Yu Xiuhua’s path to celebrity

Source: NYT (8/18/17)
A Chinese Poet’s Unusual Path From Isolated Farm Life to Celebrity
查看简体中文版  / 查看繁體中文版

Yu Xiuhua in the farmhouse in Hengdian where she grew up and began writing the passionate poetry that has caused a sensation in China. CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

HENGDIAN, China — The woman who has become one of China’s most-read poets — even hailed as its Emily Dickinson — spent most of her 41 years in a brick farmhouse tucked away behind trees and surrounded by wheat fields.

Most days she would limp down a dirt lane to a pond to feed the fish. She cut grass, grasping a sickle with hands that did not always obey her, to feed her rabbits. In the shade near the house she wrote at a low table, struggling to control her shaking body — a symptom of the cerebral palsy that she has lived with since she was born in this village in the central province of Hubei.

Then, in 2014, her life changed. Continue reading

KMT pulls pro-unification plank from platform

Source: SCMP (8/21/17)
KMT pulls pro-unification plank from party platform
Taiwan’s opposition party withdraws backing for peace treaty talks with the mainland
By Lawrence Chung

New KMT leader Wu Den-yih faces an uphill battle ahead of next year’s local government elections. Photo: CNA

Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang has pulled a pro-unification plank from the party’s platform, a move analysts say is certain to rile Beijing.

In a vote reportedly orchestrated by new KMT leader Wu Den-yih on Sunday, the party’s national congress approved removal of calls for a peace treaty with the mainland before eventual reunification, an idea introduced by Wu’s predecessor Hung Hsiu-chu. Continue reading

Cambridge UP reverses itself

Hooray. Cambridge decided their reputation was more important… But, no word on their reported self-censorship of 1000 Cambridge ebooks. Anyhow, maybe now more people can stand up to China’s government’s attempts to force their cowardly censorship regime onto others.

See too: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/aug/21/cambridge-university-press-to-back-down-over-china-censorship

Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: BBC News (8/21/17)
Cambridge University Press reverses China censorship move

Part of Cambridge

Image copyright PA

Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, has reversed a decision to censor content in China.

The publisher had agreed to suppress access to hundreds of its own articles that dealt with subjects sensitive to the Chinese authorities, such as those about the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The Chinese had said that if CUP did not censor content, it would not be able to publish other material in China.

It changed its mind after protests. Continue reading

ANU Research Fellow position

Research Fellow / Fellow at the Australian National University

Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Canberra / ACT
Categories: Academic

Classification: Academic Level B or Level C
Salary package: $94,287 – $127,025 per annum plus 17% superannuation
Employment Type: Full time, Fixed term 2 years

Position overview

The ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP) leads intellectual engagement with the Asia-Pacific region through research, teaching and contributions to public debate, and seeks to set the international standard for scholarship concerning the region.

The Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) is a research institution established to enhance the existing capabilities of the ANU. It aims to be an integrated, world-leading institution for Chinese Studies and the understanding of the Chinese world – the People’s Republic of China, the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, as well as Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora. Continue reading

Critics cry foul as Joshua Wong and other get jail

Source: Reuters (8/17/17)
Critics cry foul as Joshua Wong and other young Hong Kong democracy leaders get jail
By Venus Wu and James Pomfret

Student leaders Nathan Law and Joshua Wong walk into the High Court to face verdict on charges relating to the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, also known as Occupy Central protests, in Hong Kong, China August 17, 2017.Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong appeals court jailed three leaders of the Chinese-ruled city’s democracy movement for six to eight months on Thursday, dealing a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage and prompting accusations of political interference.

Joshua Wong, 20, Alex Chow, 26, and Nathan Law, 24, were sentenced last year to non-jail terms including community service for unlawful assembly, but the Department of Justice in the former British colony applied for a review, seeking imprisonment.

Continue reading

Cambridge UP caves to Chinese censorship (3)

I am getting inundated with queries about whether AAS realizes that the Journal of Asian Studies is a Cambridge University Press publication, asking if we have been censored in China, etc.  AAS is working on a response; something will likely go out on #AsiaNow today.  I have tweeted about this and am sharing those tweets with MCLC as follows:

JAS is a CUP publication but as far as I know access to our content in China has not changed. Tweets aren’t ideal for discussion but..

(re JAS) CUP is being pressed as it was re CQ, but AAS is determined to prevent the same thing happening to our content (stay tuned)

Thanks much,

Jeff Wasserstrom <wasserstromjeff@gmail.com>

Cambridge UP caves to Chinese censorship (2)

Completely agree. CUP statements on this are very puzzling. They seem to think that a little is better than none. That applies to food, water and money. Not to freedom to publish all academic content of merit.

CUP has no particular commercial need to do this. One can only hypothesize a sticky idea that everybody has to be “in” China.

Even if they had a commercial need to do this, it would be a poor bargain to trade the historic reputation of CUP for academic quality and integrity for a reputation as a cowardly, opportunistic hack press that either doesn’t understand basic issues of free inquiry or hopes its readers won’t. Again, they seem to think a little integrity is better than none. Wrong again.

What CUP has to be “in” is the complete confidence of scholarly communities everywhere –including China. They can remain an outlet for scholarship from China without having their own outlets in China –in fact, it might be the only way to do so. They have chosen the shortest possible path to discreditation. Let’s hope they reconsider and continue to be the real Cambridge University Press.

Pamela Crossley <crossley@dartmouth.edu>

Cambridge UP caves to Chinese censorship (1)

Hi, I think we academics — upon whom the independent reviews and facilitation of publication of work in China Quarterly as well as for the Press depend — cannot continue to support CUP. Jim Millward wrote a great piece, appended below, pointing out how CUP’s craven cave to PRC censorship effectively by-passes exactly those scholarly apparatuses in which we participate. https://medium.com/@millwarj/open-letter-to-cambridge-university-press-about-its-censorship-of-the-journal-china-quarterly-c366f76dcdac

This cannot be allowed to become or remain our new normal.

