Li Rui dies at 101

Source: NYT (2/15/19)
Li Rui, a Mao Confidant Who Turned Party Critic, Dies at 101
By Ian Johnson

Li Rui, who died on Saturday at 101, “saw himself as a conscience of the revolution and the party,” said Roderick MacFarquhar, the late Harvard scholar of Chinese history. “But he had grave doubts about the system he spent his life serving.” Creditvia Nanyang Li

BEIJING — Li Rui, who over nearly four decades went from being one of Mao Zedong’s personal secretaries in the 1950s to a Communist Party critic, revisionist historian and standard-bearer for liberal values in China, died in Beijing on Saturday. He was 101.

The cause of death was organ failure, brought on by a lung inflammation and cancer of the digestive tract, according to his daughter, Li Nanyang, who spoke with doctors at the Beijing hospital where Mr. Li had been receiving treatment. Continue reading

Xu Zhimo poem gets music video

The video mentioned in the piece below can be viewed here: — Kirk

Source: China Daily (2/14/19)
Classic poem gets music video
By Chen Nan | China Daily

Members of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge perform under the baton of Stephen Cleobury, music director and conductor of the choir. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A new music video for the song Second Farewell to Cambridge, adapted from Chinese poet Xu Zhimo’s famous composition, has been released by the King’s College Record Label to mark Lunar New Year.

It was shot on location at King’s College, Cambridge, the place Xu portrayed in his poem, which was set to music by English composer John Rutter in the summer of 2018. It was performed by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, under the baton of Stephen Cleobury, music director of the choir and features a performance by Chinese tenor Wang Bo. Continue reading

Dawn of the little red phone

Source: China Media Project (2/13/19)
By David Bandurski

The Dawn of the Little Red Phone

On January 25, all seven members of China’s elite Politburo Standing Committee, including President Xi Jinping, gathered at the headquarters of the flagship People’s Daily newspaper to underline the importance of “convergence media” and digital media development as a means of strengthening the Party’s dominance of ideas and information.

Xi Jinping told those present that the Party “must utilise the fruits of the information revolution to promote deep development of convergence media.” The objective was to “build up mainstream public opinion” — meaning, of course, Party-led public opinion — and to “consolidate the shared ideological foundation underpinning the concerted efforts of the entire Party and all the Chinese people.”

As we wrote at the time, Xi’s stilted and jargon-filled speech was essentially about the Party finding new ways to reengineer its dominance over the realm of ideas in the face of dramatic changes to the media environment brought on by the digital revolution. But what exactly does this mean in practice? How can, and how will, the Party leverage digital technology to re-program propaganda in the 21st century? Continue reading

West Kowloon Cultural District position

Head, Learning and Participation (Performing Arts)
Apply on or before:24/02/2019
Working Location: Kowloon (WKCDA Project Site Office)

Reporting to Artistic Director, Performing Arts, the Head, Learning and Participation (Performing Arts) will be responsible for designing and delivering a diverse and innovative roster of programmes, driving broad creative engagement and impact for the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) across a wide range of communities. The Head will oversee all Learning and Participation (L&P) programmes across WKCD, including the newly opened Xiqu Centre and Freespace to be open in 2019, as well as in local Hong Kong communities. The Head will continue developing the L&P vision and mission and lead a team to implement the strategies and programmes to deliver the vision and mission. S/ he will work collaboratively across the organisation, in particular with the artistic team heads (xiqu, dance, theatre, music and outdoor), as well as the digital, marketing and development teams in the organisation. Continue reading

Connecting the Dots through Guo Baochang

Connecting the Dots Through Guo Baochang 郭宝昌: A Symposium at the U of Chicago

Dear List Members,

If you are in the Chicago area please join us for this event:

Connecting the Dots Through Guo Baochang 郭宝昌:
Contemporary Chinese Opera, Film, TV
University of Chicago, February 21-23, 2019

