Chinese govt gave money to Georgetown Chinese student group

Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö,
Source: Foreign Policy (2/14/18)
Chinese Government Gave Money to Georgetown Chinese Student Group
Growing party influence on campuses nationwide has cast a pall over academic freedom.

A statue of John Carroll, founder of Georgetown University, sits before Healy Hall on the school’s campus August 15, 2006 in Washington, DC. Georgetown University was founded in 1789 and it is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the U.S. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Founded in the early 2000s, the Georgetown University Chinese Students and Scholars Association hosts an annual Chinese New Year gala, organizes occasional academic forums, and helps Chinese students on campus meet and support each other. The group has also accepted funding from the Chinese government amounting to roughly half its total annual budget, according to documents and emails obtained by Foreign Policy.

The total sum may not be large, but the documents confirm a link between the Chinese government and Chinese student organizations on American campuses that is often suspected but difficult to verify. Continue reading

Seeking sources for Sound Ethnographies class

Hello Colleagues,

A artist/filmmaker friend and I are creating a new class, “Sound Ethnographies of China” here at NYU Shanghai, and we’d love your suggestions for reading and listening assignments for our students as they collect sounds and interviews and edit them into audio ethnographies. Possible themes include salvage ethnography, form/content, structures of feeling experienced through sound, and STS. Are you familiar with (accessible) sound archives, good folklore studies, or writings on sound culture on China? Please get in touch. We are particularly interested in sound art: early recordings of music or theater, or writings on any period focusing on sound art (music, theater, film/TV, sound-based installation and performance art).

Thanks for thinking with us!

Leksa Lee
Assistant Professor Faculty Fellow, NYU Shanghai

Chinese Migratory Realities–call for applications

Chinese Migratory Realities: An Interdisciplinary Humanities Summer Institute
Call for Applications

The University of Alberta and University of Calgary are co-sponsoring a Humanities Summer Institute that invites participants to central Alberta to study Chinese Migratory Realities. The Institute will run June 19 to July 6 and is supported by generous funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (CCKF), the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and the China Institute at the University of Alberta, and the Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary. Continue reading

Teachers demand pensions

Source: Chinese Labour Bulletin (2/1/18)
Teachers from across China gather in Beijing to demand payment of pensions

Community teachers from Jilin join the 29 January protest in Beijing. Photo: 维权网

Hundreds of elderly teachers from all over China gathered in the Chinese capital on Monday 29 January to demand payment of long delayed pensions and other benefits.

It was the first time that retired community teachers, retired substitute kindergarten teachers and substitute teachers from Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Guangxi, Hebei, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan, Hubei, Inner Mongolia and Beijing had managed to organize a protest of this scale during their long-running battle with local governments for the same pay and benefits as civil servants of an equal grade, as stipulated by the 1993 Teachers Law. Continue reading

New MA program at Florida State

New MA Program in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Florida State University

The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University is pleased to announce that we will shortly start accepting applications for a new Graduate Program (MA) in East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC), scheduled to begin in Fall 2018.

Emphasizing second language instruction and an extensive knowledge of Chinese and Japanese literatures and cultures, this MA program will offer two tracks: (1) Chinese and (2) Japanese. Students entering this program will elect one of these two tracks. EALC encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary interests, correlating linguistic knowledge with numerous intellectual disciplines. Expertise of our core faculty and affiliated members is wide-ranging, including, for example: literary studies, religion, second-language acquisition, visual culture and film studies, and modern history. Our diverse curriculum, which emphasizes language and cultural proficiency, trains students who wish to continue studies in a compatible PhD or professional program, and prepares students for work in federal and foreign service, NGO fields, and language instruction. Continue reading

Chinese students abroad and the battle for their hearts

Source: SupChina (1/18/18)
Caught In A Crossfire: Chinese Students Abroad And The Battle For Their Hearts
China’s 800,000 overseas students represent a blind spot for the Communist Party in its ongoing battle against Western ideology. But many of them are returning home with more love and appreciation for their birth country than ever before.

When 22-year-old Chinese student Langou Lian looks back at her decision to study in the United States, there’s one influence that sticks out: the Disney Channel movie High School Musical.

“I hated Chinese education,” Lian says, remembering the high-pressure test-centered schooling in her native Sichuan Province. High School Musical presented an alternative: a carefree atmosphere where even adolescent students are independent, free to speak their mind, and have a palette of social activities to choose from.

