China allows people to pay respects to Jiang Qing

Source: Radio Free Asia (4/7/21)
China Allows People to Pay Respects at Grave of Cultural Revolution Leader Jiang Qing
By Qiao Long

China Allows People to Pay Respects at Grave of Cultural Revolution Leader Jiang Qing

Picture dated 25 January 1981 in Beijing of Jiang Qing (1914-91), third wife of Mao Zedong during the trial of the “Gang of Four”, four Shanghai-based hard-core radical leaders of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). AFP

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has allowed public access to the grave of Jiang Qing, former member of the Gang of Four and widow of late supreme leader Mao Zedong, ahead of its centenary on July 1.

“This was sent to me by a friend in mainland China, and I am forwarding it here,” former CCP Party School professor Cai Xia, who now lives in the United States, said via her Twitter account on April 5, the traditional grave-tending festival where people make long journeys to honor the dead.

She said the move was in contrast with the state security police detail that guarded the grave of late ousted premier Zhao Ziyang, who fell from power after opposing the use of military force against unarmed civilians in 1989.

“People aren’t allowed to pay their respects at Zhao Ziyang’s grave, and yet Jiang Qing’s grave is open to the public,” Cai wrote. “The CCP is afraid of whom the public might admire most.” Continue reading

Sci-fi China: Avatars, Aliens, Anthropos

Sci-fi China: Avatars, Aliens, Anthropos
April 22, 2021
8:00-10:00 p.m. EST


Please join us for a workshop on Chinese science fiction with writers Han Song, Egoyan Zheng, Regina Kanyu Wang, and Chen Qiufan. Five young scholars will present their latest research. The event is co-hosted by David Der-wei Wang and Mingwei Song.

The event is co-sponsored by Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, CCK Foundation, and the East Asian Studies Program at Wellesley College.


Dingru Huang (Harvard University)
Jannis Chen (Harvard University)
Dihao Zhou (Yale University)
Michael O’Krent (Harvard University)
Emily Xueni Jin (Yale University)

Pre-registration Link: Here

Chinese Literature Today 9.2

Dear colleagues,

We are running a free access period for Chinese Literature Today v9n2 (2020) from now to May 12, 2021. This issue features the fictional works of Lu Min 鲁敏, Xue Yiwei 薛忆沩, and Zhang Ning 张柠, a set of Covid-19 poems and the poems by Zheng Min 郑敏, as well as the artwork of Wang Mansheng 王満晟.

Those contents can be read and downloaded from the Taylor & Francis website at:

Ping Zhu
Acting Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Literature Today

Shows blur western brands over Xinjiang cotton dispute

Source: NYT (4/9/21)
Chinese Shows Blur Western Brands Over Xinjiang Cotton Dispute
Online platforms that stream dance, singing and comedy shows are pixelating performers’ T-shirts and sneakers amid a nationalistic fervor.
By Tiffany May

The sneakers of a contestant on the stand-up comedy series “Roast” were blurred. Credit…Tencent Video

HONG KONG — Viewers of some of China’s most popular online variety shows were recently greeted by a curious sight: a blur of pixels obscuring the brands on sneakers and T-shirts worn by contestants.

As far as viewers could tell, the censored apparel showed no hints of obscenity or indecency. Instead, the problem lay with the foreign brands that made them.

Since late March, streaming platforms in China have diligently censored the logos and symbols of brands like Adidas that adorn contestants performing dance, singing and standup-comedy routines. The phenomenon followed a feud between the government and big-name international companies that said they would avoid using cotton produced in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the authorities are accused of mounting a wide-reaching campaign of repression against ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs. Continue reading

China and Global History — cfp

Call for Contributions
“China and Global History” International Online Workshop
1-3. September 2021

Main organizer: Sebestyén Hompot (Ph.D. Candidate of Sinology at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria)

Co-organizers: Tanja Kotik (Ph.D. Candidate of Contemporary History, University of Graz, Austria), Sabine Hinrichs (Ph.D. Candidate of Sinology at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria)

Since the late 20th century, the concept of “Global History” has gained increasing popularity in Western academia. Global History generally denotes a perspective of history which includes various levels of analysis beyond the nation-state-focused mainstream of modern-era historiography. In recent decades, translations of the term and discussions of its relevance have increasingly entered the academic discourse in China as well.

