Crazy Alien set to open

Source: Global Times (1/20/19)
Director Ning Hao’s ‘Crazy Alien’ to hit big screens on February 5

The cast and crew of Crazy Alien attend the release announcement in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: IC

Crazy Alien [疯狂的外星人], the third movie in Chinese director Ning Hao’s Crazy series, will hit Chinese big screens on February 5, the first day of the Chinese New Year.

In the upcoming movie, Ning continues with his usual style of telling stories from the perspective of a small fry, this time with a sci-fi twist.

Inspired by Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin’s story Rural Teachers, the movie starring Huang Bo and Shen Teng follows two brothers who hope to make a fortune off the unexpected arrival of an alien visitor.

At the announcement, Liu said that he enjoyed Ning’s down-to-earth storytelling.

Since his first movie Crazy Stone in 2006, Ning has made a name for himself with his black humor and the box-office success of his second film in the series, Crazy Racer.

Popular Memories of the Mao Era

New Publication
Popular Memories of the Mao Era: From Critical Debate to Reassessing History
Edited by Sebastian Veg
Hong Kong University Press, 2019

[We are glad to offer a discount to MCLC members to order your book on our website.  Please enter the code ‘MCLC2019’ in the discount box of our website to enjoy 30% off when ordering the books. The offer is valid from 22 Jan – 22 Feb 2019. URL:]

The present volume provides an overview of new forms of popular memory, in particular critical memory, of the Mao era. Focusing on the processes of private production, public dissemination, and social sanctioning of narratives of the past in contemporary China, it examines the relation between popular memories and their social construction as historical knowledge. The three parts of the book are devoted to the shifting boundary between private and public in the press and media, the reconfiguration of elite and popular discourses in cultural productions (film, visual art, and literature), and the emergence of new discourses of knowledge through innovative readings of unofficial sources. Popular memories pose a challenge to the existing historiography of the first thirty years of the People’s Republic of China. Despite the recent backlash, these more critical reflections are beginning to transform the mainstream narrative of the Mao era in China. Continue reading

Contemporary Chinese theatre essay competition

ESSAY COMPETITION: Contemporary Chinese Theatre

A Competition

The Chinese section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC-China) announces an international contest for a text related to contemporary Chinese theatre – a theatre or performance review, a feature article on a theatre phenomenon, or an academic essay exploring an aspect of the subject matter. To be eligible, the piece must have been published in the English language during the last three years—that is, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018.

Reviews should be between 1500 and 2500 words, and features and academic essays between 3500 and 6500 words.

Along with the articles, the authors are expected to provide a PDF or a photo copy of the publication where the articles were published. Continue reading

History, Images, and Politics in the PRC

History, Images, and Politics in the PRC: An International Workshop

This two-day workshop brings a number of international scholars to Stanford to explore some of the different ways in which images and printed media have been used in contemporary politics within the People’s Republic of China.

Thursday, January 24
9:00 – 9:10 Opening remarks, Ban Wang (EALC, Stanford)

9:10 – 10:45 Political Authority and Grassroots Activism Chair: Guobin Yang (Sociology & Communication, U Penn) Presenters: Elizabeth J. Perry (Harvard) and Xiaojun Yan (Politics and Public Administration, Univ. of Hong Kong). Suppressing Students in the PRC: Proletarian State-Mobilized Movements in 1968 and 1989. Andrew Walder (Sociology, Stanford). Pathways to Violent Insurgency: China’s Factional Warfare of 1967-1968. Emily Honig (History, UC Santa Cruz). Crime and Punishment: Peasants, Sent-down Youth, and a Campaign to Expose Sexual Assault.

