Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics event cancelled

Alert: Columbia University in NYC just bowed to Chinese pressure/intimidation, canceling an event, Thursday, Nov. 14 2019. I personally think it’s very likely that the effort to shut down the event was organized from the Chinese consulate in NYC, using proxies from clubs like the CSSA. I think everyone is now asking, will they reschedule it? When? Will Columbia University be able to defend the freedom of expression, and the right to hold this event? Below, the organizer’s statement issued last night. Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Source: Students for a Free Tibet

https://studentsforafreetibet.org/free-speech-in-american-universities-under-attack-from-beijing/

Free Speech in American Universities Under Attack From Beijing
November 15, 2019
Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics

The event that was cancelled: “Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics: the human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party and how they affect the world.” Continue reading

Charles University mired in Chinese influence scandal

Source: Financial Times (11/11/19)
Czech university mired in Chinese influence scandal
Secret payments to academics renew concerns about Beijing’s encroachment
By Kathrin Hille in Taipei and James Shotter in Warsaw

CRBMF1 Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe

The controversy at the university comes as politicians, civil society groups and academics are pushing back against their country’s alignment with China © Alamy

Prague’s Charles University is being shaken by a scandal over secret Chinese payments to four of its faculty members, amid concerns that Beijing could use its ties with some Czech politicians to build influence in academia.

The university, one of the world’s oldest academic institutions, fired Milos Balaban, until recently head of the university’s Centre for Security Policy (SBP), and two other members of the social sciences faculty last week. The move came after the school discovered they had set up a private company under the name of SBP which was paid by the Chinese embassy for conferences co-organised by the university centre. Continue reading

British report warns of Chinese govt influence on UK campuses

Source: The Independent (11/5/19)
Chinese government confiscating papers and getting events cancelled at British universities, MPs’ report warns
Battle to recruit students must not outweigh ‘risks’ to academic freedom, MPs say
By Eleanor Busby and Kim Sengupta

Papers have been confiscated and events cancelled at British universities as a direct result of interference from Chinese officials, a report by an influential committee of MPs has warned.

An employee of a Russian government-sponsored body also allegedly planted a bugging device to record an academic discussion in the UK, the Foreign Affairs Committee report claims.

Authorities in Britain are not doing enough to protect academic freedom from financial, political and diplomatic pressures from autocratic states, it concludes, adding that the government has “failed” to consider the threat posed by the likes of China and Russia, and that guidance warning universities of potential risks is “non-existent”.

The report warns that the battle to recruit more students and increase funding should not outweigh “serious risks” to academic freedom. Continue reading

HK Protests Spread to US Colleges (1)

In response to the NYT’s piece “HK Protests Spread to US Colleges,” a list member suggests that it might useful to remind mainland students who seek to suppress the freedom of expression of Hong Kongers of the rights enshrined in the PRC constitution.

CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA 中华人民共和国宪法:

CHAPTER II. Fundamental Rights & Duties of Citizens (第二章 公民的基本权利和义务)

Article 33. Citizenship (第三十三条)

All persons holding the nationality of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are citizens of the PRC.
凡具有中华人民共和国国籍的人都是中华人民共和国公民。

All citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law.
中华人民共和国公民在法律面前一律平等。 Continue reading

HK protests spread to US colleges

Source: NYC (10/26/19)
Hong Kong Protests Spread to U.S. Colleges, and a Rift Grows
By Emma Goldberg

A student who attended protests in Hong Kong spoke at the University of California, Davis, this month. The conflict is spilling onto campuses across the U.S., highlighting rising tensions between students.

A student who attended protests in Hong Kong spoke at the University of California, Davis, this month. The conflict is spilling onto campuses across the U.S., highlighting rising tensions between students. Credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

For much of the year, Frances Hui followed the Hong Kong demonstrations from her dorm room at Emerson College, feeling guilty that she was safe in Boston while clashes grew increasingly violent for her fellow Hong Kongers.

But when she protested on campus in support of the movement this month, she did not expect to fear for her own well-being.

