Ecological Critique of Alienation in Recent Chinese SF

LECTURE: Ecological Critique of Alienation in Recent Chinese Science Fiction
Ban Wang
Register here
University of Kansas
March 4, 2021; 4:00 – 5:30 PM CST 2:00 – 3:30 PM PST

Capitalist industrialization, wrote Marx, “is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil.” Robbing workers means alienated labor whereby workers have no say over their work and are exploited and exposed to health hazards. Robbing nature refers to the extraction of natural resources for capital accumulation and endless growth. In ecological ecology, humans are an integral part of nature and the alienation of nature is the flipside of the alienation of workers. This dual alienation may offer an insight into recent Chinese SF fiction. Chinese SF writers have explored environmental crises, alienation of labor, social disintegration, and technologically induced class disparity in the context of globalization, technological advances, and geopolitical competition. This talk will discuss critiques of these anti-ecological trends by Chen Qiufan, Hao Jingfang, and Liu Cixin. Continue reading

Contemporary China Centre events

New Perspectives and Community Voices on British Chinese Heritage
University of Westminster | Difference Festival 2021
Contemporary China Centre
Tuesday 23 February 15:00-16:30

New perspectives and community voices on British Chinese heritage: an afternoon in London’s Chinatown
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/new-perspectives-and…

Experience multiple layers of meaning of London’s Chinatown with an introduction to the heritage practice of diasporic Chinese in Europe and around the world, a primer on London’s two Chinese communities and how they developed into Soho’s Chinatown, and hear of heritage and community projects underway to support the area while it’s under significant pandemic pressure. Join academic, practitioner and community voices, organised jointly by China Exchange and HOMELandS, to “visit” the area and hear new perspectives on the ways in which this iconic area of the Capital is fighting for survival and for its heritage to be recorded and recognised.

The event will be facilitated by Cangbai Wang (humanities, University of Westminster) with Giulio Verdini (Architecture and City, University of Westminster), Freya Aitken-Turff (China Exchange) and Xiao Ma (doctoral researcher, Humanities)

Once you book your ticket, the link to the event will be sent closer to the date. Continue reading

Adventures in Translating between Cultures and Eras

Adventures in Translating Between Cultures and Eras:
A Double Launch for The Best China & The Monkey King
Featuring John Minford and Julia Lovell
With commentary by Hu Ying
Jeffrey Wasserstrom moderating

Hosted, remotely, by UC Irvine’s International Center for Writing and Translation, in partnership with the Los Angeles Review of Books and Birkbeck College, University of London, Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology, February 17, 11am PST;

February 17, 7pm in the UK; and February 18, 8am in New Zealand)— To register click here:

https://uci.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eQJoKTE1Q7Wn9dXr50IMVw

This event, in which members of UCI’s History Department (Wasserstrom) and East Asian Studies Department (Hu Ying) will play the roles of moderator and discussant, respectively, will highlight the work of two extraordinary translators and scholars of Chinese culture. One is John Minford. He is an emeritus professor at ANU and holds a distinguished position at Hang Seng University in Hong Kong, and he has translated (or co-translated) both classic works of philosophy, including the I Ching (Yi Jing) and Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing), and classic works of literature, such as The Dream of the Red Chamber (aka The Story of the Stone). The other is Julia Lovell. She is a Professor at Birkbeck College, London, and she has translated works by Lu Xun, Yan Lianke, and other major modern writers. Minford’s most recent book is The Best China: Essays from Hong Kong (January 2021), the final volume in a six-part series devoted to Hong Kong literature, while Lovell’s is an abridged translation of Monkey King/Journey to the West (February 2021). Continue reading

Wai-yee Li lecture

2020/21 Yip So Man Wat Memorial Lecture
Elegance and Vulgarity: The Promise and Peril of Things in Ming-Qing Literature 雅俗分際: 明清文學的物情與物累, with Professor Wai-yee Li (Harvard University)
Wednesday January 20, 2021; 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM (Pacific Time)
Online via Zoom

Graphic by Anh Luu. Image credits: “The Landscape of Suzhou” by Shen Zhou (Ming Dynasty) 明沈周蘇州山水全圖 卷 “Landscape in Snow” by Shen Zhou 明沈周雪景山水

How is value assigned to things? What is the line between the refinement of good taste and the force of obsession? Is elegance compromised by self-consciousness? How can an object of appreciation be both commodity and anti-commodity (inasmuch as true appreciation and the greatest worth are not measurable in economic terms)? Are elegance or vulgarity determined by affirming social consensus or challenging it? How do the fellowship and competition among connoisseurs drive the definition of elegance? Why are “elegant things” associated with nature and reclusion but also embedded in social relations among the rich and the powerful? Can good taste become bad taste, and vice versa? Professor Wai-yee Li will discuss the figure of the vulgar connoisseur in Jin Ping Mei, the contradictions of elegance in a story by Li Yu (1611-1680), and the implications of redefining elegance and vulgarity in The Story of the Stone.

Free & open to the public. Registration required.

