertise in Modern China Studies. Candidates should have professional-level fluency in Mandarin and English. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate eagerness to extend our multidisciplinary conversation about culture in the transasian context, and who have the vision and skills to contribute to building new academic programs. PhD or equivalent is required prior to start of the appointment.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach in at least one of the following fields of Modern China Studies: media studies, literary analysis, cultural politics, digital humanities, or visual culture. The appointment, at the rank of tenure-track Assistant Professor, is scheduled to begin in August 2018. Salary is negotiable. Continue reading

Chinese influence

List members may be interested in a blog post by Tanner Greer calling attention to Anne-Marie Brady’s recent “Magic Weapons” essay. He notes the assertion of inevitability undergirding Beijing’s bid for soft power,  and he describes with sympathy how the Chinese Diaspora are pressured to serve as foot-soldiers in this struggle for influence.


Andrew Clark <aec@raggedbanner.com>

Tang Xianzu’s family graveyard rediscovered

Source: SCMP (8/30/17)
Family graveyard of ‘China’s Shakespeare’ rediscovered
Traces of the family plot of playwright Tang Xianzu were largely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, according to newspaper report
By Wendy Wu

Archaeologists at work in the graveyard. Photo: Handout

The remains of the family graveyard of Tang Xianzu, a famous Chinese playwright who lived more than 400 years ago, have been rediscovered after it was largely destroyed during the social upheavals of the Cultural Revolution, according to a newspaper report.

Archaeologists found traces of the family plot in Fuzhou in Jiangxi province, The Beijing News reported.

The major plays written by Tang, who has been dubbed “China’s Shakespeare” by some critics, are known as the Four Dreams. They include the work The Peony Pavilion, which is still regularly performed in China. Continue reading

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