Students from mainland China, she said, confronted her with expletives and lewd gestures. Earlier, a classmate posted an op-ed she had written, titled “I Am From Hong Kong, Not China,” along with a Facebook comment: “Whomever opposes my greatest China, no matter how far they are, must be executed.” Continue reading

The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Idenitities

New Publication

Jessica Tsui-yan Li, editor The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Identities. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.

https://www.mqup.ca/transcultural-streams-of-chinese-canadian-identities–the-products-9780773556850.php

Investigating the conditions that shape Chinese Canadian identities from various historical, social, and literary perspectives. Highlighting the geopolitical and economic circumstances that have prompted migration from Hong Kong and mainland China to Canada, The Transcultural Streams of Chinese Canadian Identities examines the Chinese Canadian community as a simultaneously transcultural, transnational, and domestic social and cultural formation. Continue reading

Canada deports dissident

Source: NYT (8/28/19)
Canada Deports Chinese Dissident, Brushing Off Concerns He Faces Jail
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Ian Johnson

An undated photograph of Yang Wei, right, with the exiled author Liao Yiwu. Mr. Liao has said that Canada would be “aiding and abetting the trampling of human rights” by deporting Mr. Yang. Credit: via Liao Yiwu

BEIJING — Canada has deported a veteran Chinese dissident, Yang Wei, on the grounds that he is a danger to the public.

Despite written testimony stating that Mr. Yang, 49, had mental health problems and faced certain prison time if sent back to China, a court issued a final ruling on Monday that Mr. Yang should be put on a plane departing Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, and arriving in Beijing on Thursday.

In making its ruling, the court relied on a document, reviewed by The New York Times, that mainly evaluated whether Mr. Yang would receive adequate care in China and brushed off concerns about his work as a dissident, saying there was no proof he would face incarceration if he returned. Continue reading

Geography, Affect, and Diaspora–cfp

Panel “Geography, Affect, and Diaspora” in ACLA 2020
Organizer: Melody Yunzi Li
Co-Organizer: Robert T. Tally Jr.
Contact the Seminar Organizers

As Alison Blunt notes in her Domicile and Diaspora, “The term ‘diaspora’ is inherently geographical, implying a scattering of people over space and the transnational connections between people and places.” Over the years, cultural critics, geographers, and historians examining diaspora have focused on such concepts as home and homeland, territory and territoriality, citizenship, migration, transnationalism, and cultural difference. These are also prominent themes in diasporic literature, film, and other media, yet comparatively little attention has been paid to the distinctive spatiality at the heart of these matters, particular with respect to the affective geographies implicit in diasporic identity and community. Drawing upon the insights of geocriticism, literary geography, and spatial literary studies more generally, this panel aims to explore the intricate ways in which diaspora interacts with space, place, and emotional attachment in various cultural forms. Continue reading

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

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

A New Zealand university and Chinese censorship

Source: The Spinoff (8/3/19)
We must speak out on AUT, China and threats to academic freedom
Jacob Edmond | Guest writer

A POSTER PROMOTING THE CANCELLED AUT

The AUT vice-chancellor denies that a Tiananmen Square commemoration was cancelled at the request of the Chinese embassy, but the emails released are enough to send a severe chill through New Zealand’s universities, writes Jacob Edmond

Auckland has a long and proud history of remembering the victims of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on student protests across China. Unfortunately, as the recent actions of Auckland University of Technology have underscored, the city’s universities have a more mixed record.

It is perhaps not that widely known, but one of the relatively few and earliest permanent memorials to the victims of June 4 stands in central Auckland. The memorial was unveiled on 17 September 1989 on the grounds of St Andrew’s First Presbyterian Church on Alten Rd. The initial plan had been to place the stone within the grounds of the University of Auckland. But when the University of Auckland authorities refused permission, St Andrew’s offered a home, and the stone stands there to this day. Continue reading

What is the PLA doing in HK

Source: NYT (7/25/19)
What Is the Chinese Military Doing in Hong Kong?
By Austin Ramzy

People’s Liberation Army soldiers took part in a drill open to the public at the Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong last month. Credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

HONG KONG — When Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese control in 1997, one of the biggest worries was how the Chinese military would behave.

Images of the People’s Liberation Army killing civilians on the streets of Beijing eight years earlier were still fresh in the minds of Hong Kong residents, who had marched in huge numbers to support the pro-democracy Tiananmen protests, and who had begun marking the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown with a yearly vigil.

