The Great Wall review (1)

Source: China File (2/23/17)
Can China Expand its Beachhead in Hollywood?
A ChinaFile Conversation with Stanley Rosen, Ying Zhu, and Clifford Coonan

Frazer Harrison—Getty Images. Director Zhang Yimou (L), and actors Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, and Matt Damon at the premiere of ‘The Great Wall’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on February 15, 2017 in Hollywood, California.

With The Great Wall, a classic army vs. monsters tale, director Zhang Yimou has brought America the most expensive Chinese film ever created. The movie may be backed by a Hollywood studio and it may star no less an American icon than Matt Damon, and yet it proffers China as the source of military might and moral right. Hollywood and China’s commissars have always made for strange bedfellows, but have they finally figured out how to beget viable offspring? Will other major stars follow Damon’s example and act in films that promote Beijing’s message? Will American audiences watch them? Will Chinese? Can propaganda ever make for a real blockbuster? Or will the powers on both sides someday relent and let a director like Zhang make the kind of nuanced human dramas that made his name in the first place?—The Editors Continue reading

The Great Wall review

Source: Chinese Film Insider (2/22/17)
Film Review: ‘The Great Wall’ is The Best of Zhang, The Worst of Zhang

Every day while CFI’s Hollywood readers take in the business of the Chinese film industry, the actual movies can sometimes seem exotic or remote. But in major US cities, mainstream Chinese films are increasingly available: thanks to Wanda’s purchase of AMC and distributors like China Lion, they get American theatrical releases practically simultaneous to their premieres at home. Though they receive virtually no publicity outside the non-Chinese community, these films are more than worth seeking out by anyone serious about engaging the Chinese industry, understanding the Chinese sensibility and familiarizing themselves with China’s talent pool. Periodically, CFI will review and point readers in the direction of noteworthy US releases of contemporary commercial and independent Chinese titles.

The Great Wall (2016), story by Max Brooks, Edward Zwick & Marshall Hershkovitz; screenplay by Carlo Bernard & Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy; directed by Zhang Yimou. Distributed by Universal Pictures (cinemas here). Grade: B+

The first coproduction between China and the US directed by an A-list auteur from either country, Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall was long anticipated, and then anticlimactic once its Chinese run last December failed to attain the record-breaking earnings necessary to justify its megabudget cost.  Arriving in the US this past weekend and earning some US $21.5 million as of Tuesday morning, the hybrid monster movie/war epic is a curious specimen, representing Zhang at both his best and worst. Continue reading

Iron Moon review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Maghiel van Crevel’s review of Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry (Buffalo: White Pines, 2016), edited by Qin Xiaoyu and translated by Eleanor Goodman, and the sister documentary film Iron Moon, directed by Qin Xiaoyu and Wu Feiyue. The review appears below, but is best read online at:

My thanks to Michael Berry, MCLC book review editor for translations, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Iron Moon: An Anthology of
Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry
Iron Moon (the film)

Edited by Qin Xiaoyu, Tr. by Eleanor Goodman / Directed by Qin Xiaoyu and Wu Feiyue

Reviewed by Maghiel van Crevel
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February, 2017)

Qin Xiaoyu, ed, Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Migrant Worker Poetry. Translated by Eleanor Goodman. Buffalo NY: White Pine Press, 2016.

Poetry is the most ubiquitous of literary genres. It is written and recited and read and heard for families and festivals, in love and on stage, in prayers and protests, at imperial courts and in factories. In China, associations of poetry and factories, and of poetry and manual labor at large, are anything but far-fetched. One recalls the story of poetry production, which is really the only right word here, being whipped up to keep up with steel production during the Great Leap Forward (quite aside from the results in terms of quality, for poetry or for steel). And less frenetic, more sustainable instances of the linkage of poetry and labor throughout the Mao era, with factories – and drilling rigs, construction sites, and so on – generally depicted as good places. But today, poetry + factories + China conjure up a different picture. One thinks not of the proletariat but of the precariat, and not of glory but of misery. Continue reading

TAP fall 2017–cfp

CALL for Submissions: TAP Review Fall 2017

The fall 2017 issue of the Trans Asia Photography Review is currently open to all topics, so that the editors can become aware of, and publish, new work that might not fit a specific theme. We welcome proposals relating in any way to historical or contemporary photography in or from Asia (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia and Central Asia).

