Global Art Exchange and Modernism in Socialist China

OCTOBER 30 – 31 – Zoom Webinar (Registration Required)

This workshop focuses on the impact of global artistic exchanges on Chinese artists during the most rigid period of Socialist China. Including presentations on Latin American and Romanian influences; impressionist and modernist-inspired underground artist groups during the Cultural Revolution; and discreet international art exhibitions in revolutionary China, the speakers dismantle the simplistic, Cold War-influenced narratives of East-West dichotomy and capitalist modernism v. socialist realism. They reveal Chinese artists’ continuing thirst for alternative aesthetic inspiration, and underscore the crucial impact of human exchanges on art and creativity in the socialist period.


Date: Friday, October 30, 2020
Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm (Pacific Standard Time)
Chair: Julia F. Andrews, Distinguished University Professor, Ohio State University Continue reading

China’s Rural Capitalism webinar

The Critical China Scholars present:

China’s Rural Capitalism: Land, Labor, and Environment

Crucial to understanding contemporary hostility between the Chinese and US states is China’s growing significance and positioning within global capitalism. While often viewed from abroad primarily in terms of an urban, export economy, China’s capitalism is uneven, varied, and full of tensions. Beginning a new series on “China’s Capitalism,” this webinar looks at the emergence, dynamics, and effects of capitalist agrarian change in China.


Alexander F. Day, Occidental College
Zhan Shaohua, Nanyang Technological University
Jia-Ching Chen, UC Santa Barbara
Julia Chuang, Boston College
Joshua Goldstein, University of Southern California

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Time: 7:00-9:00 PM EST
Register: Email; after registration, you will receive a link


On Qing () and Jing () in Chinese Literature: A Discourse on Ecocriticism
Date: September, 2020

We are seeking contributions to an edited volume focusing on the concepts of qing (情) and jing (境) throughout Chinese literature, with a special emphasis on modern and contemporary Chinese literature, by examining the environmental and ecological dimensions of such notions. This volume sets out to explore the concepts of qing (情) and jing (境) in Chinese literature from an ecocritical perspective.

In The Ecocriticism Reader, Cheryll Glotfelty defines Ecocriticism as “the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment,” whereas Lawrence Buell defines ecocriticism as a “study of the relationship between literature and the environment conducted in a spirit of commitment to environmentalist praxis.”

The two concepts of qing and jing may be analyzed on different temporal and semantic coordinates. First, as duly pointed out by Cai and Wu (2019), qing 情 has been identified at the core of Chinese thinking about literature, such that “lyrical tradition” becomes an encompassing concept for many to distinguish Chinese literary tradition from its Western counterpart. The concepts of qing and jing may indeed be analyzed as two separate semantic identities or as part of a whole semantic unit: qingjing literature (情境文学, situated literature). Moreover, the two concepts may be analyzed in a diachronic perspective, by providing a reinterpretation of classical Chinese literary concepts, namely qing and jing, through a contemporary and ecocritic lens; they may also be analyzed in a synchronic perspective by focusing on modern and contemporary Chinese literature, in particular nature writing, ecofiction, and environmental literature. Continue reading

Hong Kong Studies special issue–cfp

HONG KONG STUDIES—Call for Papers—Documentary and Democracy (Special Issue)
Guest Editors: Mike Ingham and Kenny K.K. Ng (with a special preface by Evans Chan)

Much of the engagement in independent documentary cinema by filmmakers of the last thirty years in Hong Kong has been connected with the city’s ongoing, and regularly frustrated, engagement with democratic reform. It has charted, and in many ways reflected, the vicissitudes of attempts to create a valid sociopolitical identity among Hong Kong’s diverse, often divided communities. Earlier Hong Kong documentary film in the 20th century had tended to be China-oriented, (e.g. the films of Shanghai-born Lai Man-wai) or intended to emphasise cooperation as well as mutual dependency, e.g. Water Comes over the Hills from the East, Lo Kwun-hung, 1965). In contrast, Government Information Service short films and promotional propaganda documentaries produced by the colonial-era Film Unit were standard fare, promoting a supposedly apolitical, but clearly paternalistic approach, until the emergence of RTHK as a government-sponsored, if notionally independent, broadcaster in the early 1970s. The broadcaster’s subsequent spate of television documentaries sought, often very successfully, to cover important livelihood issues in the city, as well as gauge and reflect public opinion on a range of sociopolitical topics. Its contribution to public discourses during the momentous, but economically prosperous, years following the Joint Agreement of 1984 between China and the U.K. and the 1997 Handover was highly significant. Continue reading