As troop trucks and armored personnel carriers rolled into Hong Kong after its handover from Britain, residents wondered what the soldiers would do next. But in the 22 years since then, the People’s Liberation Army has had a very limited role in the city. Continue reading

Sinophone Humanities in Southeast Asia

Sinophone Humanities in Southeast Asia: An International Workshop
Date: Apr 11, 2019
Location: Harvard University, 2 Divinity Ave, Common Room

SCHEDULE 

10.15am – 10.30am | Welcome Remarks

10.30am – 12pm | Panel A: The Geopolitics of Southeast Asian Space, Memory and History
Chair: Huang Ying-che (Aichi University)

Ko Chia-cian (National Taiwan University): 漢詩世界裡的華夷風

Tee Kim Tong (National Sun Yat-sen University): 馬華文學、吉隆坡與文學/記憶現場

Liew Zhou Hau (Harvard University): Staging Resettlement: The Re-engineering of Rural History and the Replanting of Nanyang Memories

Jessica Tan (Harvard University): Caught between Homelands: The “Return” of the Wild Goose Wang Xiaoping Continue reading

Dissidents in Canada feel Beijing’s wrath

Source: NYT (4/1/19)
Chinese Dissidents Feel Heat of Beijing’s Wrath. Even in Canada.
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
She thought she would be safe in Toronto. Then she began speaking out against the Chinese government and became the victim of a lurid smear campaign.
By Catherine Porter

Sheng Xue at a rally last year for political prisoners in front of the Chinese Consulate in Toronto. Credit: Ian Willms for The New York Times

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Search for Sheng Xue on Google in English and you will find the story of an award-winning writer who left China for Canada after the Tiananmen Square uprising and became one of the world’s leading advocates for Chinese democracy.

But that same search in Chinese comes up with a very different portrait: Sheng Xue is a fraud, a thief, a traitor and a serial philanderer. Want proof? It offers up salacious photos, like one seeming to show her kissing a man who is not her husband.

As China extends its influence around the globe, it has mastered the art of soft power, establishing Confucius Institutes on Western college campuses and funding ports and power plants in developing countries. Continue reading

Mobility as Method

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of an essay by Tong King Lee entitled “Mobility as Method: Distributed Literatures and Semiotic Repertoires” as part of our online series. Too long to post here in its entirety, find below a snippet from the beginning of the essay. The whole essay can be found at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/tong-king-lee/.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Mobility as Method:
Distributed Literatures and Semiotic Repertoires

By Tong King Lee


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March 2019)


Posters of Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046.

In this essay, I propose mobility as a method for thinking literature as distributed repertoires, using Hong Kong literature as an illustrative case. In speaking of literary mobility, we first need to come to terms with its nominal counterpoint: the situatedness and place-based nature of writing; in the context of Hong Kong, this is encapsulated by the notion of Sinophone Hong Kong literature (Shih 2008). My argument is that the mobile and the situated are not diametrically opposed; rather, they complement each other within a creative dynamic that enables the local and the global to reciprocally articulate each other in diverse semiotic constellations.

The mobility turn in the social sciences, exemplified by the work of John Urry (2007) and Zygmunt Bauman (2000), has led to lines of inquiry that challenge stable structures and linear patterns, privileging instead the themes of movement and fluidity. More recently, Engseng Ho (2017) proposed the idea of mobile societies, suggesting that premodern Asia be conceptualized as Inter-Asia, a transregional axis constituted by networks of connections and circulations among peoples, goods, and ideas. Here mobility as method represents a theoretical attempt to dislodge the isomorphism between state and society, where the former is a territorialized, bounded political entity and the latter a dispersed concept transcending the perimeters of the polity.

Now what if, instead of mobile societies, we conceive of mobile literatures, defined as spectra of creative semiotic resources moving dynamically between and beyond languages, cultures, and bounded territories? What connections and circulations might emerge from such a distributed view of literature? What are the implications of disaggregating literature from society and dispersing its resources to a global scale, and then reaggregating them back into society, in what Engseng Ho (2017) calls an “outside-in” analysis? [click here to read the whole essay]