Paper Republic 5

Autumn is here, a time of year I actually really like, and there’s certainly a lot to celebrate at the moment! On a personal note, I might be able to travel to the American Literary Translator’s Association conference next month, the virtual leg of which has already started. Then there’s the approaching completion of a big Paper Republic project which a few of the members have been plugging away at for over a year by now, and which has involved contributions from tens of wonderful people at this point. Watch this space.

On top of those, it’s what is, I suppose, an unofficial award season in the world of translated literature, or at least one of them. And there are plenty of congratulations to go around: Sanmao, Mike Fu, Can Xue, Karen Gernant, Chen Zeping, Ge Fei, Canaan Morse, Chiou Charng-Ting, May Huang, Tracy K. Smith, Changtai Bi, David Hinton…

There are also a number of exciting events coming up, one of which involves Nicky Harman, in conversation with Jun Liu, and another which will be led by Jennifer Wong. Booking information can be found via the links below.

Last but not least — although this is a different kind of announcement to the ones above — if you are an author, translator, publisher or organisation with a Chinese-literature related event coming up and you’d like to share some information about it, say a few words, share an idea you have, please do get in touch and we’ll feature you/it in an upcoming newsletter both on the site and in the email version (which you can sign up to here). Continue reading

Georgetown position

Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Georgetown University

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in Georgetown College invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, to start in Fall 2022. PhD in relevant field required by time of appointment. The successful candidate will demonstrate an innovative research agenda, ability to help move the department forward with imagination and vision, ability to engage with the broader academic community, and a devotion to delivering sophisticated, accessible, and effective teaching to undergraduate and graduate students within and beyond the department. Candidates should be able to teach a range of courses evoking the richness and diversity of modern Sinophone literature and culture, including introductory courses in English and advanced undergraduate topical courses taught in Chinese. Independent teaching experience in those areas is a plus; ability to teach classes on film, contemporary digital culture, and/or modern East Asia more broadly is also welcome. Native or near-native proficiency in English and Chinese is required. We are especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Please send application letter, CV, brief statement of teaching philosophy and interests, and three letters of recommendation to Application review will begin October 25th.

Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please click here for more information, or contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action (IDEAA) at (202) 687-4798.

Pomona position

The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures (ALL) at Pomona College, which consists of a Chinese and Japanese program, invites applications for a tenure-track position in either modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture or Chinese linguistics to begin July 2022. Applicants must have native or near- native fluency in Mandarin Chinese and English, demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching, and Ph.D. in hand at time of appointment. This position carries a 2/2 teaching load, including three language courses and a course taught in English in the candidate’s area of specialization. Area of specialization is open, but preference will be given to applicants with training in literature, film, popular culture, art, or linguistics.

Please upload the following application materials to (a) letter of application describing research and teaching interests, (b) curriculum vitae, (c) graduate transcript(s), (d) three brief statements – one addressing teaching philosophy and experience, one addressing scholarship including your future directions, and one addressing demonstrated ability to mentor a diverse student body, (e) teaching evaluations, and (f) three letters of recommendation. Please address queries other than applications to the search committee chair, Eileen J. Cheng ( Priority will be given to applications received by November 1, 2021, at which time review of applicant files will begin; applications may be accepted until the position is filled. Continue reading

NYU Shanghai–two positions

Tenured/Tenure-track Position in Global China Studies, Media Anthropology

NYU Shanghai is currently inviting applications for a tenure-track or tenured position at the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor in Media Anthropology in the University’s Global China Studies Program, starting Fall 2022. The Global China Studies program is a 4-year undergraduate major at NYU Shanghai that provides students with an intellectual foundation in Chinese history, language and society. Beyond the scope of conventional area studies, this innovative interdisciplinary major allows students to cultivate critical skills and up-to-date knowledge about China. It aims at deepening their understanding of China’s interactions with the wider world as well as comprehending the trends within China, at individual, societal, state, and global levels, and in the context of socio-economic, religious, cultural, and political transformations.