This 3-day program, February 21-23, 2019, will investigate the relationship between Peking Opera, film, and TV in the oeuvre of Guo Baochang’s work as a renowned Chinese director.  The program includes two evening screenings with Q&A/panel discussions, and a two-day symposium with leading scholars on the interrelationship between contemporary Chinese opera, film, and TV. Details at

Paola Iovene <>


New Book: Race in Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series
Race, by Martin Orkin and Alexa Alice Joubin. London: Routledge, 2019;  252 pages. ISBN: 9781138904699

For 20% discount, enter code FLR40

Can Chinese intellectuals in the diaspora be themselves first and a Chinese subject second? Gao Xingjian poses this question in his dramatic works and theory of “cold literature.” Conversely, Julia Kristeva describes her experience of feeling like an ape under the gaze of the other during her visit to China in her book, About Chinese Women (1978). How does racialized thinking inform Japanese and Chinese mythologies, Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution, performative discourses of “yellow peril” and “yellow fever,” and the relationship between Taiwanese women and their Southeast Asian maids? Continue reading

Avant-garde Poetry in the Chinese Literary Scene–cfp

RMMLA 2019 Call for Papers
Avant-garde Poetry in the Chinese Literary Scene

A number of related literary-historical terms are often used interchangeably when discussing Chinese poetry written over the course of the past century. These include “experimental” and “modern/modernist” in the early 20thcentury, giving way to unofficial/official and “avant-garde” in the late 20thcentury and beyond. In this panel, we are inviting in-depth discussion specifically of the Avant-garde as a concept and practice in Chinese poetry over this period, both in terms of how it relates to other related concepts within China, and as it functions in the context of a world literary standard or style. We especially welcome contributions from the field of literary studies, linguistics, sociology, and intellectual history. Continue reading

Dartmouth South-South Forum–cfp

The Dartmouth South-South Forum’s First Annual Workshop (August 12-16, 2019) welcomes submissions in English as well as in Chinese. The theme of this year’s workshop is “Home Lost.” Enclosed please find the CFP in five conference languages including Chinese. Abstract submission is due on March 1, 2019.

Miya Xie <>

Oregon lecturer position

Lecturer of Chinese Literature

The University of Oregon’s East Asian Languages and Literatures Department invites applicants for a Lecturer position in Chinese Literature to begin in fall of 2019.  The area of specialization is modern Chinese literature. The workload includes 6 courses per year, graduate student advising, and some service. Required is a PhD in Chinese literature or related field in hand by time of appointment, native or near-native fluency in English as well as Chinese, and evidence of Chinese language teaching experience.  Preference will be given to candidates who can teach both lower and upper division courses in literature and popular culture and advise PhD students. Candidates must apply online with application review to begin on 03/06/19.  Please see  for the complete position announcement and application instructions.  UO is an EO/AA/Veterans/Disability institution committed to cultural diversity.

Roy Chan 陳江北
Associate Professor, Chinese
University of Oregon

Chinese Parents video game

Source: NYT (2/12/19)
In China, This Video Game Lets You Be a Tiger Mom or a Driven Dad
Mete out love and discipline. Set ambitious goals. Endure a teenager’s first dates. Fans say the game Chinese Parents is a surprisingly poignant exercise in role reversal.
By Carolyn Zhang and Raymond Zhong

As in real life, maintaining appearances is important in the game Chinese Parents. If your child misbehaves in front of your relatives, you may get upset about “losing face.”CreditCreditMoyuwan Games

SHANGHAI — You want your children to do well in school. You want them to have nice friends and interesting hobbies and to not go out with creeps. You may even want them to be happy.

But in this computer game, you can always start over with a new digital child if things don’t work out as planned.

A new game in China puts players in control of those most fearsome of characters: Mom and Dad. The mission? Raise a son or daughter from cradle to college.