But after she arrived in the U.S., that rosy Hollywood image became complicated. “The one word that describes my impression of America before coming is freedom,” Lian says. “[But] after I studied here for a while, I started to kind of understand American society. My impression went from good to bad.” Continue reading

How China infiltrated US classrooms

Nice article revisiting the ongoing expansion of the Confucius Institutes, though pretty much concerned with the US only–Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: Politico (1/16/18)
How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms
Even as they face criticism, Chinese government-run educational institutes have continued their forward march on college campuses across the United States.

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made an announcement to great fanfare: The university would soon open a branch of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese government-funded educational institutions that teach Chinese language, culture and history. The Confucius Institute would “help students be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Nancy Gutierrez, UNC Charlotte’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and “broaden the University’s outreach and support for language instruction and cultural opportunities in the Charlotte community,” according to a press release. Continue reading

Frost boy

Source: NYT (1/14/18)
‘Frost Boy’ in China Warms Up the Internet, and Stirs Poverty Debate
查看简体中文版  | 查看繁體中文版

View image on Twitter

Frost Boy

BEIJING — On a bitterly cold morning this month, Wang Fuman, 8, set out for school as he usually did, walking 2.8 miles through mountains and streams until he reached the warmth of his third-grade classroom.

When Fuman arrived two hours later, his classmates erupted in laughter. The freezing temperatures had covered his hair, eyebrows and eyelashes with frost, making him look like a snowman. His cheeks were chapped and bright red. Continue reading

UT-Austin rejects Chinese funding

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <>
Source: Washington Post (1/14/18)
University rejects Chinese Communist Party-linked influence efforts on campus
Josh Rogin

Tung Chee-hwa, then-chief executive of Hong Kong, in 2004. (Anat Givon/AP)

As part of a broad effort to interfere in U.S. institutions, China tries to shape the discussion at American universities, stifle criticism and influence academic activity by offering funding, often through front organizations closely linked to Beijing.

Now that aspect of Beijing’s foreign influence campaign is beginning to face resistance from academics and lawmakers. A major battle in this nascent campus war played out over the past six months at the University of Texas in Austin.

After a long internal dispute, a high-level investigation and an intervention by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the university last week rejected a proposal by the leader of its new China center to accept money from the China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The Hong Kong-based foundation and its leader, Tung Chee-hwa, are closely linked to the branch of the Chinese Communist Party that manages influence operations abroad. Continue reading

Controversy over textbook censorship of the Cultural Revolution

Source: The Guardian (1/11/18)
Controversy over Chinese textbook’s Cultural Revolution chapter as state publisher denies censorship
Firm says title of chapter referring to period of massive social upheaval and violence in China changed to ‘Arduous Exploration and Development Achievements’
By Mandy Zuo

Changes made to a middle-school history textbook’s chapter on the Cultural Revolution have sparked controversy in China, with its state-run publisher denying it censored the book.

The furore came after a post widely shared on Chinese social media suggested that politically sensitive content about the political movement had been removed. The post showed photographs of the old version of the textbook and a revised text. The pictures appeared to show that a chapter formerly devoted to the Cultural Revolution had been taken out. Continue reading

China wants students to inherit ‘red gene’

Source: Sixth Tone (1/4/18)
China Wants Students to Inherit ‘Red Gene’
Jiangxi to roll out school textbooks reinforcing Communist Party’s revolutionary values.
By Cai Yiwen

Children wearing Red Army uniforms sing the Chinese national anthem in Linyi, Shandong province, Sept. 1, 2017. Du Yubao/VCG)

An eastern Chinese province wants its students to learn the Communist Party’s core values from an early age: kindergarten.

In August 2018, Jiangxi province will introduce a set of “red culture” textbooks at a wide range of educational institutions, from preschools and primary schools all the way up to vocational colleges and universities, local media reported Wednesday.