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:45 Writing and Propaganda Chair: Gail Hershatter (History, UC Santa Cruz) Presenters: Paul Pickowicz (History, UC San Diego). Mid-Cultural Revolution Propaganda Posters: Unintended Glimpses of the High Socialist Formation. Haiyan Lee (EALC, Stanford). “Homage to Virtue”: On Hypocrisy in Chinese Politics and Literature. Guangyao Jin (History, Fudan). The Rise and Fall of the Writing Group of Shanghai Party Committee. Continue reading

Newman Award for English Jueju

Newman Award for English Jueju/Writing Chinese Regulated Verse in English

Dear MCLC Literati,

Greetings from the University of Oklahoma! Now in its 8th year, the Newman Prize for English Jueju is again open for submissions. The window will remain open until March 1, 2019. The $500 prize is awarded in four categories: Three within the state of Oklahoma (elementary, middle, and high school) and one category for adult poets (college and adult) submitting poems from any location. For over 22 years, I have taught this form of poetry both within creative writing classes as well as in courses on Chinese literature and poetics in the belief that the best way (if not the only way) to learn about regulated verse is to learn to write it. Please keep in mind that the teaching video and game materials are a part of an evolving project, and one that has been created primarily for the purpose of general public education (elementary-high school teachers) and not for Classical Chinese poetics or phonology scholars. Still I have found this approach to teaching Chinese poetics exceptionally useful on a number of levels and hope that you and your students will find this project equally engaging and potentially enriching. The competition aspect of the project is meant to connect regulated verse culture, the rime table tradition, and the examination system so that poetics can be explored within the nexus of aesthetics, phonology/linguistics, cosmology/poetics and social/ideological forces. Therefore, I would encourage you and/or your students to participate in the competition for its full pedagogical potential, but the materials will remain in place as a teaching resource.  College-age and adult poets must submit their poems to by the deadline (March 1) along with the following information:  Name, School, and Contact information. All entries are judged blindly and winners are contacted by March 3, 2019.

For winners not in the state, you will receive your prize money and certificate by mail. Your winning poem will be read at the Newman Prize Ceremony from 6-9pm on March 8, 2019 alongside the celebration of this year’s Newman Prize for Chinese Literature winner, Xi Xi!  To learn how to write the English Jueju, please visit the website below:

Here is the link:

(Full-length) Teaching Video:

Again, I hope that you can take a moment to watch the video and try your hand and regulated English verse!

Sincerely Yours,

Jonathan Stalling <>

In all things, the chairman rules

Source: China Media Project (1/19/19)
By Qian Gang

In All Things, the Chairman Rules

In recent days, the above image of a roadside propaganda billboard in China proclaiming that “all” work, actions and major business must follow Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the rounds on the internet.

The three lines in the slogan on the billboard, each of which begins with “all,” in fact form what has been called “The Three Alls” (三个一切). The full phrase could be translated as follows:

All major matters are decided by Chairman Xi Jinping; all work must be responsible to Chairman Xi Jinping; all actions must heed the direction of Chairman Xi Jinping.


Continue reading

Critical Asian Humanities MA

Dear all,

After five years as a successful track within Duke’s East Asian Studies MA, Duke Critical Asian Humanities (CAH) is now a stand-alone MA program. The program provides students with training in cultural studies and critical theory within the context of modern and contemporary East Asia, and we offer informal concentrations in Global China, Japanese Empire Studies, and Borderland Korea, with an emphasis on cinema and visual culture, women’s studies and gender theory, and migration and diaspora.

Core faculty working in our program includes Professors Leo Ching, Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Claire Conceison, Guo-Juin Hong, Hae-Young Kim, Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Thomas Lamarre, LIU Kang, Yan Liu, and Carlos Rojas. Affiliated faculty include: Rey Chow, Markos Hadjioannou, Michael Hardt, Ralph Litzinger, Sucheta Mazumdar, Walter Mignolo, Cate Reilly, and Kathi Weeks.

Application deadline is January 31, and partial fellowships are available. For more information, please see our website: , or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Carlos Rojas, at


Carlos Rojas

Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Duke University

English as a national language in Taiwan

Source: The Asia Dialogue (1/17/19)
English as a National Language
Written by Isabel Eliassen and Timothy S. Rich.

