Where Chinese students in the US get their news

Source: The New Yorker (8/19/19)
The “Post-Truth” Publication Where Chinese Students in America Get Their News
By Han Zhang

The online publication College Daily brings Chinese students living in the U.S. news with nationalistic undertones, delivered in a stream of memes and Internet-speak.Illustration by Jon Han

On a Monday morning in February, members of the staff of College Daily, an online Chinese-language publication for Chinese students living in North America, gathered in their office, in Times Square, for an editorial meeting. Guan Tong, the editorial director of the New York bureau, reviewed traffic numbers from the previous week. Staring at her MacBook, she seemed satisfied with what she saw. A piece by College Daily’s founder, Lin Guoyu, about the blockbuster Chinese movie “The Wandering Earth,” had garnered more than a million page views; its headline was “Of Course, Only Chinese People Can Save Planet Earth.” The healthy numbers came as a surprise: it was Lunar New Year, which tends to be a slow week for College Daily. “No need to worry about low traffic during Lunar New Year anymore,” Guan said cheerily. Continue reading

Emerging Translator Mentorship program

Source: American Literary Translators Association Blog (8/20/19)
Meet the 2020 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program Mentors!
by rcldaum

2020 Mentors

Clockwise from top left: Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Mara Faye Lethem, Marian Schwartz, Jennifer Feeley

ALTA is delighted to introduce the 2020 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program mentors! The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded by former ALTA board member Allison M. Charette. This applications for the 2020 mentorship program cycle will open September 9 on our Submittable page. Continue reading

ACCL election announcement

Below is the election announcement of Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature from Daniel Fried, president of ACCL (2017-2019).

Yunwen Gao yunwengao@cuhk.edu.hk

Dear ACCL members:

As we have successfully concluded our biennial conference, it is my final responsibility to supervise the election of our next President.  To that end, I have attached a nomination form to this message, and would ask that you all consider either nominating yourself, or encouraging a colleague to seek election.

The primary duty of the President is to arrange the biennial conference; however, the next President should also expect to work on additional measures to strengthen the Association, such as completing an ACCL website and regularizing membership registration.  The President will have the assistance of a Treasurer, Communications Director, and Executive Committee, all of whom are appointed as outlined in our constitution. Continue reading

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies awards 2018-19

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2018–2019) 
宋淇翻譯研究論文紀念獎 2018–2019
20 August 2019

Dear all,

It is with great pleasure that I hereby announce the result for the 21st Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2018–2019) set up by Research Centre for Translation, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2018–2019) Special Mention:

CUI Wendong (Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong)
“Translation, Nation, and Gender: Cultural Adaptations in Short Stories Translated by the Late-Qing Writer Tang Hongfu”, Bulletin of the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, No. 50 (March 2017, published in March 2018), pp. 1–35.

There are no winners for the standard awards. Continue reading

Twitter suspends PRC-based accounts directed at HK

Source: Twitter (8/19/19)
Information operations directed at Hong Kong
By Twitter Safety

We are disclosing a significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong, specifically the protest movement and their calls for political change.

What we are disclosing

This disclosure consists of 936 accounts originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground. Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation. Specifically, we identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests. Continue reading

Yellow Perils review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Anne Witchard’s review of Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World (Hawaii, 2018), edited by Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky. The review appears below and at its online home: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/witchard/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Yellow Perils: 
China Narratives in the Contemporary World

Edited by Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky

Reviewed by Anne Witchard
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright August, 2019)

Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky, eds., Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2018. Viii + 276. ISBN: 978-0-8248-7579-4 (hardcover).

In the last decade the emergence of China as a global superpower has provoked an array of responses that have prompted comparisons with the early-twentieth century rhetoric of a Yellow Peril. Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World is a timely collection, coming as it does when the might of Beijing indeed poses a significant threat, to Muslims in Xinjiang Province for example, and (at the time of writing) to democracy activists in Hong Kong. It is all too easy to resort to inflammatory responses and indeed hostile and/or prejudicial treatment that fails to distinguish between the actions of China’s current Party State regime and ethnic Chinese in the PRC and across the globe.

