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 <>
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: and to 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 <>

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

publishers admit to self-censorship

Source: SCMP (8/24/17)
At Beijing book fair, publishers admit to self-censorship to keep texts on Chinese market
Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan are off limits for companies wanting to sell their books in China, publisher says
By Agence France-Presse

Just days after the world’s oldest publisher briefly caved in to Chinese censorship demands, international publishing houses are courting importers at a Beijing book fair, with some admitting they keep sensitive topics off their pages.

The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press (CUP) sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opened on Wednesday.

But some acknowledged their companies had already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books did not offend and were published in China. Continue reading

Wang Hui and Leftist Orientalism

Source: New Bloom (8/23/17)
By Brian Hioe


A RECENT ESSAY by McKenzie Wark on Chinese New Left intellectual Wang Hui published on Verso Books’ blog proves an exercise in western academic leftists’ lack of knowledge of Asia and their inadvertent support of individuals with politics that they would likely find repulsive, if not for lack of sufficient knowledge about Asia and wishful desire to find analogues to themselves in non-western countries. Wang, a leading figure of the Chinese New Left, is among a series of individuals that Wark promotes in his recent book, General Intellects, which seems aimed to be a sort of “Who’s Who” of supposedly international thinkers relevant to the contemporary Left. The primary three figures included in the book to represent “Asian” political thought and the political situation of Asian countries are Wang Hui from China, and Kojin Karatani and Hiroki Azuma, both of Japan. Continue reading

Grammy boss knuckles under China censors

Singers to keep their mouth shut after another US outfit kowtows to the censors. Magnus Fiskesjö, (ps, on Bieber, see )

Source: Japan Times (8/4/17)
Grammys boss knuckles under China censors as show readies tour
Reuters. Aug 4, 2017

Neil Portnow (left), president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Bravo Entertainment CEO Steven Fock attend a ceremony in Beijing on Thursday marking the start of a partnership to create the Grammy Festival China. | REUTERS

BEIJING – The Grammys is looking to break into China, but it will have to do so without the help of some of its top stars — Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, among others — after it pledged to bring only well-behaved artists to meet Chinese censors’ demands.

Lady Gaga, plus Bjork and Bon Jovi, are blocked in China after they met or expressed support for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. China recently blacklisted Canadian star Bieber, citing bad behavior. Continue reading

Why China’s AI push is worrying

I think we need a lot more research on what China and other authoritarian anti-democratic states are doing with AI, and other such new tools for the control and subjugation of people, and, what are the implications inside and outside China. What’s the good research that has been done so far? including on the collusion by Western companies, and indeed similar developments in Western countries? Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: The Economist (7/27/17)
Why China’s AI push is worrying: State-controlled corporations are developing powerful artificial intelligence

IMAGINE the perfect environment for developing artificial intelligence (AI). The ingredients would include masses of processing power, lots of computer-science boffins, a torrent of capital—and abundant data with which to train machines to recognise and respond to patterns. That environment might sound like a fair description of America, the current leader in the field. But in some respects it is truer still of China. Continue reading

Dirlik lecture on the rise of China

Source: Boundary 2 Online Community (7/30/17)
Arif Dirlik: The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know It
By boundary2

On February 27, 2016, longstanding boundary 2 board member Arif Dirlik gave his final lecture at the University of British Columbia. The talk, The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know Itis available in full on the UBC Library’s website.

Cantonese opera film Guan Hanqing (1)

Dear Zhou Yunjun —

A DVD copy of the Cantonese opera film exists that has Chinese-English dual subtitles. I think there were a few lines that weren’t translated though I can’t recall w/o looking at it again. Further work on rethinking the film script with a new English translation should be beneficial and welcomed, I would think.

Marjorie Chan <>
Ohio State University

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