Please use the following formats to submit proposals:

Article (length open). Your proposal should contain an abstract and the author’s CV.

Curatorial project (10-15 images with introductory text). Your proposal should contain up to 5 thumbnail images in a pdf file, not to exceed 50 MB in total. Please send your images to via or a similar service. Images should be accompanied by a brief introduction and your CV; these may be included in the pdf or sent separately via email. Continue reading

5th Newman Festival

The University of Oklahoma is hosting the 5th Newman Festival March 2-3, 2017. All listed events are free and open to the public.


2:30–4pm   Salon on Chinese Literature, in Chinese 

Featuring Newman laureate Wang Anyi, scholars Dai Jinhua and Wang Ban, and translator Andrea Lingenfelter; moderated by Ping Zhu

(Reception 2-2:30pm)

Bizzell Memorial Library, Fourth Floor, West

7–9pm   Poetry reading by Taiwanese poet Ye Mimi and her translator Steve Bradbury

Featuring His Days Go By the Way Her Years: Poems by Ye Mimi

Mainsite Art Gallery, 122 E Main St, Norman, OK Continue reading

Best investigative stories of 2016

Source: Global Investigative Journalism Network (2/20/17)
Best Investigative Stories in China — 2016
By GIJN Staff
Read this story in Chinese: 2016中国内地深度报道精选:记录巨变,追问真相

Despite growing state controls and censorship, Chinese journalists are still finding ways to publish groundbreaking investigative reports about issues that matter to the Chinese people. After discussions with Mainland Chinese journalists, GIJN China has selected nine enterprising stories that showcase the best of Chinese muckraking last year.

Some stories focus on the fate of individuals who fell victim to a too-often unaccountable system; others try to untangle the obscure relationship between money and power. There are stories of fraud, crime, and a serial killer, as well as toxics and abuse by authorities. We likely missed many good stories, but here is an important record of China’s news media doing its best to expose social problems and hold power accountable. Continue reading

Mega-church ignites firestorm

Source: Sixth Tone (2/21/17)
Noah’s Ark-Inspired Mega-Church Ignites Firestorm
Giant Christian house of prayer in central China elicits curiosity, disdain, hope.
By Colum Murphy and Lin Qiqing

A view of the new Xingsha mega-church in Changsha County, Hunan province, Feb. 12, 2017. Wu Yue/Sixth Tone.

They came for a glimpse of a new mammoth, multimillion-dollar church and a stroll through its surrounding parkland. But visitors found their path blocked by a tall corrugated-iron barrier on a recent Sunday morning, forcing them to turn around and leave.

Some were casual tourists making the most of the sunny day in central China’s Hunan province. Others, like 56-year-old Huang Zhenlin, had deeper convictions. Through an opening in the barrier, Huang pleaded in vain with a construction worker inside the site: “Let me in,” he said. “I came here to worship.” Continue reading

Stephen Song translation studies awards 2016-17

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2016–2017)
I. Call for Entries
RCT invites Chinese scholars or research students in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau or overseas regions to participate the 19th Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2016–2017). General regulations are as follows:
II. General regulations
(i) All Chinese scholars or research students affiliated to higher education/research institutes in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau or overseas regions are eligible to apply.
(ii) Submitted articles must be written in either Chinese or English and published in a refereed journal within the calendar year 2016. Each candidate can enter up to two articles for the Awards. The publication date, title and volume/number of the journal in which the article(s) appeared must be provided.
(iii) Up to three articles are selected as winners each year. A certificate and a cheque of HK$3,000 will be awarded for each winning entry.
(iv) The adjudication committee, which consists of renowned scholars in Translation Studies from Greater China, will meet in May 2017. The results will be announced in June 2017 and winners will be notified individually.
(v) Articles submitted will not be returned to the candidates.
(vi) Two new submission mechanisms have been introduced since 2010 to the Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards. They are:
Nomination: scholars are welcome to nominate outstanding journal articles in the field for the Awards.
Email submission: in addition to mail-in submissions, electronic or scanned journal papers via emails are also accepted.
III. Submission
Entries can be made by email attachment or by post (postmarked on or before the deadline). For email submission, please attach a scanned PDF version of the published article. For postal submission, please provide the original or a photocopy of the journal entry.