Image credit: CC by <cleverCl@i®ê>/ Flickr.

For several months, Taiwanese officials have been drafting plans to make Taiwan into a Mandarin-English bilingual nation. By 2019 the government hopes to have concrete policy goals in place. So far, the policies center around increasing the number of qualified English teachers in Taiwan, utilizing free online resources, and more intensive English classes starting at a younger age.

The administration aims to make Taiwan fully bilingual by 2030. Singapore, even with a British colonial influence, took 20 years to establish English bilingual policy, with schools teaching English alongside the first languages of Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil, so Taiwan’s 2030 goal appears quite ambitious. Even if Taiwan is not fully bilingual by that time, it will be clear whether the new policies have been effective or if they need to be revised. The government has also set several short-term goals, including having versions of government websites in English and encouraging government employees to use English at work. Continue reading

Rise of Chinese science fiction

Source: Factor Daily (1/12/19)
Telling the China Story: The Rise and Rise of Chinese Science Fiction
By Gautham Shenoy

“Science fiction is as rare as unicorn horns, which shows in a way the intellectual poverty of our times”, wrote Lu Xun, one of China’s most towering and revered literary figures, writing about science fiction literature in China in his preface to his 1903 translation of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon.

116 years later, science fiction in – and from – the People’s Republic of China has come a long way since then, to become what is arguably the most popular genre of literature in China and with translations of Chinese science fiction picking up pace and finding a ready and eager audience – to the extent that some have even referred to it China’s greatest cultural export since kung fu – one can safely say that Chinese SF’s journey to the west (and elsewhere) has only just begun, with its star showing no signs of diminishing. But it wasn’t always so. Continue reading

China debates euthanasia

Source: SCMP (1/16/19)
Is it killing for kindness or convenience? China debates euthanasia
Trial judge sparks conversation by sharing his reasoning after sentencing three for assisted death of beloved family member
By Michelle Wong

A judge’s heart-wrenching account of a euthanasia trial has triggered a renewed conversation in China about an emotive subject which sharply divides the country.

The case involved a woman, surnamed Leng, from Taizhou city in Zhejiang province, eastern China, who was suffering from an autoimmune disease.

Leng had asked her son-in-law to buy rat poison to help her end the pain of her illness. The court heard that Leng swallowed the poison with her husband, daughter and son-in-law, surnamed Zhang, gathered around her bed to bid her a tearful farewell. Continue reading

UC San Diego postdocs

UC San Diego Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows

Two combined Postdoctoral/Lecturer (50/50) positions emphasizing new directions in language learning and language instruction research in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego are available beginning July 2019. Initial appointments will be for one year with the possibility of renewal contingent on performance and funding availability. We encourage applicants who can combine their primary expertise in language pedagogy, language-learning in digitally mediated environments, technology-enhanced (TE) language course design with competences in cultural studies, cognitive science, translation studies, linguistics or related fields. Ethnographic approaches to language learning and language research are also welcome. Salary and level of appointment are based on qualifications and UC pay scale. Proof of authorization to work in the U. S. will be required prior to employment (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985).

Candidates must have the ability to contribute to important departmental foci, such as translation, the study of language through literature, and L2 pedagogy in the fields of Ancient Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, Chinese, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or Indigenous languages. Continue reading

Writers and Texts on the Move–cfp

Call for Papers: “Writers and Texts on the Move: Chinese Literature as World Literature” MLA Annual Convention, January 9-12, 2020 in Seattle, WA