Despite the time elapsed from research to print and the astonishing rapidity of change in the current political scene, Yellow Perils’s relevancy may perhaps be greater than might have been predicted by its editors. It is unfortunately all too easy to find statements that reflect Sinophobic predispositions informing some decision-making under the Trump administration. In April 2019, Kiron Skinner, director of policy planning at the State Department said at a security forum in Washington, D.C.: “This is a fight with a really different civilization and a different ideology and the United States hasn’t had that before.” Of course, as any high school student might remind her, the notorious Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) repealed only in 1943, was formulated upon exactly this racialized and divisive narrative. Continue reading

China sends stark warning to HK

Source: NYT (8/19/19)
With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Steven Lee Myers and 

The People’s Armed Police ran running exercises and drills, while armored vehicles arrived at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center, across the border from Hong Kong, on Friday. Credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

SHENZHEN, China — The Shenzhen Bay Sports Center rises along the shore with the green hills of Hong Kong visible across the water. It normally bustles with a variety of youth sports programs and dance, art and language academies, including one that advertises a “Hong Kong Style Education.”

In recent days, however, it has become a staging ground for olive-green military transports and armored personnel carriers that arrived on Aug. 11 and disgorged hundreds of security officers from the People’s Armed Police, a Chinese paramilitary force, who are loudly running through daily exercises and drills.

By massing the troops within view of Hong Kong, the semiautonomous territory convulsed by protests, China’s Communist Party is delivering a strong warning that the use of force remains an option for Beijing. It is also a stark reminder that military power remains a bedrock of the party’s legitimacy. Continue reading

Support Prof. Benny Tai

Support Professor Benny Tai and the University of Hong Kong’s Autonomy

To sign on the statement, please visit:  https://bit.ly/31PIrXV

Members of academia are invited to express their support for our imprisoned colleague Benny Tai Yiu-Ting (戴耀廷), an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) Faculty of Law, who is at risk of wrongful dismissal.

In April 2019, Professor Tai was found guilty of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and inciting others to cause public nuisance and sentenced to sixteen months imprisonment for his role in the ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace’ campaign. In the first-instance verdict against him, Judge Johnny Chan rejected Professor Tai’s argument that he had merely engaged in peaceful civil disobedience and ought not to be punished. Continue reading

Teenage brides trafficked to China

Source: NYT (8/17/19)
Teenage Brides Trafficked to China Reveal Ordeal: ‘Ma, I’ve Been Sold’
By Hannah Beech

Nyo, 17, back home in Shan State in Myanmar, after being trafficked by brokers who sold her and her friend to men across the border in China. Credit: Minzayar Oo for The New York Times

MONGYAI, Myanmar — She did not know where she was. She did not speak the language. She was 16 years old.

The man said he was her husband — at least that’s what the translation app indicated — and he pressed himself against her. Nyo, a girl from a mountain village in the Shan hills of Myanmar, wasn’t quite sure how pregnancy worked. But it happened.

The baby, 9 days old and downy, looks undeniably Chinese. “Like her father,” Nyo said. “The same lips.” Continue reading

Three rallies mark 11th weekend of protests

Source: The Guardian (8/17/19)
Hong Kong: three rallies mark 11th weekend of protests
Demonstrators aim to show public support for movement remains strong
By Lily Kuo in Hong Kong

Thousands of teachers rallied against police brutality toward young protesters.

Thousands of teachers rallied against police brutality toward young protesters. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong, as they sought to show their movement still had public support even after two months of increasingly violent clashes.

Protesters, clad in their signature black and holding umbrellas, marched down major streets in Kowloon, chanting: “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our time!” Volunteers handed out herbal tea and juice, while some shops that had closed for the day left boxes of drinks out for protesters.

Three separate rallies were taking place on Saturday, marking the 11th weekend of protests in Hong Kong as residents continue to press the government to formally withdraw a controversial extradition bill as well as meet other demands. Continue reading

Beijing’s game play for HK now clear

Source: The Guardian (8/14/19)
Beijing’s game plan for stifling the Hong Kong protests is now clear
By Sebastian Veg

Manipulation of public opinion and pressure on the region’s businesses, universities and judiciary are part of the strategy

protesters in the departure hall of Hong Kong international airport on 13 August

The departure hall of Hong Kong international airport on 13 August: ‘Beijing has engaged in a battle to turn public opinion in Hong Kong against the movement.’ Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

As protests in Hong Kong against a controversial extradition law enter their third month, the prospect of any resolution to the unrest seems a long way off. However, the past week has given an indication of the strategy of the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong in dealing with protesters.