Narrating ‘New Normal’–cfp

CFP: Narrating “New Normal”: Graduate Student Symposium (May 17-18, 2021)
Organized by: Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Image Centre for Film and Moving Image Research (FMIR) and Academy of Film, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University
Abstracts Due: Dec 1, 2020

What is “new normal?” As the COVID-19 pandemic sickens millions, isolates billions, and brings economies to a standstill around the globe, the phrase has entered the everyday lexicon of governments, news, and social media, with many regarding the ensuing widespread shift of basic human activities online – school, shopping, work, and socializing – as a “new normal.” Yet, the phrase “new normal” itself is not new. Governments, corporations, and institutions readily deploy “new normal” to legitimize regulations, laws, and policies that ensure organizational survival in crisis, thereby relegating the people whose uncertain livelihoods they normalize as expendable. After the 2008 financial crisis, American economists declared reduced consumer spending due to chronic underemployment as “new normal.” In 2014, PRC President Xi Jinping described steadily diminished GDP growth as a more stable “新常態” — a direct translation of “new normal” that Chinese state media now regularly employ to allay public panic about economic volatility. As a malleable signifier designed to manage expectations, “new normal” weaves itself into visions of a stable post-crisis future as though normalcy requires only minor adjustment to major disasters. Continue reading

Reorienting HK’s struggle–cfp

Reorienting Hong Kong’s Struggle: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism
Edited by: Wen Liu, JN Chien, Christina YZ Chung, Ellie Tse
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Call for Submission of Book Chapters

Decolonial and leftist perspectives on Hong Kong have been important but largely sidelined or unidentified voices in the city’s recent struggles for democracy and self-determination, which have produced far-ranging international reverberations. Although discourses and practices that have emerged, such as labour union organizing and boycotting, may not explicitly operate under the banners of leftism or decoloniality in Hong Kong, examining them under these frameworks of thought can offer significant historical and transnational sight-lines with which to contextualize and interpret its impact. This book project is an attempt to delineate leftist thought and decolonial practices that have emerged in Hong Kong in the midst of its social movements, so as to identify its presence within Hong Kong and further establish Hong Kong’s contributions within a larger, global discourse on leftism and decoloniality.

By “decolonial,” we mean to situate Hong Kong’s struggles not only in the face of multiple forms of imperial domination and authoritarian repression, but also persistent social inequalities, political injustice, and economic disenfranchisement within Hong Kong society along race, class, gender, and sexual lines. Leftist and decolonial groups such as The Owl (夜貓) and Lausan Collective (流傘) have translated, published, and amplified leftist perspectives from Hong Kong and its diasporas to contribute towards transnational discourses that are attempting to chart alternative futures beyond the dictates of colonialism, the bounds of nation-state sovereignty, as well as the logics of neoliberalism and capitalism. We (the editors) see this book as a continuation and deepening of these efforts. Continue reading

Museological Warfare

Museological Warfare: Cine-Exhibition of Class Struggle in Mao’s China
Colloquium: Center for Chinese Studies | September 4 | 5-6:30 p.m. |  Online – Zoom webinar
 Belinda Qian He, CCS Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley
 Weihong Bao, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley
 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

Belinda Q. He’s talk examines the little studied exhibition-cinema dynamics in a Mao-era cultural movement that celebrated the mass historiographies based on supposedly crowdsourced archiving, collecting, curating, writing, and storytelling. Situated in the context of the Socialist Education Movement, it provides a case study of the intersection between a local class struggle exhibition and the documentary based on the exhibition, an alternative “museum film” in the Maoist context. The talk explores how the genre zhanlanhui (temporary exhibition, or more specifically, class education exhibition) lived out its cinematic and transmedia life, transforming familiar phenomena that had not been named in a single unified way, but which consequently, took on changing and extreme forms in a complex of punitive practices (pidou, mass gatherings in which class enemies were accused and/or tormented in public).