The aim of the present workshop is to support academic networking, exchange, and discussion among young researchers interested in China-related global history and historiography. Participants will be invited to present their research and act as commentators, as well as session chairs. Continue reading

“Sister” tackles male gender preference

Source: Sixth Tone (4/8/21)
Hit Film Tackles Male Gender Preference in Chinese Families
“Sister” has emerged as an unexpected holiday hit, surpassing Hollywood heavyweight “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
By Chen Qi’an

A still frame from the Chinese blockbuster film “Sister.” From Douban

A still frame from the Chinese blockbuster film “Sister.” From Douban

A new Chinese movie is casting a spotlight on a long-debated question: Should personal values be prioritized over traditional family values?

The family drama “Sister” [我的姐姐] which topped the domestic box office during the recent Qingming Festival holiday, tells the story of An Ran, a young woman who is suddenly faced with having to take care of her 6-year-old brother after their parents die in an accident. The movie follows An’s trajectory as she struggles to balance her own life choices while becoming her brother’s caretaker.

The movie, starring popular actor Zhang Zifeng as the titular character, has so far raked in over 500 million yuan ($76 million), outperforming Hollywood hit “Godzilla vs. Kong,” according to ticketing platform Maoyan. On review site Douban, “Sister” has scored 7.2 out of 10. Continue reading

Cui Zi’en workshop

May be an image of Zien Cui, sitting and indoorZoom Workshop on: “Queering What Is Left of Queer: The Work of Cui Zi’en.”
April 14, 8:00–9:30 PM EDT
Featuring: Lisa Rofel, UC Santa Cruz; Petrus Liu, Boston University; and Cui Zi’en, film director, producer, film scholar, screenwriter, novelist, and LGBT activist
Sponsored by the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies
Registration required:…/tJYofuuvpjooEtSmEMjFordSbpKC9uep…

Hi, Mom top-grossing film for female director

Source: China Daily (4/8/21)
Hi, Mom now world’s top-grossing film ever from solo female director
By Xinhua

Jia Ling [Photo/Mtime]

China’s tear-jerker film Hi, Mom has overtaken American fantasy Wonder Woman to become the world’s top-grossing film ever from a solo female director.

The maiden directorial project of comedian and actress Jia Ling saw its cumulative box office reach 5.396 billion yuan ($822.87 million) as of early Tuesday afternoon and surpass that of the 2017 superhero film from Patty Jenkins, according to the China Movie Data Information Network.

Hi, Mom is currently the top earner of this year in China, as well as globally. It is the second highest-grossing film ever at China’s box office, outshone only by the 2017 Chinese action-adventure film Wolf Warrior 2 that raked in a total of 5.69 billion yuan. Continue reading

Living the Socialist Modern

Dear Students, dear Colleagues, dear Friends!

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. What did it mean to “live with the Specter”, to experience what one might call the making of the “Socialist Modern” that found a first point of culmination with the foundation of the CCP in 1921?

You are cordially invited to the digital lecture series Living the Socialist Modern: The Chinese Communist Party at 100—Global and Interdisciplinary Perspectives organized by the Center for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS) in Heidelberg, in cooperation with the ERC-funded research project READCHINA: The Politics of Reading in the People’s Republic of China in Freiburg and the European Institute for Chinese Studies (EURICS) in Paris. Continue reading

Threatened pink dolphins enjoy brief respite

Source: NYT (4/5/21)
Off Hong Kong’s Shores, Threatened Pink Dolphins Enjoy Brief Respite
A cut in ferry service because of the pandemic means the animals, a Hong Kong icon, are getting a little peace and quiet in a favored habitat. But the break is temporary and the future not bright.
By Austin Ramzy

A Chinese white dolphin, with a signature pinkish hue, in the waters off Hong Kong last month. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — The most popular reward for hiking to the top of Fu Shan, a hill near Hong Kong’s westernmost point, is a selfie backed by the setting sun, the gleaming new bridge across the Pearl River or a flight landing at the nearby airport.

But for those who look more closely, there is the chance of a rarer prize: a glimpse of Chinese white dolphins swimming among fishing boats and cargo ships in the milky jade water.

“It’s amazing that Hong Kong still has this kind of rare animal,” said Michelle Chan, as she watched from Fu Shan on a recent day.