We seek candidates who have completed a Ph.D. (or will finish a Ph.D. at the start of their appointment in Fall 2022) in anthropology, media and communication studies, or a closely related discipline. Their research profile and agenda should include a focus on China. We invite applications from candidates specialized in methodologically innovative ethnographic, interpretive methods with broad research topics. We have special interest in those with expertise in digital media, cultural institutions, urbanism, and/or media and cyber infrastructure. We expect the candidate’s main research field to be contemporary China, but historical perspectives and analysis could also be part of teaching and research plans.

The selected candidate is expected to teach undergraduate foundation courses that serve the University’s core curriculum on China, seminar courses that advance research and analytical skills on topics related to China, and supervise senior capstone thesis. The candidate will also engage in campus-wide research initiatives, student activities and service work. Continue reading

2022 Berkeley-Stanford Grad Conference- cfp

Call for Proposals for the 2022 Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Student Conference in Modern Chinese Humanities

Currently enrolled graduate students are invited to submit paper proposals for the Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Student Conference in Modern Chinese Humanities, to be held April 22-23, 2022 at UC Berkeley. Conference registration is free. Presenters will be provided with shared lodging, Friday dinner, and Saturday lunch. There is limited partial funding assistance for those who cannot find their own funding.

Proposals/bios due: November 12, 2021 (5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time)

Application Instructions:

To apply, please upload your abstract (up to 250 words) and a short bio (up to 100 words, including current institutional affiliation) as a one-page document. Include the following information in the document: Author Name, Author Bio, Paper Title, Subtitle (optional), Keywords, and Abstract. Please follow the link to apply:

The annual Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Student Conference in Modern Chinese Humanities brings together current graduate students from across the U.S. and around the world to present innovative research on any aspect of modern Chinese cultural production in the humanistic disciplines. The conference provides a window into current research in Chinese studies, and serves as a platform for fostering interaction among budding scholars of geographically disparate institutions, facilitating their exchange of ideas and interests. The conference hopes to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship within and between literary and cultural studies, cultural history, art history, film and media studies, musicology and sound studies, as well as the interpretative social sciences. For a list of past presenters, please see the archived conference schedules.

Notification of acceptance: Early January 2022
Final paper submission deadline (if accepted): April 8, 2022 (5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time)
Contact Information: UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies <>

Posted by: Jiahe Mei <>

Stories from an Ancient Land

Permit me to promote my own new book, which is about the Wa people, who see themselves as the caretakers of the world, because they were the first people on Earth. Today, their ancient land has been annexed by China, and Burma. The book is about Wa cosmology, xenology and sociality, about fieldwork and participant intoxication, about the political anthropology of standing your ground, and about the Chinese appropriation of Wa culture, and much more. Also includes an epilogue on the future of ethnics in the context of the current Chinese neonationalist policy shift, and genocide in Xinjiang (East Turkestan). The book is:

Stories from an Ancient Land: Perspectives on Wa History and Culture. New York/Oxford: Berghahn: August 2021. Series: Asian Anthropologies. ISBN  978-1-78920-887-0; eISBN 978-1-78920-888-7.

Discount code FIS870. Valid until September 30th 2021.

–Cheers, Magnus Fiskesjö

HKU on the frontline of a battle for democracy

Source: CNN (9/18/21)
One of Asia’s most prestigious universities is on the frontline of a battle for democracy
By CNN staff


Hong Kong (CNN)Students and lecturers at Hong Kong‘s most prestigious university returned from summer break this month to a very different institution.

The Democracy Wall at the University of Hong Kong (better known as HKU) — a pinboard where students once shared political thoughts — is gone. The student union, which once advocated for students, is all but defunct, with four of its members facing charges of advocating terrorism.

Although many students and academics were happy to be back on campus — many for the first time since the start of the pandemic — a political chill hangs over the university that some staff say is influencing how they teach.