Email address:

Postal address: Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong (with “Entry for Awards” marked on the envelope)

All entries should be submitted on or before 28 February 2017. For enquiries, please contact Ms Eppie Wang (

Continue reading

Liu Cixin story to be adapted for film

Source: China Film Insider (2/20/17)
Another Story by Chinese Sci-Fi Writer Liu Cixin to Hit Screens
China’s best-known contemporary science fiction writer continues to sell, even as earlier productions stall.

Chinese sci-fi novelist Liu Cixin is set to have another of his stories hit the big screen even as his more famous novel The Three Body Problem continues to languish in development limbo.

Local media outlet Sina Entertainment reports that filming on an adaptation of the Hugo and Nebula-winning novelist’s short story The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) will begin in March and is expected to hit screens either in summer 2018 or at the beginning of 2019.

In the short story, scientists build massive engines to propel the planet toward another star after they discover the sun is about to grow into a red giant. Continue reading

Dance Exhibition at U of Michigan

The University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies and the University Library are pleased to announce a new exhibition, Chinese Dance: National Movements in a Revolutionary Age, 1945-1965, to be held March 1-May 15, 2017 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Featuring materials from the University of Michigan Library’s Asia Library, home of North America’s largest collection of research materials on Chinese dance, the exhibition introduces modern Chinese dance history during the period from 1945 to 1965 through digitized photographs, performance programs, archival materials, books, and videos.

The exhibition is co-curated by Emily Wilcox (U-M Department of Asian Languages and Cultures) and Liangyu Fu (U-M Asia Library) and co-sponsored by the U-M Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies and the University Library. Continue reading

Made in China Summer School 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to announce the inaugural Made in China Summer School—’Labour and Rights in an Era of Global Precarity: Views from China’—which will be held on the ancient island of San Servolo, in the Venetian lagoon, from 17 to 21 July, 2017.

This event will bring together prominent scholars from all over the world for a series of presentations and discussions with students, trade unionists, and NGO activists. For an outline of the initiative and a list of confirmed speakers, please refer to this webpage.

Up to 30 participants will be admitted and applications can be submitted until 31 March through this online form. Continue reading

European Foundation Joris Ivens online film exhibition

Dear List Members,

The European Foundation Joris Ivens curates a monthly film/art exhibition featuring a piece of work created by a new or relatively unknown filmmaker here:

We are running out of curators and film/art works and would love to welcome your suggestions. Please see the description of this series from the EFJI website:

What is Politics and Poetry?

Each month a guest curator presents a piece of (film)art, made by a new or relatively unknown filmmaker, with both poetic and political qualities. Continue reading

Marilyn B. Young in memoriam (1-5)

Oh No! This is a huge loss for our discipline and also, for her country. I knew her through her work on Vietnam. But in 2008, when I was presenting a paper on the Mediterranean during the Cold War at Columbia, she dropped in to listen to it. I was awestruck. This larger than life historian was there actually asking questions of me and patiently listening to my answers. Afterwards, we had a long chat. She was direct and shared her knowledge generously. For women historians like me, she was a pathbreaker and we owe her so, so much! RIP

Dr Effie G. H. Pedaliu <>


Stunned and grieving. Mario Corona. Milan, Italy.

Mario Corona <>


Marilyn Young was a major contributor to a wonderful period in NYU History Department’s history.

Jeff Donnelly <> Continue reading