On the water below, a half-dozen tourist boats from the nearby fishing village of Tai O surrounded a single white dolphin. People cheered as it breached. Continue reading

Jiang Qing’s Last Revolution lecture series

Dear Colleagues: The Department of East Asian Studies of the University of Vienna is pleased to invite you to the virtual lecture series JIANG QING’S LAST REVOLUTION: EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE UNDERSTANDINGS OF CHINA’S PAST (April-June, 2021). Six outstanding international speakers will present their contribution to alternative ways of looking at China’s controversial past.

Presentation abstracts can be found on the Sinology homepage under “Events” (abstracts will be available one week before the corresponding talk).

Looking forward to welcoming you there!

Kind regards

Silvia Salino, BA, MA
Pre-doc assistant
Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna

I Live in the Slums selected for Booker prize long list

I Live in the Slums, a collection of stories by Can Xue, has been selected for the International Booker Prize long list (

The stories were translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping and published by Yale University Press in 2020. This translating duo has worked on a number of stories by Can Xue, including the recent small format collection Purple Perilla ( They describe their work in an online interview at Three Percent, although only part of the interview is accessible.

Wendy Larson

Countering Xinjiang backlash with a musical

Source: NYT (4/5/21)
China Tries to Counter Xinjiang Backlash With … a Musical?
The movie is part of Beijing’s wide-ranging new propaganda campaign to push back on sanctions and criticism of its oppression of the Uyghurs.
By Amy Qin

A Chinese government propaganda sign with slogans reading “Forever following the Party” and “China’s ethnicities, one family” in Aksu, Xinjiang, last month. Credit…Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

In one scene, Uyghur women are seen dancing in a rousing Bollywood style face-off with a group of Uyghur men. In another, a Kazakh man serenades a group of friends with a traditional two-stringed lute while sitting in a yurt.

Welcome to “The Wings of Songs,” a state-backed musical that is the latest addition to China’s propaganda campaign to defend its policies in Xinjiang. The campaign has intensified in recent weeks as Western politicians and rights groups have accused Beijing of subjecting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang to forced labor and genocide.

The film, which debuted in Chinese cinemas last week, offers a glimpse of the alternate vision of Xinjiang that China’s ruling Communist Party is pushing to audiences at home and abroad. Far from being oppressed, the musical seems to say, the Uyghurs and other minorities are singing and dancing happily in colorful dress, a flashy take on a tired Chinese stereotype about the region’s minorities that Uyghur rights activists quickly denounced. Continue reading

Global Storytelling–cfp

Dear colleagues,

We are writing to announce a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal, Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images, founded by Editor-in-Chief Ying Zhu, edited at Hong Kong Baptist University, and published at University of Michigan. The journal invites submissions that engage with the affect (emotional engagement) and effect (social impact) of audiovisual storytelling across all audiovisual platforms and encompasses multiple methodological approaches. For more info see our temporary journal homepage here.

You can find our open call for papers here. Please submit through this web portal (or email

We also invite submissions for a special issue on serial narrative, entitled “Streaming and Seriality”, described here.

If you are interested in being our peer-reviewers, please email your name, a link to a CV or webpage describing your background, and a list of topics you are interested in and qualified to review to

We look forward to hearing from all!

Dorothy Lau, Managing Editor
Jonathan Frome, Associate Managing Editor

Feminist icon

Source: NYT (4/2/21)
A Chinese ‘Auntie’ Went on a Solo Road Trip. Now, She’s a Feminist Icon.
Tired of housework and an unhappy marriage, a 56-year-old woman has been on a six-month jaunt across China that has challenged deep-rooted gender norms.
By Joy Dong and 

“Why do I want to take a road trip?” asked Su Min, a 56-year-old retiree from Henan Province in central China. “Life at home is truly too upsetting.”

She spends each night alone, curled up in a four-and-a-half by eight-foot rooftop tent, balanced on stilts above her car. She often eats her meals in parking lots. She has seen her daughter and grandchildren only once in the past six months, and her husband not at all.

Su Min, a 56-year-old retiree from Henan Province in central China, has never been happier.

“I’ve been a wife, a mother and a grandmother,” Ms. Su said. “I came out this time to find myself.”

After fulfilling her family’s expectations of dutiful Chinese womanhood, Ms. Su is embracing a new identity: fearless road-tripper and internet sensation. For six months, she has been on a solo drive across China, documenting her journey for more than 1.35 million followers across several social media platforms. Continue reading