Research Seminar: Objectifying People and Humanizing Things in Chinese Literature 物我之間:明清文學的「人化」與「物化」母題 Continue reading

‘Multi-ethnic’ literature collection

Source: Bruce-Humes.com (12/22/20)
“Multi-ethnic” Literature: Yilin’s 2020 Cache of Fiction by non-Han Writers
By Bruce Humes

As your year-end holiday lockdown fast approaches, it’s worth noting a new series of books by non-Han writers launched this year by one of China’s best-known publishers, Yilin Press — lit., “translation forest” — that is normally associated with marketing popular foreign-language fiction in Mandarin for Chinese readers.

The name of the series itself, Library of Contemporary Classics by China’s Multi-ethnic Writers (中国当代多民族经典作家文库), is notable because it employs the term “multi-ethnic” rather than the former very politically correct, ubiquitous reference to “minority ethnic” literature (少数民族文学) that must surely have rankled some.

I will write more about the worrisome outlook for mother-tongue, multi-ethnic literature out of China — given moves to severely restrict education in Uyghur, Tibetan and Mongolian, and the ongoing incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Turkophone people in Xinjiang — but for now, here are the titles in Yilin’s new series (so far available only in Chinese) with a bit of background info and links: Continue reading

Utopian Ruins talk

Book Launch – Utopian Ruins: A Memorial Museum of the Mao Era
Dec 10 2020 | 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM 

RSVP: https://ucihumanities.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JR-oJF4OTxiX3ImtM6WUJA

Featuring Jie Li’s latest book, Utopian Ruins: A Memorial Museum of the Mao Era (Duke University Press, December 2020), this talk traces the creation, preservation, and elision of memories about China’s Mao era by envisioning a virtual museum that reckons with both its utopian yearnings and its cataclysmic reverberations. Li proposes a critical framework for understanding the documentation and transmission of the socialist past that mediates between nostalgia and trauma, anticipation and retrospection, propaganda and testimony. Assembling Utopian Ruins like a memorial exhibit, Li explores how corporeal traces, archival documents, camera images, and material relics serve as commemorative media. Prison writings and police files reveal the infrastructure of state surveillance and testify to revolutionary ideals and violence, victimhood and complicity. Photojournalism from the Great Leap Forward and documentaries from the Cultural Revolution promoted faith in communist miracles while excluding darker realities, whereas Mao memorabilia collections, factory ruins, and memorials at trauma sites remind audiences of the Chinese Revolution’s unrealized dreams and staggering losses. Continue reading

How Bruce Lee Became a Legend

2020 is the 80th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s birth. Lee is still a pop culture icon 47 years after his death. How did this San Francisco-born boy became a legend? Join UBC professor Christopher Rea as he explores Bruce Lee’s story through his body of work and a few of the countless works he continues to inspire. Contemporary Asian Stories is a series of online events presented by Vancouver Public Library in partnership with the University of British Columbia Department of Asian Studies. The series celebrates literature, film, and larger-than-life figures from across modern Asian popular cultures.

Thursday, December 3, 2020; 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (PST)

ACCESS THIS EVENT

https://vpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5f9b13029aadc72f00583faf

Chinese Independent Film Archive events

To mark the launch of our website, Chinese Independent Film Archive (CIFA ) has curated three events. All welcome. No registration required.

‘I See the World Through the Lens of My Camera’, Photography Exhibition by Norman A. Spencer, and Q&A with Norman Spencer & Chris Berry
5 December at 1pm London time (8am New York, 9pm Beijing),
via Zoom Link: https://newcastleuniversity.zoom.us/s/82907945007

CIFA is dedicated to the preservation of and access to Chinese independent film culture. It holds a large and rare collection of films and footage, their associated material culture, existing publications, oral history interviews, among others. CIFA is established with the help of a research grant from UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and operating with the support of Newcastle University. Its website functions as a window onto the collections in the archive and a platform to showcase CIFA’s regular activities including publications, exhibitions and events. Continue reading

Making Hong Kong China

Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
7:00-8:15 PM Eastern Time
Register Here

How can one of the world’s most free-wheeling cities transition from a vibrant global center of culture and finance into a subject of authoritarian control? Law scholar Michael C. Davis takes up this question in his new book, Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law, the latest title in the Asia Shorts series published by the Association for Asian Studies. In this AAS Digital Dialogue session, Davis will be joined by Mary Hui (journalist at Quartz), Maggie Lewis (Seton Hall University), and Shui-yin Sharon Yam (University of Kentucky) to discuss recent events in Hong Kong. Covering protest, politics, law, identity, and international relations, roundtable participants will assess Hong Kong’s present situation and what might lie ahead for the city and its residents. Moderated by AAS Digital Media Manager Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, registration for this Digital Dialogue is open to all current AAS Members.

A recording of the session will be posted on the AAS website for public viewing following the event.