The growing pro-democracy movement achieved early success in June with the suspension of the proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China. This followed unprecedented peaceful demonstrations that brought up to two million people on to the streets and, separately, police violence. When Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, declared that she was shelving the bill, the Beijing authorities, having distanced themselves from the unpopular law, seemed to be lying low. Continue reading

Mao Dun Literature Prize 2019

Source: China Daily (8/16/19)
Five novels win China’s top literature award
By Xinhua | Updated: 2019-08-16 20:01


BEIJING – Five novels have won this year’s Mao Dun Literature Prize, one of the four highest literature awards in China, the prize’s organizer unveiled Friday.

The five novels, respectively written by Liang Xiaosheng, Xu Huaizhong, Xu Zechen, Chen Yan and Li Er, won the prize, which is awarded every four years, according to the China Writers Association.

The winners were chosen from 234 candidates after six rounds of reviews and votes.

An awarding ceremony will be held in October in Beijing.

Liu Cixin interview at Brandeis

Dear friends,

In May, the globally renowned SF writer Liu Cixin traveled to Brandeis University to receive an honorary degree. At Brandeis, Liu did an interview with John Plotz (Professor of English, Brandeis) and Pu Wang (associate professor of Chinese) for the podcast channel Recall This Book.

I’m now glad to let you know that our Liu Cixin interview (English version) has gone live.  If you want to listen to Liu’s own voice in Chinese, check out the Chinese version of the Liu interview. Author of Three Body Problem and subject of a recent controversial piece  in the New Yorker, Liu is also a sweet and very chatty interviewee, who does love some Tolstoy….

This is the first time that Recall This Book posted a podcast in a language other than English. In addition, it also published a retrospective discussion after the interview, in which two Brandeis professors reflect on what is most striking in the interview itself.

At Recall This Book, you will also have the accessibility transcripts so that folks who prefer reading to listening can get a quick sense of the discussions.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!


Pu Wang <pwang@brandeis.edu>

Chinese Literature Today 8.1

Dear friends,  

You are invited to read or download the newest issue of Chinese Literature Today online during our free promotion period between now and the end of August. 

This special issue on contemporary Chinese poetry features a lovely special section on Hong Kong writer Xi Xi (guest edited by Jennifer Feeley), selected poems by seven contemporary Chinese-language poets (Wang Jiaxin, Che Qianzi, Li Dewu, Hu Jiujiu, Jialu Mi, Huang Chunming, and Chen Li), as well as the latest scholarship on Chinese migrant worker poetry by the featured scholar Maghiel van Crevel.

Ping Zhu, Acting Editor in Chief <pingzhu@ou.edu>

Maoist Laughter

Dear friends,

We are pleased to announce the publication of Maoist Laughter coedited by Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath. The book is now available from Hong Kong University Press (https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/1731.php).

[From the back cover] During the Mao years, laughter in China was serious business. Simultaneously an outlet for frustrations and grievances, a vehicle for socialist education, and an object of official study, laughter brought together the political, the personal, the aesthetic, the ethical, the affective, the physical, the aural, and the visual. The ten essays in Maoist Laughter convincingly demonstrate that the connection between laughter and political culture was far more complex than conventional conceptions of communist indoctrination can explain. Their sophisticated readings of a variety of genres—including dance, cartoon, children’s literature, comedy, regional oral performance, film, and fiction—uncover many nuanced innovations and experiments with laughter during what has been too often misinterpreted as an unrelentingly bleak period. In Mao’s China, laughter helped to regulate both political and popular culture and often served as an indicator of shifting values, alliances, and political campaigns. In exploring this phenomenon, Maoist Laughter is a significant correction to conventional depictions of socialist China.

You can preview the introduction “The Study of Laughter in the Mao Era” by Ping Zhu and Chapter 8 “The Revolutionary Metapragmatics of Laughter in Zhao Shulin’s Fiction” by Roy Chan on the HKUP website (https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/con/1731.pdf).