“Red culture” is a phrase often used to describe the Communist Party’s revolution, leading up to establishment of the modern People’s Republic and onward. Continue reading

Poetry and translation in times of censorship

Source: Critical Inquiry Blog (12/13/17)
Poetry and Translation in Times of Censorship; or, What Cambridge University Press and the Chinese Government Have in Common
By Jacob Edmond

What is lost in translation? It’s a perennial concern for someone like me, but it took on a new twist when I was recently asked to approve a Chinese translation of a review of Maghiel van Crevel’s book Chinese Poetry in Times of Mind, Mayhem and Money (2008). My review of the original English version appeared in The China Quarterly back in 2011, but I gave permission for it to be translated and published in China following the release of the Chinese translation of Van Crevel’s book, Jingshen yu jinqian shidai de Zhongguo shige 精神与金钱时代的中国诗歌 (2017). This Chinese version of my review will formally be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Modern Chinese Studies (现代中文学刊), but you can already read it here.

A translation of a review published as a review of the translation: the complexities only begin here. Readers of Chinese will already have noted the title change in the Chinese translation of Van Crevel’s book: “money” (金钱) and “mind” (精神) remain, but “mayhem” has disappeared. That omission also signals a larger one: the Chinese version lacks the chapter on “Exile,” which includes discussion of poems written by Bei Dao 北岛, Wang Jiaxin 王家新, and Yang Lian 杨炼 after the Chinese government’s violent 4 June 1989 suppression of dissent.

No one familiar with working and publishing in China will bat an eyelid at such changes. Yang Lian’s own collected poems were published in China with some works removed and the titles of others changed. “To A Nine-Year-Old Girl Who Died in the Massacre” (给一个大屠杀中死去的九岁女孩) became “To a Nine-Year-Old Girl Who Died Suddenly” (给一个猝死的九岁女孩). Journals and publishers that engage with China—The China Quarterly and its publisher, Cambridge University Press, among them—face a similar pressure to avoid sensitive topics in disseminating their work in the country. Continue reading

Chinese power and academic censorship

This somber article at one point cites Jeffrey Lehman, vice-chancellor of NYU Shanghai, as saying there’s been “no change” at NYU-Shanghai — even as China builds up its neo-Orwellian futuristic dystopy all around its campus … but, the Chinese authorities recently prohibited NYU’s own professor Kwame Anthony Appiah from visiting NYU-Shanghai to give a talk, see;;; — the latter article suggesting he’s never since been able to go, but remains prohibited from visiting NYUs campus.

His visa application was apparently ignored rather than rejected — in typical fashion. The university, in order to still feature him in the NYU Shanghai classes where his books have apparently been elevated as key texts of a cosmopolitan global-citizen ethos, was reduced to putting him on a spotty Skype connection. Not sure if he’s been skyping in ever since, but regardless, if blocking the visit of an invited speaker-teacher isn’t “reneging on the promise of academic freedom,” I don’t know what is (even in the bubble-format of NYU — where Skype may still work even as it is prohibited in China at large).

NYU’s acceptance of this punishment for such a famous scholar, for speaking his mind, hints quite obviously what will be accepted for anyone less famous than so. Going along, we will end up as accomplices in China’s new global anti-democracy project … Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: Times Higher Education (12/7/17)
Chinese power ‘may lead to global academic censorship crisis’
Academic experts on China say the state may now issue demands in collaborations with Western universities
By Ellie Bothwell 
Twitter: @elliebothwell

China’s “new era” of increased global power poses a threat to academic freedom across the world and could result in global university leaders seeking to appease the country’s Communist Party, experts have warned. Continue reading

Otago City of Lit phd scholarships

Dear colleagues,

Please find below a call for applications for the 2018 University of Otago City of Literature PhD Scholarship. I am particularly interested in attracting excellent candidates working in English, Russian, and/or Chinese on topics relating to contemporary poetry, literature and new media, and comparative and global modernism. Please circulate the details below to anyone who might be interested. Thank you.

Best wishes,

Jacob Edmond

2018 University of Otago City of Literature PhD Scholarship: call for applications

The Department of English and Linguistics invites applications for the 2018 University of Otago City of Literature PhD Scholarship.

The Department of English and Linguistics welcomes applications for PhD projects across a broad range of areas ranging from medieval to digital literature. Department strengths include New Zealand and postcolonial literature, eighteenth-century literature, Romanticism, comparative literature, global modernism, cognitive approaches to literary studies, literature and language pedagogy, linguistic approaches to literature, contemporary poetry and fiction, creative writing, Irish and Scottish studies, the history of the book, and new media literature. For more information on the department, see: Continue reading