Over the last twenty years, interest in Chinese and Sinophone literature around the world has grown dramatically. Writers such as Mo Yan and Liu Cixin have made literature written in Chinese increasingly visible and accessible to readers worldwide. Their success has prompted the reexamination or discovery of other writers such as Zhang Ailing and Qiu Miaojin, both of whom have been recently translated and reprinted in the New York Review of Books Classics series. This session will examine the question of how Chinese and Sinophone literature have been (and have not been) incorporated into the world literary canon. While some attempts such as those of Gao Xingjian and Liu Cixin have been spectacularly successful, others have had initial success and then faded into obscurity such as Lin Yutang, or have been rediscovered long after their death like Zhang Ailing. This session seeks to answer the question of what qualities make some literature particularly portable into the world literary canon. How do authors anticipate or cater to potential translation? Are some Chinese language works written to be translated or translated even as they are written, to borrow Rebecca Walkowitz’s term “born-translated”? How do writers face the pressure to represent and re-articulate their entire nation in their literary production? What is the relation between the writer, the text, and the world? Presentations that innovatively address these questions are especially welcome. This session is sponsored by the LLC Modern and Contemporary Chinese Forum. Please send an approximate 300-word title and abstract proposal, 250-word minimum BIO and CV by February 21, 2019 to Dr. Clara Iwasaki ( and Dr. Sijia Yao (

African literature wave in China

Source: Quartz Africa (1/15/19)
Chimamanda Adichie is leading the rise of an African literature wave in China
By Abdi Latif Dahir

An African “literary icon” arrives in China

Dear Ijeawele is a forthright and frank book, a 15-step letter about how to raise a feminist child. But when it’s published in China around April this year, it will garner its author, the celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a new status: becoming one of few African writers whose body of work has mostly, if not all, been translated to Chinese.

“By far the hottest African writer among Chinese fans today is Nigeria’s Adichie,” says Bruce Humes, an American linguist and Chinese literary translator. For years now, Humes has compiled a bilingual list of contemporary African fiction published in Chinese since the 1980s, putting together a list of novels, poetry, drama, and short story collections available to readers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Humes, who has lived and worked across China since the late 70s, has so far identified 146 translated works from 66 African authors. Continue reading

A censor for every 1000 videos

Source: China Media Project (1/13/19)

A censor for every 1,000 videos please

One prominent aspect of media control in the Xi Jinping era has been its growing brazenness. No longer is censorship quite so shrouded in secrecy as it once was. Rather, it is announced openly as a matter of social and political necessity, and as the legal obligation of every company seeking to profit from the potentially lucrative digital space.

A pair of binding documents released this past week by the China Netcasting Services Association (中国网络视听节目服务协会) are a great case in point. They openly set out the “content review” standards expected of companies providing online video services, including the removal of content that “attacks on our country’s political or legal systems”, and “content that damages the national image.” One of the documents even specifies that companies expand their internal censorship teams as business grows and changes, and that they keep at least one “content review” employee on staff for every 1,000 new videos posted to their platform each day. Continue reading

Creative Labour workshop–cfp

Call for Papers
International postgraduate workshop on creative labour in East Asia and Beyond: work, subjectivity and alternatives in the global creative economies
Dates: 16 – 18 May 2019
lace: Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Convenors: Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam); Anthony Fung (Beijing Normal University); Yiu Fai Chow (Hong Kong Baptist University); Jian Lin (University of Amsterdam)

We invite abstract submissions from post-graduate and Ph.D researchers to a workshop on creative labour in East Asia.

Generally all human labour is potentially embodied with creativity (McGuigan 2010: 324). In the past two decades, however, the circulation of capital has delimited creativity as a definitive feature that distinguishes certain occupations in the so-called creative industries. Policy makers around the globe, following the 1990’s British government, embrace the ‘creative industries’ discourse and trumpet creative work for its bohemian spirit, autonomy and playfulness. Nevertheless, critiques have noted that the real situation of creative work is not as autonomous, self-expressive and fulfilling as imagined by creative-industry policies. Creative workers have become a creative precariat, suffering under precarious working conditions and surrounded by problems such as short-term contracts, unequal earnings and a lack of unions (Curtin and Sanson, 2016; Hesmondhalgh and Baker, 2011). Discourses surrounding creativity function as elements connected by the ‘creativity dispositif’, to implement job creation while also to discipline youthful population – to be creative (McRobbie 2016; Reckwitz 2017). Continue reading