The work argues that the operation of what may be called museological warfare at the center of the phenomena was crucial to the shaping of class struggle in Mao’s China through exhibition making; recognizing the role of museological warfare helps us to rethink the functioning of pidou as an unfolding system of transmedia practices. In contrast with conventional views, which see socialist media as the leading forces in a top-down state propaganda system, or as idealistic imaginaries of grassroots exhibition practices in human rights activism and social protests, this study stresses the complexity of the mutual working of exhibition and cinema within a (Maoist) mass-produced media network. Furthermore, the Maoist case of cinema and/as exhibition draws our attention to a type of cinematic encounter that is revolutionary not in the sense that it was produced and used for socialist revolutionary purposes but in terms of its articulation of interactive, participatory, and possibly immersive experiences that resonate in so many ways with contemporary examples largely assumed to be defined by digitality.

 Please register before 4pm, Friday September 4.Register online
 Xiaojie Ma,,  510-643-6321

The Worst Chinese Poetry–cfp

The Worst Chinese Poetry: A Virtual Workshop
April 5–9, 2021
Organized by Thomas Mazanec, Xiaorong Li, and Hangping Xu (UC Santa Barbara)
Call for Papers

Good poems are all alike, but every bad poem is bad in its own way. Poems may fail according to aesthetic, formal, political, social, moral, and other criteria. There are failures of innovation and imitation, of quantity and quality, of ambition and cowardice. The purpose of this virtual workshop is to explore what was thought to be the very worst poetry written in Chinese and to understand why it was regarded so poorly. We want to know who considered it bad, and according to what criteria. By examining the “worst” poetry and the harshest judgments on it from antiquity to the present, we hope to offer a literary history as seen through failure.

The workshop will introduce and discuss primary texts that address the question of why a poem might be called “bad.” Participants are invited to submit up to 10 pages (inclusive of English translation) of “bad” Chinese poetry or critical writings on it from any historical period, accompanied by 5–10 pages (1250–2500 words) of critical introduction. Texts should highlight important moments in the history of bad poetry and how they relate to aesthetic, political, social, and conceptual norms. During the workshop, participants will meet on Zoom for several half-days to discuss the contributions. Continue reading

Hong Kong Culture and Literature series

Forthcoming Series from Brill: Hong Kong Culture and Literature
Series Editor: Howard Yuen Fong Choy, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

This new series publishes substantial researches on Hong Kong through cultural and literary studies. It showcases original investigations of the methods and practices across a variety of fields, focusing on the core humanities such as cultural studies, comparative literature, linguistics, historiography, religion, anthropology, art, cinema and theater, but also welcomes contributions adopting culturally informed interdisciplinary approaches in health humanities, political science, sociology, ecology, etc. Possible topics include, but not limited to, East-West cultural interactions in Hong Kong, Hong Kong literature as Chinese and world literature, Cantonese as a linguistic identity, the colonial and postcolonial histories of Hong Kong, minorities in Hong Kong, Hong Kongers as a people, the art market in Hong Kong, the rise and fall of the Hong Kong film industry, Hong Kong theater as an Asian theater, the Umbrella and Water Revolutions, hybridity of the Hong Kong society, as well as environmental issues and medical problems. This English-language book series is directed at scholars, graduate and undergraduate students who study Hong Kong, China, or East Asia and, in particular, comparatists engaged in cultural and literary studies between the East and the West. ISSN: 2666-9897 Continue reading

Chinese Animation Studies inaugural conference–cfp

Call for Papers: The Inaugural Conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, Zoom, Spring 2021

The inaugural conference of the Association for Chinese Animation Studies (ACAS), originally scheduled to be held at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in May 2020, is highly likely to be conducted virtually via Zoom from Feb to May in 2021. The virtual panels will be scheduled on weekends when we are free from teaching and classes. There will be one or two panels every weekend and the entire conference will last for a semester from Feb to May in 2021. Without the constraints of a location-specific conference, we can increase the scale of the Zoom conference by including more speakers hailing from all over the world.

