ACCL presidency

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing with an update on the nomination process for the position of President of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature (ACCL). After the email calling for nominations was circulated in early July, a few of our colleagues were nominated and expressed interest in running for the position. However, so far, we have only one fully committed, outstanding candidate, namely Professor Carlos Rojas from Duke University. Professor Rojas, who was nominated by several senior colleagues, has kindly accepted the nomination. I have included Prof. Rojas’s statement and biography at the end of this message. Meanwhile, we are still seeking one more colleague willing to be considered for this position. Accordingly, we would like to extend the deadline for nominations to Oct 1, 2015. We encourage interested scholars to put their names forward or nominate others for this position. As mentioned before, the primary task of the president is to organize a major conference on Chinese and Comparative Literature/Culture/Film. Serving as president is a wonderful way to network and contribute service to the profession. Several senior colleagues who have served in this position before have offered their help to the incoming new president to establish links and communicate with mainland institutions. Thus, the task of organizing the biannual conference for the field is not as daunting as it may appear.

Thank you very much for your consideration! We look forward to hearing from some of you very soon. We wish each of you a wonderful fall!

Best regards,

Shengqing Wu
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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Dear members,

First of all, I would like to thank the member who nominated me for this position. The 1998 ACCL conference in Vienna and Salzburg still enjoys pride of place as one of my all-time favorite academic conferences. I attended the 2000 ACCL conference in Shanghai, and again this past summer, and both times I enjoyed the intellectual excitement of the conference itself, together with the excuse to spend time in Shanghai and the larger Jiangnan region. I am, therefore, delighted to be considered for the position of the next ACCL president, for which the primary responsibility would be organizing the next biannual conference in 2017.

I have hosted or co-hosted numerous workshops and conferences over the years, including a triptych of events on Chinese literature that I co-hosted with Andrea Bachner and Eric Hayot (which began with a large special panel at the inaugural ACLx conference in Fall of 2011, continued with a dedicated conference at Penn State in Fall of 2012, and concluded with a 30-person conference at Duke in Spring of 2014). This past spring, I co-hosted three one-day workshops at Duke’s new Kunshan campus, on “Urban Fringes,” “Invisible Writing,” and “Chinese Sci-fi and the figure of the Post-human.” Each of the latter events featured a combination of academics, authors, and artists, which helped generate some very lively discussion.

While I’ve never organized an event quite on the scale of the ACCL conferences, I would certainly welcome the challenge. I’m not sure yet where we would host it, though I’m intrigued by the possibility of having it either in Hong Kong or in Spain. The final decision would, of course, be contingent on the support and collaboration of local colleagues and institutions. As for the conference format, I liked Shengqing’s decision this year to incorporate some elements from the ACLA annual conferences (such as the multiple-day linked panels), and I would encourage this sort of innovation for the next conference. I would also like to promote greater collaboration by our pre-modernist colleagues (like the ACLA and ICLA, the ACCL seems to be heavily weighted toward the contemporary period).


I am Associate Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, and Arts of the Moving Image at Duke University. Over the past eight years, I have authored, translated, and co-edited twelve books, including most recently Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation in Modern China (which came out this spring from Harvard), a book-length collection of twelve stories by the Mahua author Ng Kim Chew titled Slow Boat to China and Other Stories by Ng Kim Chew (which will come out early next year from Columbia), and a volume co-edited with Andrea Bachner titled The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures (which includes 44 original essays totaling more than 400,000 words, and will be published next spring by Oxford). The latter Oxford volume will join several other forthcoming volumes, including David Der-wei Wang’s A New Literary History of Modern China, Yingjin Zhang’s A Companion to Modern Chinese Literature, Kirk Denton’s revised and expanded edition of The Columbia Companion of Modern Chinese Literature, Wiebke Denecke, Wai-yee Li, Xiaofei Tian’s Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE), as well as Kang-I Sun Chang and Stephen Owen’s recent two-volume Cambridge History of Chinese Literature. Each of these projects is a gargantuan undertaking in its own right (they are each hundreds of pages long, and include essays by many of the leading figures in the field), and collectively they testify to the health and vibrancy of our field. The next ACCL conference will offer a perfect opportunity to celebrate these achievements!


Carlos Rojas

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