Nation of Giant Infants

Source: Quartz (3/13/17)
A psychology book that argues China is a “nation of infants” has been pulled from store shelves
By Zheping Huang

Wu Zhihong, Nation of Giant Babies, illustration

Wahhhh. (Wu Zhihong/Weibo)

According to Sigmund Freud, a human being’s psychosexual development has five stages: the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital. During the oral stage spanning from birth until the age of one, an infant satisfies its desires simply by putting all sorts of things into its mouth, whether it’s a pencil or its mother’s breast.

Most Chinese people have never developed beyond the oral stage of Freud’s theory and have the mental age of a six-month-old, argues psychologist Wu Zhihong. In his recently published book Nation of Giant Infants, Wu takes the psychological viewpoint to explain a wide range of social problems in China, including mama’s boys, tensions between mothers and daughter-in-laws, and suicides of left-behind rural kids. He claims that the “giant infant dream” is deeply rooted in the Chinese tradition of collectivism and filial piety. Continue reading

Digital Library of Chinese Theatre

Dear all,

The Pilot of Digital Library of Chinese Theatre is ready to be viewed:

I hope this will be of some use for your teaching, research and practical work in the theatre.
The project is supported by the AHRC grant for the Leeds-based international research network ‘Staging China’ and the ‘Language and Culture for the New Generation of Leading Researchers in East Asian Studies: Partnerships, Networks and Training’.

There are only 40 productions covering about 20 theatrical genres (since it is merely a pilot) but there are a few highlights, for example,

1.    There are 11 different productions of The Orphan of Zhao, including modern spoken drama, regional song-dance theatre, opera and covering works from 4 countries, China, Nigeria, Korea and Britain (Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012-13 work). Continue reading

Journalism awards withdrawn over misconduct

Source: Sixth Tone (3/9/17)
China’s Pulitzer Prize Withdraws Awards Over Misconduct
The country’s most prestigious journalism association accuses 16 winners of misconstruing or re-editing their entries.
By Wang Lianzhang

Journalists stand on step ladders to take photos from favorable vantage points during the ‘two sessions’ in Beijing, March 3, 2013. Yang Yang/VCG

Four months after its annual awards ceremony, the All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) has canceled 16 of its prizes.

Each year the ACJA gives around 300 China News Awards — the country’s equivalent to Pulitzers — to leading news-gathering teams. On Feb. 20, the association posted a scathing criticism of many of the entries on its website, stating that 16 prizewinning submissions had violated the rules. Infractions included re-editing stories so that they were different from the versions originally published or broadcast, and then submitting them in a more polished state in order to win the judges’ favor. In total, 34 submissions were determined to have flouted the rules. Continue reading

Hao Jingfang release interactive fiction

Source: Xinhua (3/7/17)
Hugo Award winner Hao Jingfang releases interactive fiction

SHANGHAI, March 7 (Xinhua) — Hao Jingfang, who won the last year’s Hugo Award, has released a piece of interactive fiction she composed with five other authors in Shanghai.

The story,”The Beginning of Han,” was uploaded to an interactive literature website late last week. It cost 9.9 yuan (about 1.4 U.S. dollars) to read.

With 400,000 characters, it is about Liu Bang, founder of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD). Through different option, readers can find their way to nearly 50 endings. Continue reading

Ancient poetry game show (1)

I watched parts of the show out of curiosity. Regretably, it mainly encourages memorising and, to a lesser extent, some interpretation ability of poetry. Creativity is not a vital part of the game. Though it is not ideal in the eyes of  academics, it nevertheless stirred up an enthusiasm over classical poetry in the country. The question is: for how long?

Lily Lee <>

Macao gambling firms visit Jinggangshan

Curiouser and curiouser. I wish I could have put this in the chapter on red tourism in my museum book!–Kirk

Source: Global Times (12/14/16)
Macao gambling firms’ trip to red site met with amusement, anger online
By Zhang Yu

A group of some 60 staff members from Macao’s casino industry recently visited red site Jinggangshan for a one-week patriotic course, sparking discussions from mainland netizens over its significance.

Staff members of Macao casino companies pay tribute to revolutionary martyrs in Jinggangshan, East China's Jiangxi Province. Photo: Courtesy of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings

Staff members of Macao casino companies pay tribute to revolutionary martyrs in Jinggangshan, East China’s Jiangxi Province. Photo: Courtesy of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings

Every year, millions of visitors flock to China’s red sites to pay tribute to deceased communist leaders and learn about the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) revolutionary past. Continue reading

Tianxia, imperial ambition or cosmopolitanism (4)

We could add this book to the list of recent studies dealing with the concept of tianxia.

Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950, by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog (Cambria Press, 2016), is a book that—as its title states—examines cosmopolitanism in China. According to R. Bin Wong (Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Asia Institute), “This book provides a wide-ranging display of the ways in which ‘cosmopolitanism’ has meaning in China, c. 1600–c. 1900 and how these possibilities were reduced subsequently. Significantly, the volume shows the meanings of cosmopolitanism for different kinds of people in Qing China, including Manchus, Muslims, Koreans (in relation to the Qing, if not in the Qing). It further explicates the multiple framings within which different modalities of cosmopolitanism were achieved, including Buddhist and Confucian. It also shows cosmopolitanism not merely as a feature of thought, but suggests implications of such approaches in matters of governance. Creating multiple challenges to conventional views of early modern and modern China, this important book offers opportunities to craft a more sensible and persuasive understanding of how China’s early modern regional world became part of a late twentieth-century Inner Asian and East Asian world region.” This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania)

Posted by Ben Goodman <>

Read Paper Republic year one

Hi everyone,

With the publication of Li Jingrui’s “One Day, One of the Screws Will Come Loose”, we’ve completed our first year of the “Read Paper Republic” publication project: one free translation published on the web each week.

We’re taking a breather for a bit, but thinking about ways to continue the project in the future, preferably with funding, so we have a little more agency in how we choose pieces and promote them.

We’d really like to have a better idea of who’s reading these pieces, and what they’re getting out of them, and what they’d like to see in the future. To that end we created a very short online survey (link at the bottom).

If you’ve read any of the pieces (or haven’t, but still have opinions!), I hope you’ll take a moment to fill out the survey, it’s just one page. It would be tremendously helpful to us!


Eric Abrahamsen

Zhao Lihong’s Island Man’s Notes

Shanghai Literature just published some of Mr Zhao Lihong’s memoirs of the Cultural Revolution. Mr. Zhao is the chief editor of Shanghai Literature, reknown essayist and poet, also partly in charge of the Huayu Literature Website.

Li Yanfeng 李 延风 <>

Island Man’s Notes 岛人笔记 by Zhao Lihong 赵丽宏
2016-05-27 赵丽宏 上海文学

daoren biji


《岛人笔记》是我二十五年前出版的一本散文集。书中追忆记录的,是和“文化大革命”有关的往事。写《岛人笔记》,是受巴金先生的影响和鼓励。巴金在他的《随想录》中对历史所作的真诚深刻反思,曾经使我灵魂震撼。可以说,写《岛人笔记》,也是向巴金先生致敬。《岛人笔记》出版时,我曾请冰心老人作序,冰心给我回了信,并题写了书名。这次上海书店出版社重编再印这本书时,添加了一些我后来写的文字,也都是和这段历史有关的回忆和思考。当年出版《岛人笔记》时,我曾写过一篇跋,表达了写这本书的初衷,且将这篇旧跋附录如下,可以作为新版《岛人笔记》的自序。– 2016年5月1日于四步斋 Continue reading

Interview with Wang Hui

Source: VersoBooks (3/16/16)
Contradiction, Systemic Crisis and the Direction for Change: An Interview with Wang Hui
By Wang Hui

Wang Hui is one of China’s foremost critical intellectuals. A leading figure of the “Chinese New Left”, his work has attempted to chart the intellectual and political conditions of contemporary China. Against the neoliberal restructuring of China, and its official propagandists, Wang’s work has remained committed to a left-wing project whose aim has been to take-stock of both the history and the consequences of Chinese modernity.

In this interview with the journal Foreign Theoretical Trends, originally published in Chinese and included as an appendix to the recently published China’s Twentieth Century, Wang discusses the discourses of development in China and across the Global South, the intellectual and political heritage of Maoism, and the hopes for a new anti-capitalist movement globally.

Foreign Theoretical Trends (hereafter, “Trends”): The current severe crisis in global capitalism is a historical turning point for China and the world. What changes do you think this will bring to the international order? Regarding China’s options in the new world order, some think that, as the scale of China’s manufacturing keeps growing, continuing on the current path can lead China into the club of developed capitalist states. Others think that, due to contradictions both inside China and globally, China cannot possibly squeeze itself into the club and might instead encounter a great crisis. Therefore, they think it best for China to adhere to the “Three Worlds” theory of the 1970s and promote the construction of a new world order. What kind of international strategy do you think China should adopt in the aftermath of the global financial crisis? What kinds of old and new theoretical resources should we combine so that we can find a new possibility and direction for China’s relationship with the world?

Wang Hui: Your questions are centered on “China” rather than on different regions, classes and their relationships in China. There is a relationship between the two, but posing the question as you do assumes a possibility for China to pursue an autonomous development, or assumes that the question is how China might pursue an autonomous development. China’s financial institutions and market institutions have encountered grave difficulties, which are forcing us to rethink the current development model. Rethinking this development model began some time ago, but it has not been fruitful. The problem does not lie at the intellectual level, but rather the entanglement of interests is such that there is no way to turn this rethinking into public policy. Some have proposed further globalization, marketization and privatization; others have proposed democratic socialism. In my view, the critical question today is whether there can be a reform in a socialist direction, and whether it is possible to move in this direction. If the issue is one of direction rather than a mere technical adjustment, then the question will emerge as to what kinds of experiences and practices can be mobilized for creating a new development model. Continue reading