If you are interested in presenting your work at our Zoom conference, please submit your paper title, abstract (in 250 words), and a bio of yourself (in 250 words) to before September 1, 2020. For your email subject, please write “ACAS Zoom Conference Submission.” ACAS is open to different paper topics, so long as they are related to China. To get a sense of what kind of papers we are interested in, please take a look at the original conference program <> Applicants will be notified of our decision of acceptance on October 1, 2020. Continue reading

Chinese Texts in the World series

Forthcoming Series: Chinese Texts in the World
Series editors: Zong-qi Cai, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and Yuan Xingpei, Peking University

Chinese Texts in the World explores the divergent paths taken by Chinese texts as they were transmitted, re-interpreted, reinvented, and further disseminated beyond China in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The series will also examine how some of these reconfigured texts made their way back to China, to be reconstituted as culturally polyvalent, hybrid “imports”.

Lay readers, students, and scholars familiar with non-Chinese literary traditions may find hitherto unknown Chinese factors, or new implications of Chinese influence, in such traditions, while students of traditional Chinese learning (so-called guoxue) can explore trends in the re-interpretation of Chinese texts under the influence of Western critical paradigms. The series will also track how translations have shaped perceptions of Chinese culture abroad. Whether they were transmitted along the ancient Silk Road, or through modern digital technologies, such well-traveled texts hold great promise for illuminating multiple aspects of China’s cultural relations with the world.

ISSN: 2666-2361 Continue reading

National Security Law of HK webinar

The University of Sydney China Studies Centre
Webinar: National Security Law of Hong Kong: Legal and Social Implications
Time: 11:00am-12:30pm (AEST)
Date: Thursday 23 July 2020

Presented by the China Studies Centre in partnership with the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law and the Media@Sydney Seminar Series at the University of Sydney

On July the 1st, 1997, the sovereignty of Hong Kong was reverted to China on the model of “one country, two systems,” guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and later enshrined in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The recent enactment of the Hong Kong national security law has fundamentally challenged the “one country, two systems” model. Does the new law contradict the constitutional and legal framework of the HKSAR? Is the Hong Kong national security law any different from or similar to national security laws in other countries and in China? In the 23 years since the handover, major changes have taken place in the media and civil society of Hong Kong. What do these changes tell us about what may come from now?

To discuss these issues, please join us for a webinar event featuring:

Professor Bing Ling,Professor of Chinese Law, The University of Sydney Law School
Professor Vivienne Bath, Professor of Chinese & International Business Law, The University of Sydney Law School
Ms Yin-ting Mak,* former Chair of the Hong Kong Journalists Association
Associate Professor Victoria Hui, Department of Political Science, The University of Notre Dame, U.S.A.
Dr Joyce Nip (Chair), Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, and Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney

  • Please note a change of speaker from Shirley Yam to Yin-ting Mak

China Perspectives–cfp

My name is Allison Du, Communication Coordinator at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC). The CEFC is a publicly-funded research centre based in Hong Kong and the publisher of China Perspectives, a quarterly interdisciplinary academic journal indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). Our journal focuses on the political, social, economic, and cultural evolutions of contemporary China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.

As you may know, China Perspectives can provide useful materials for research and event planning in the MCLC Resource Center. Published in English and in French, our journal offers up-to-date, original, and solid knowledge for research and education, in particular in the field of China studies.

Peer-reviewed research articles published in China Perspectives are both comprehensive and updated, with topics ranging from the Chinese political regime under Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese investments in urban Africa, social movements in Hong Kong, grassroot organizations in contemporary China, to the Chinese legal system. Continue reading

Covid-19 special issue–cfp

Call for Papers: The Great Dis-Equalizer: the Covid-19 crisis Special double curated issue
PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread to communities across the globe, governments reacted to the crisis in various ways, often enforcing various iterations of a lockdown. The crisis – as much economic and political as biological and affective – was quickly branded the “great equalizer” and a shared global event that made present the fragility and vulnerability of the human body and mind. The tendency to universalize the lived experience of the crisis and living in lockdown rested on underlining the affective bonds between peoples and societies and their shared suffering.

This special issue aims to unsettle the narrative of the Covid-19 crisis as the “great equalizer” by presenting diverse accounts of living in lockdown that foreground the pandemic as the great dis-equalizer. We invite short submissions (up to 3000 words) that reflect on the questions below or any other aspect of the lived experience of living through the crisis and/or in lockdown: Continue reading