While the Hong Kong government told CNN the city’s universities “continue to enjoy academic freedom,” four current HKU staff who spoke with CNN on condition of anonymity said they are more cautious about what they say in class, afraid that their own students could report them to authorities.

The self-censorship began after June last year when Beijing imposed a controversial and sweeping national security law on the city. Since then, more than 140 people have been arrested under the law, including activists, journalists, politicians and educators, and, of those, 85 have been charged. Continue reading

Journal of Literary Multilingualism–cfp

CFP: Journal of Literary Multilingualism Special Issue “Literary Multilingualism Studies: The Future of the Field”

Literary multilingualism studies is a relatively new but burgeoning area of research. With the impact of translation studies, the “transnational turn” within literary studies, and the growing relevance of the ‘postmonolingual condition’ in the contemporary world, multilingual and translingual writing practices – considered in the past to be exceptional and unusual – are now at the forefront of literary studies.

Scholars from a diverse range of linguistic, cultural, political, disciplinary and theoretical positions are contributing to the field, engaging with literature of all periods and all parts of the world. This rich diversity, however, means that there is currently little consensus on established terminology and on how ‘literary multilingualism’ might be defined. In addition to this, scholarship is fragmented in the sense that scholars engaging in one field of the discipline are often unaware of work being done in others. There is thus a strong need for more dialogue.

For this inaugural issue of the Journal for Literary Multilingualism we invite scholars to engage in a dynamic assessment of the field and its future. What are the key questions and debates at stake within literary multilingualism studies? What terminology is essential to the study of literary multilingualism and how do we define those terms? What future directions does the field need to take? We also invite provocations and critiques of literary multilingualism studies thus far: what are its absences and blind spots? Which aspects of literary multilingualism have been neglected? Continue reading

U Penn position

Modern Chinese and Sinophone Literatures

The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to appoint a tenure-track Assistant Professor in modern Chinese and Sinophone literatures (broadly defined) to begin July 1, 2022.

Candidates should have a doctoral degree in hand by the time of the appointment. “Modern” is defined as roughly 1700 to the present. We welcome candidates with specializations in mainland China (including minority literatures), Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the broader Sinophone world. Applicants should possess a record of promising, innovative scholarship, and a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching. Interest in collaboration with authors and/or critics, and in interaction with Penn’s Chinese language program is desirable. The successful candidate will be expected to teach an introduction to Chinese civilization course on rotation, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses in their area of specialization.

Review of applications will begin on November 23, 2021. Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, a teaching statement, one article-length writing sample, and three letters of reference through; we will request additional teaching materials and writing sample(s) from candidates who advance in the search process.

The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities/Women/Individuals with disabilities/Protected Veterans are encouraged to apply. We are strongly committed to Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence, and to creating a more diverse and inclusive faculty (for more information:

‘Shang-Chi’ debate in China

Source: NYT (9/17/21)
‘Shang-Chi’ Wins a Warm Asia Greeting. Then There’s China.
Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie has yet to be released in the mainland amid fierce debate over its back story and star.
By Jin Yu YoungAmy Chang Chien and Azi Paybarah

Michelle Yeoh and Simu Liu in a scene from “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Credit…Marvel Studios/Disney-Marvel Studios, via Associated Press

Marvel released “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” with China in mind. Simu Liu, the film’s Canadian lead actor, was born in China. Much of its dialogue is in Mandarin. The cast includes Tony Leung, one of the biggest Chinese-speaking movie stars in history.

The studio’s first Asian superhero movie is a hit, drawing praise and ticket sales in East Asia and other global markets. Perhaps the only place where the movie has not been well received — in fact, it has not been received there at all — is mainland China.

Disney, which owns Marvel, has yet to receive clearance from Beijing’s regulators to show the film in the vast but heavily censored movie market. While the reasons aren’t clear, “Shang-Chi” may be a victim of the low point in U.S.-China relations.

China is also pushing back against Western influence, with increasingly vocal nationalists denouncing foreign books and movies and the teaching of English. They have even criticized Mr. Liu for his previous comments about China, which he left in the mid-1990s, when he was a small child. Continue reading

Peach Blossom Paradise long-listed for National Book Award

Canaan Morse’s translation of Ge Fei’s Peach Blossom Paradise has been long-listed for a National Book Award. Here’s the list of nominated books for the translated literature category. For more information, see this NPR report.

Translated Literature

  • Maryse Condé, Waiting for the Waters to Risetranslated from the French by Richard Philcox
  • Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
  • Ge Fei, Peach Blossom Paradise, translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse
  • Nona Fernández, The Twilight Zone, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
  • Bo-Young Kim, On the Origin of Species and Other Stories, translated from the Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort and Sora Kim-Russell
  • Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
  • Elvira Navarro, Rabbit Island: Stories, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
  • Judith Schalansky, An Inventory of Losses,translated from the German by Jackie Smith

Mo Yan Speaks

Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China by Mo Yan, translated and edited by Shiyan Xu (Cambria Press) has just been published.

Nobel Laureate Mo Yan, whose name literally means “don’t speak,” is renowned for his fiction, which the Nobel Prize Foundation notes “merges folk tales, history and the contemporary” “with hallucinatory realism.” His works include The Garlic BalladsRed SorghumShifu, You’ll Do Anything for a LaughLife and Death Are Wearing Me OutThe Republic of Wine; and Big Breasts and Wide Hips (all translated into English by Professor Howard Goldblatt). Mo Yan’s fiction has captivated a global audience for years, and his speeches are just as riveting. They provide rare insights into the complex thought processes of one of the most influential writers in the world. Mo Yan’s passion for this work comes across clearly in his lectures and speeches, reinforcing the strong emotions his works evoke in his readers. Many of these speeches have been translated into Japanese and Korean, and they are now finally available in English. From the writers who have influenced him to the relationship between his life and his works, these speeches offer an extraordinary window in Mo Yan’s world and will help us appreciate his works even more.

Read an excerpt (“I used to be so scared of ghosts and monsters, but I have never encountered any… and now it’s human beings that really strike fear in me.”—Mo Yan ) from chapter 15, “Fear and Hope” here. Continue reading

New developments on Xinjiang genocide

Several major new developments as regards the ongoing Chinese genocide against the Uyghur people.

1) A major conference held in Newcastle, England was held 1-3 Sept, 2021, “The #Xinjiang Crisis: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Justice” – full set of session recordings now available as online videos, here. ( … my own paper, on the cultural destruction, was in panel 5).

2) The Uyghur Tribunal concluded its 2nd and final round of hearings in London September 10-13 and has also published the entire hearings online.

The Tribunal is a private pro-bono initiative to interview witnesses (survivors, experts, and more) and accumulate documentation, as an encouragement to world governments who have largely failed to go from expressing “concern” to action against China. The tribunal will publish its conclusions in December. A summary report on the tribunal (and China’s government lashing out against it) is here.

3) Meanwhile, right at the same time, the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet released a momentous 2 sentences statement declaring that (after 4 years of trying), she is giving up on her efforts to send an inspection team to China. Continue reading

The Future Is Now lecture

SEPTEMBER 17 @ 12:00 PM-1:30 PM
Speaker: Laurence Coderre, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, New York University
Presented via Zoom Webinar
Register at:
Also streaming on YouTube

Whereas the contemporary era in China is often depicted in terms of rampant, ideologically vacuous commodification, the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) is typically cast as a time of ubiquitous politics and scarce goods. Indeed, with the exception of the likeness and words of Mao Zedong, the media and material culture of the Cultural Revolution are often characterized as a void out of which the postsocialist world of commodity consumption miraculously sprang fully formed. I instead argue that the Cultural Revolution media environment and the ways in which its constituent elements engaged contemporaneous discourses of materiality and political economy anticipated the widespread commodification now so closely associated with the Reform Period (1978-present). Continue reading