In a nation of famously demanding, scolding and, yes, sometimes loving mothers and fathers, the game, Chinese Parents, is a hit. Since its release in September, it has found a huge audience on Steam, an online marketplace run by the American game maker Valve Corporation. There are no official figures for how many people have downloaded the game, but it has provoked heated discussion online, while earning tens of thousands of reviews. Continue reading

Memory and Motion in Asian Literature and Film–cfp

RMMLA (Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Convention)
Call for Papers
October 10-12, 2019, El Paso, Texas

Panel: Memory and Motion in Asian Literature and Film

This panel seeks to explore the “cultural memories and contemporary trends of motions” in the broadest sense, in terms of geographic/cultural borders as well as genres. We welcome papers that examine instances of intra-Asian or East-West transcultural encounters, and/or interdisciplinary connections in Asian literature, film and performance art. Papers might address:

  • Transculturation of history and memory in Asian literary, theatrical, and/or visual texts
  • Case studies of literary/cinematic and/or cultural translation and adaptation in relation to communicative memory and contemporary motion
  • Interdisciplinary connections between literature, cinema, theater, and other genres
  • The role translation played in the preservation and reconstruction of memories in Asian countries
  • Digital humanities and memory and/or activism
  • Media and Technology
  • Climate Change and Social Memory
  • Dynamic intertextuality within Asia
  • Cultural collaborations that travel national boundaries
  • Power dynamics between Asian texts and global cultural discourses
  • Memory and Activism

We hope to accept a broad range of submissions and widely open up discussions that address broad but fundamental questions concerning the creation and transculturation of texts across Asia and beyond. We encourage contributions from the fields of East Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Taiwan Studies, Sinophone Studies, Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, Trauma and Memory Studies, Ecocriticism as well as other fields. Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief C.V. by March 15 to Wendy Sun( and Brad Lint(

Sino-French Exchanges in the Long 19th Century–cfp

MLA 2020 Call for Papers
Sino-French Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century
MLA Convention: January 9-12, 2020 in Seattle, Washington

Deadline: March 15, 2019

This session will focus on Sino-French cultural exchanges throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. We seek to explore the proliferation, significance, and ramifications of French and Chinese literary, artistic, diplomatic, archaeological, and scholarly exchanges throughout the long nineteenth century (1795-1914). We welcome papers from scholars working in literature, poetry, art, comparative cultural studies and other fields to shed light on Sino-French cross-cultural encounters and flows. All methodological and theoretical approaches are welcome. This is a collaborative session co-organized by both the LLC 19th Century French Forum and the LLC East Asian Forum.

Please submit 500-word proposals by March 15 to Géraldine Fiss and Elizabeth Emery

Urban Decay conference

Utopian Decay: Cybernetic Systems in China and the Sinophone Worlds
Friday, February 15, 2019
New York University
239 Greene Street, Floor 8, New York, NY!view/event/event_id/224036

“The expansion of Chinese cities manifesting utopian modernity through architecture, technology and infrastructure (high-speed trains, subway systems, ever-higher buildings) coincides with re-ruralization campaigns urging return to the countryside, forced removals of migrant populations from Beijing, and “anti-poverty” campaigns consolidating rural populations into organized villages.

At the same time, ubiquitous computing has led to the rise of quantitative governance through tracking systems including social media with location services, social credit lists, app-based financial technologies, and nascent facial recognition. The boundaries of these systems are not limited by the contested borders of China: from the intensifying war on Uighurs in Xinjiang to the contested limits of offshore islands, reefs, and banks in the South China Sea; from the increasing consolidation of PRC governance in Hong Kong to the fragile independence of Taiwan; and in transnational investment, infrastructure, and peacekeeping projects in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

This conference brings together scholars researching the conditions of transformation in China and Sinophone worlds.”

Xiqu surtitle editors and translators needed

Dear MCLC colleagues:

I’m the Artistic Director at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, one of the largest cultural developments in the world right now.

We’ve just opened our first major arts centre, The Xiqu Centre, and are urgently looking to expand our army of people to help us with surtitles for the Xiqu performances.

Please contact me at  if you, any of your colleagues, or any of your students have the necessary skills and are looking for freelance work.

Deadlines can be quite tight, so we need committed, professional, knowledgeable and reliable translators and editors.

With appreciation,

Alison M. Friedman 方美昂
Artistic Director, Performing Arts
West Kowloon Cultural District
T: (+852) 2200 0862