Rebecca Karl <karl.rebecca22@gmail.com>

What it’s really like to be a journalist

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: DW.com (8/14/17)
What it’s really like to be a journalist in China
Audrey Jiajia Li was a prominent TV journalist in China, but she quit before getting fired for complying with the official line. Now seeks freedom of speech on social media – but still lives with fear.

Audrey Jiajia Li (IWMF)

Audrey Jiajia Li, also known as Li Jiajia, is a journalist and independent filmmaker based in both Singapore and Guangzhou, China.

A long-time TV journalist, she says press freedom in China has been getting worse every day. In response, she went freelance last year and began writing columns on politics and culture for publications outside of China, including the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Chinese-language newspaper in Singapore, in order to gain greater expressive freedom.

As a filmmaker, she created the documentary “LA, Say Goodbye to Smog,” which was banned in China. She has also written the book “Zhege Shidai, Zhexie Ren,” (These Times, These People) about people and situations in mainland China. Continue reading

Cambridge UP caves to Chinese censorship

Cambridge University Press has caved to Chinese censorship demand by blocking hundreds of CUP publications in China, so as to be able to sell other “tame” content there. This has rightfully garnered quite a lot of attention today since it amounts to a new form of blatant political deletion of articles and books on China written by serious academics, and CUP deserves criticism for it.

–I myself wrote a comment in a thread on this over at H-Asia (https://networks.h-net.org/node/22055/discussions/191305/cambridge-accepting-censorship-academic-content-prc#reply-191354) where I addressed the naive defense CUP has mounted, including about how China has joined the IPA, the International Publishing Association, as if this would help change China for the better. On the contrary, it might change the IPA by eroding its commitment to freedom of publishing around the world. I mentioned one example of this, the incident last month in which the Chinese publisher’s association, supposedly independent of its government (which is a condition of IPA membership), blatantly tried to coerce the IPA to withdraw a nominee for consideration for the IPA’s main freedom of publishing award, the Voltaire Prize, thus breaking IPA rules. This attempt was uncovered by Swedish media in late July (and was not widely elsewhere, other than in Germany, as far as I know).

On the Cambridge University Press academic self-censorship issue, see too:



Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Have a Nice Day review

Source: China Film Insider (8/17/13)
Film Review: ‘Have a Nice Day’
By Jonathan Landreth

Official still of ‘Have a Nice Day’.

(Grade: A)

A tousled-haired young man in a third-tier Chinese city is desperate to fix the botched plastic surgery done on his fiancée’s face. At knifepoint, he steals a satchel of one million yuan from a local gangster, setting off a chain-reaction of greed and brutal violence between strangers in “Have a Nice Day,” the first Chinese animated feature to screen in a major international film festival. Continue reading

HK activist abducted (1)

The recent abduction case/claim in Hong Kong has taken an interesting turn: The HK police arrested the man, and seem to be accusing him of fabricating the incident. (But why would he do that? The whole case is unclear. There is of course no dearth of evidence on torture and mistreatment of people abducted by the Chinese authorities, on the mainland. Fabricating some, in HK, would seem to serve only to sow doubt about such matters, including about the recent several abductions from HK. So the possibility that generating such doubts itself is the purpose, should probably not be discounted. ). See too: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-40932772 –Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Source: Hong Kong Free Press (8/16/17)
Democrat ‘abduction’: Police consider formally charging activist Howard Lam with misleading officers
By Kris Cheng

Acting Police Commissioner Alan Lau. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Acting Police Commissioner Alan Lau has said the police will consider charging Democratic Party member Howard Lam with misleading police officers.

Last Friday, Lam said he was abducted and assaulted by suspected mainland agents in Hong Kong. He claimed that he was falsely imprisoned, interrogated and assaulted by men who inserted 21 staples into his legs. Continue reading

Documentary about comfort women

List members might be interested to know that a documentary on Chinese comfort women opened in cinemas in China this week. This film is the project of a young director named Guo Ke 郭柯 who filmed his interviews with the survivors of comfort women for Japanese soldiers during WWII. Financial assistance was provided by a TV drama star who sought the support of TV and film celebrities in China, including director Feng Xiaogang 冯小刚, her husband Yuan Hong 袁弘, also a hot TV drama personality and other friends to help promote the film. The documentary shows the now elderly women plainly and let them speak for themselves. When Guo began the project, thirty of them were still alive. By the time the film was completed, only twenty two were left. That is why the film is titled Twenty Two. By now, when the film is ready to be shown, only eight were still living.

Lily Lee <l.lee@sydney.edu.au>

USC position

University of Southern California position
Assistant Professor of Contemporary Chinese Literature and Media Studies

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California) invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in contemporary Chinese literature and media studies. We seek a candidate who will complement a geographically diverse faculty in the department and work well across departments. The successful candidate will teach courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as contribute to our general education program.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant area of Chinese studies by the start of the appointment and must demonstrate research and teaching excellence. To apply, please submit a curriculum vitae, a cover letter that includes a statement of research and teaching interests, a writing sample, and the names of three individuals from whom letters of recommendation may be solicited.  The deadline for receipt of all application materials, including letters, is October 20, 2017.

In order to be considered for this position, applicants are required to submit an electronic USC application; follow this job link or paste in a browser: https://usccareers.usc.edu/job/los-angeles/assistant-professor-of-contemporary-chinese-literature-and-media-studies/1209/5401229 . Questions can be addressed to ealcsearch@dornsife.usc.edu. Continue reading