The Global White Snake reminder

The Global White Snake
Liang Luo
Thursday November 12, 2020
6-7:30 p.m. PST/9-10:30 p.m. EST
Zoom: http://tinyurl.com/ealc-whitesnake

Abstract:

In the Chinese legend of the White Snake, woman is not seduced by the snake but is herself the snake, who would form a sexual liaison with a human male, and, in some versions, even give birth to a human son. Originating as a very local legend on the deadly dangers of seduction and infatuation, the story grew into one of China’s most popular love stories that allowed its adapters past and present to explore all possibilities of the relations between the sexes. The Global White Snake foregrounds the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels throughout East Asia, as well as in Southeast Asia and North America, from the late nineteenth century to the present, in print, on stage, in cinema and in digital media. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking worlds, among others. Moreover, the inter-Asian voyages and global circulations of the White Snake legends have enabled them to become repositories of diverse and complex meanings for a great number of people, serving as reservoirs for polyphonic expressions ranging from the attempts to consolidate authoritarian power to the celebrations of minority rights and activism, which are key issues confronting our contemporary world today.

About the Speaker:

Liang Luo is an Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Avant-Garde and the Popular in Modern China (University of Michigan Press, 2014) and The Global White Snake (University of Michigan Press, 2021). She is working on a new book and documentary project, Profound Propaganda: The International Avant-Garde and Modern China.

Suicide Shows and the Aesthetics of Protest in China

Hi all,

We will be hosting the following talk this Thursday at 5:00 PM EST:

https://asianmideast.duke.edu/events/cliffhangers-suicide-shows-and-aesthetics-protest-china

The speaker is Margaret Hillenbrand, who teaches Chinese cinema at Oxford University, and the title of her talk is “The Cliffhangers: Suicide Shows and the Aesthetics of Protest in China.” The talk will be held on Zoom on Thursday, at 5:00 PM EST (to help accommodate students currently in Asia).

To attend, please register for this event at:

https://duke.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUldOmurT8jHdMeYliG_YQmr6JV83tEomYU

carlos rojas

Urban Horror lecture

Zoom Talk Announcement:
November 5, 7:00pm (EST)
Speaker: Erin Huang, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies; Comparative Literature, Princeton University
“Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility”

This talk theorizes a Marxist phenomenological notion of “horror” as a public affect that is mediated by the transnational dissemination of film images and communicated through myriad urban spaces under the neoliberal post-socialist condition. Examining a deterritorialized Chinese post-socialist urbanism taking place in Hong Kong, the talk explores the expanding archipelagoes of exception zones made for political and economic experimentation, and the affective forces of urban horror that rehearse future revolutions, whether with and without actualization.

Please register for this event at:

https://duke.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtcuquqj4iEtSz5Zmo4k0FdP8N3OiXGhGe

Link to reading (Chapter 4 of book: Post-Socialism in Hong Kong)

Sponsors:

AMES Presents and the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies

The Global White Snake lecture

The Global White Snake
Liang Luo
Thursday November 12, 2020
6-7:30 p.m. PST/9-10:30 p.m. EST
Zoom: http://tinyurl.com/ealc-whitesnake

Abstract:

In the Chinese legend of the White Snake, woman is not seduced by the snake but is herself the snake, who would form a sexual liaison with a human male, and, in some versions, even give birth to a human son. Originating as a very local legend on the deadly dangers of seduction and infatuation, the story grew into one of China’s most popular love stories that allowed its adapters past and present to explore all possibilities of the relations between the sexes. The Global White Snake foregrounds the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels throughout East Asia, as well as in Southeast Asia and North America, from the late nineteenth century to the present, in print, on stage, in cinema and in digital media. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking worlds, among others. Moreover, the inter-Asian voyages and global circulations of the White Snake legends have enabled them to become repositories of diverse and complex meanings for a great number of people, serving as reservoirs for polyphonic expressions ranging from the attempts to consolidate authoritarian power to the celebrations of minority rights and activism, which are key issues confronting our contemporary world today.

About the Speaker:

Liang Luo is an Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Avant-Garde and the Popular in Modern China (University of Michigan Press, 2014) and The Global White Snake (University of Michigan Press, 2021). She is working on a new book and documentary project, Profound Propaganda: The International Avant-Garde and Modern China.

Anti-China Politics in the US Election

Critical China Scholars Presents:
Anti-China Politics in the US Election
Cosponsored by: Justice is Global, Made in China Journal, positions politics
Organizer: Jake Werner, Boston University

Though US elections generally turn on domestic issues, the relationship with China this year has become a potent campaign issue. Years of rising tension between elites in the two countries coincided with the mass trauma of the coronavirus pandemic and the Republicans’ attempt to racialize it. In the process, American military, economic, and racial anxieties are finding new expression, posing a complex challenge to progressive movements. This webinar will discuss the impact of anti-China politics in the US election domestically and internationally and explore how anti-racist and global solidarity activists are responding.

Panelists:
Christian Sorace, Colorado College
Shen Lu, Chinese Storytellers
Khury Petersen-Smith, Institute for Policy Studies
Tobita Chow, Justice Is Global

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER