Wilt Idema at 75

Dear MCLC list members,

In late 2019, Wilt Idema’s 75th birthday was celebrated at the Leiden University Libraries. Here’s the announcement of the event, including a portrait of the scholar as a young man.

For the occasion, Wilt was asked to give a lecture on developments in Chinese Studies since his student days in the early 1960s. Video of the event is now available online. Wilt’s talk starts at 00:24:40.

Enjoy! Sincerely,

Maghiel van Crevel
Leiden University

LGBTQ+ Rights and the Struggle for Democracy in HK

Roundtable: ‘LGBTQ+ Rights and the Struggle for Democracy in Hong Kong’
Date: 25 Nov 2019
Time: 18:00-19:30
Venue: Room UG05, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2GW, University of Westminster, London
ALL ARE WELCOME but registration is required here.

Photo credit: Hong Kong Pride 2018 (with permission from Dr Daniel Conway)


Hong Kong has been gripped by widespread protests and demands for greater democracy in recent months.  While studies have begun to address the engagement of other marginalized groups such as women and ethnic minority in social movements and protest, the roles that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer plus (LGBTQ+) people play in non-LGBTQ+ specific politics have been given little academic attention. This invisibilization of LGBTQ+ people in wider social movement raises many questions. This roundtable will begin to explore the level of engagement of LGBTQ+ people in the movement for democracy in Hong Kong, pose questions about the intersections between LGBTQ+ rights and democracy and social justice, and ask whether these rights are articulated  in intersectional terms, or whether LGBTQ+ communities and rights are being overlooked or in the current protests in Hong Kong. We will also discuss comparisons with LGBTQ+ people and rights discourses in other struggles for democracy and social justice.

Speakers: Dr Suen Yiu Tung (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Eliz Wong (London School of Economics and Political Science) and Dr Daniel Conway (University of Westminster) Continue reading

Barmé lecture at UBC

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the Department of Asian Studies of the University of British Columbia, I cordially invite you to the 2019 Yip So Man Wat Memorial Lecture, featuring Dr. Geremie R. Barmé, Professor Emeritus of the Australian National University and Founding Director Emeritus of the Australian Centre on China in the World.

Dr. Barmé’s lecture, entitled “Where Silence Reigns, Startling Claps of Thunder,” will begin at 7:00pm on Tuesday, November 5 in the Ponderosa Commons Ballroom, located at 6445 University Boulevard on UBC’s Vancouver campus. A reception with light refreshments will precede the lecture at 6:00pm.

You are also invited to a research seminar, “Intersections with Eternity,” which Dr. Barmé will hold from 4:00-6:00pm on Monday, November 4 in room 104 of UBC’s Allard Hall, located at 1822 East Mall. Continue reading

Chinese Individualisation and Confucian Revival

Lecture Title: “Chinese individualisation and Confucian revival: Parental actions in emerging Confucian education”
Speaker: Dr Canglong Wang (University of Hull)
Date: 6 Nov 2019 Wednesday
Time: 6-730pm
Venue: Room 152, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster W1B 2HW


The current research on the individualisation of Chinese society in relation to the recent Confucian revival has remained a relatively unexplored topic. This talk offers a theoretically informed analysis of interview data with parents involved in a Confucian school, and contributes to offering insight into the scholarly gaps in both theory and evidence by exploring how the parental actors arise as critical individuals in the emerging domain of Confucian education, their disembedding actions from the mainstream state school system, and the paradox of regaining ‘safety’ in struggling to return. Continue reading

Management of Lunatics in Colonial HK

Lecture: Sound Minds at the Port?-The Management of Lunatics in Colonial Hong Kong
Speaker: Assistant Prof Harry Yi-Jui Wu (Hong Kong University, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine)

Photo credit: “A Hong Kong chair” – J.C./ Wellcome Collection

DATE: Wednesday 16 Oct 2019
TIME: 18:00 until 20:00
ROOM: Room 152
309 Regent Street, University of Westminster, London, UK. W1B 2HW

This presentation traces the development of early psychiatric services in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century Hong Kong and explores the meaning of managing lunatics at the colonial port. In 1854, the British colonial government launched an ordinance to invest Consuls in the Ports in China to protect the Persons and Property from being damaged by people of unsound minds. During the second half of the 19th Century, managing “lunatics” or “the insane” became gradually important for Hong Kong to maintain its function as the doorway between the two empires. In most of the medical history accounts, scholars have largely emphasized the agenda of racial segregation and racial psychiatric theories derived from that place. However, in the case of Hong Kong, instead of developing racial sciences, lacking rigorous research, one could observe more about how governmental and medical officers endeavoured to uphold the regular operation of the prospering trade port in the cross-cultural context. From the deportation of Chinese, establishment of the Temporary Lunatic Asylum, founding of Victoria Hospitals, negotiation with Tung Wah Hospital to the collaboration with John Kerr’s Refuge in Canton, this presentation attempts to shift the focus on the development of racial psychiatry in a broad sense to the practicality of a wide range of administrations for European and Chinese lunatics. On the one hand, it aims to re-examine the existing historiography of colonial medicine. On the other hand, it attempts to echo recent calls to see Hong Kong as a fluid concept and the use of Hong Kong as a process rather than a static entity. Continue reading

Vinograd lecture at the British Museum

Professor Richard Vinograd to give the 2019 Sir Percival David Lecture at the British Museum, on 16 May.

Work of art: artistic labour in 19th century China
Thursday 16 May 2019, 18.00–19.00
BP Lecture Theatre, The British Museum
Free, booking essential

Representations of the work of Chinese art, that is artistic labour, had many sources and dimensions both within and outside of nineteenth century China. Some of those arenas of interest were in artistic process and technologies, in imperial works of ideological or political import, and in customs and occupations from ethnographic perspectives. This lecture will focus on two further views, involving the foreign photographer’s lens and the sociality of urban Chinese painters.

Richard Vinograd is the Christensen Fund Professor in Asian Art in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. He is the author of Boundaries of the Self: Chinese Portraits, 1600-1900; (1992); co-editor of New Understandings of Ming and Qing Painting(1994); co-author of Chinese Art; Culture (2001) and author of Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang (2018). Professor Vinograd’s research interests and publications include studies of Chinese portraiture, landscape painting, literati painting of late imperial China, urban print culture, painting aesthetics and theory, art historiography, modern and contemporary Chinese painting, and aspects of intercultural artistic exchange in the early modern era.

Sponsored by the Sir Percival David Foundation Trust.


Posted by: Helen Wang <hwang@britishmuseum.org>

High Peaks Pure Earth event

High Peaks Pure Earth: Ten Years of Tibetan Cyberspace in Translation
Monday, April 8, 2019
6:00pm – 8:00pm
EALAC Lounge (Kent Hall 403)
Columbia University

High Peaks Pure Earth has been dedicated to translating literature, news, and cultural commentary from Tibetan cyberspace for the last decade. Join us for a talk by founding editor Dechen Pemba, followed by a roundtable discussion on the internet as a site of Tibetan cultural production featuring Palden Gyal and Riga Shakya (Columbia University) and with video contributions from poet Tsering Woeser (Beijing) and writer Bhuchung D Sonam (Dharamsala).  With an introduction by Eveline Washul.

Light refreshments will be served. This event is sponsored by the Modern Tibetan Studies program, Columbia University.

Kowallis lectures

Members might be keen on the series of lectures Jon Kowallis, Chair Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, is delivering in China.  He has just given three lectures for the Zhifang Distinguished Professorial Lecture Series at Fudan University’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature.  Sorry this announcement came so late.  Details can be found here:


Tomorrow (23 Nov) at Zhejiang University Professor Kowallis will deliver the keynote address “Lu Xun’s Classical-style Poetry and Me.”  The following day Saturday (24 Nov) at Hangzhou Normal University he will present on the topic titled “A Great Discovery.”  This will be followed by another lecture next Tuesday (27 Nov) at the Communication University of China, Beijing, on “Understanding Wild Grass by Talking to Oneself: Lu Xun’s Yecaothrough the Lens of Ziyan Ziyu and the Prism of the Past.”




Wah Guan Lim

Baghdad and Beijing in Book Art

The Program in Chinese Literature and Culture at EALAC and CSSAAME Journal presents
Baghdad and Beijing in Book Art
a lecture by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, American University of Beirut.
Thursday, November 1, 2018 6:10pm-7:30pm
403 Kent Hall
Columbia University

This talk focuses on the work of the Iraqi artist Rafa Nasiri (1940-2014) and his autobiographical account Rihlati ila Sin (My Journey to China, 2012). It explores cross-cultural encounters between Baghdad and Beijing in the context of geopolitical change after the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Iraq Revolution of 1958.

Sonja Mejcher-Atassi is an associate professor of Arabic and comparative literature at the American University of Beirut. She was a fellow in residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 2017-18. Her research centers on modern Arabic literature, book culture and art, museum and collecting practices, private libraries, cultural/intellectual history and memory, and aesthetics and politics. Her publications include Rafa Nasiri: Artist Books ed. with May Muzaffar (2016); Reading across Modern Arabic Literature and Art (2012); Museums, Archives and Collecting Practices in the Modern Arab World ed. with John Pedro Schwartz (2012); Writing a ‘Tool for Change’: ‘Abd al-Rahman Munif Remembered (ed.) in MIT EJMES Vol. 7 (2007); in addition to numerous book chapters and journal articles. She is currently working on a biography of the Palestinian writer Jabra Ibrahim Jabra and an edited volume on the Syrian playwright and public intellectual Saadallah Wannous.

Moderated by Professor Lydia H. Liu

Posted by: Harlan Chambers <hdc2116@columbia.edu>

Xinjiang and the Uyghur Question in China Today

If you are in or around New York, you’re welcome to come to this event, on October 29th at NYU.

Xinjiang and the Uyghur Question in China Today

Roundtable Participants: Jim Millward, Ajinur Settiwaldi, Magnus Fiskejo, and Huang Yifan
Moderated by Rebecca Karl
Monday, October 29, 4-6pm
907 Kimmel Center, NYU

Rebecca E. Karl <rebecca.karl@nyu.edu>
History Department

Stan Lai at SOAS

Taiwanese playwright and director Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan), will be speaking at SOAS University of London on Saturday 13 October 2018, 3-5 pm. Free entry. All welcome.

Please see the announcement and Facebook event page below:


Rossella Ferrari 費萊麗
Reader in Chinese and Theatre Studies
Regional Managing Editor (China), The Theatre Times

Fairbank Center events

A few recent events we have recorded at the Fairbank Center might be of interest to MCLC subscribers:

Recent Developments in Xinjiang, with Adrian Zenz


Speaker: Adrian Zenz, Lecturer in social research methods, European School of Culture & Theology, Germany. Dr. Zenz is author of the recently published paper, ‘”Thoroughly Reforming Them Towards a Healthy Heart Attitude” – China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang,’ (Central Asian Survey 2018).

Moderator: Mark Elliott, Vice Provost, International Affairs, Harvard University

Co-Sponsored by:

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies
East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, and Asian Studies Panel Discussion


Panelists: Continue reading

Cambria event in Singapore

Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania), general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, will be the guest of honor and giving a speech at the Cambria double book launch event for Painting History: China’s Revolution in a Global Context and Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics. The event will be held on July 14, 2018 (Saturday) at 2–5 p.m. at iPreciation (Singapore), a premier gallery that showcases the best of modern and contemporary Asian art, including the works of Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Professor Mair, in addition to authors Mr. Shen Jiawei and Dr. Mabel Lee, who will be giving talks about their books. If you will be in Singapore on this date, please join us for this special event and register now for it. Registration is free.

Celebrity artist Shen Jiawei is not only known for his commissioned portraits of dignitaries, such as Pope Francis and Princess Mary of Denmark, but also his famous history paintings, which are held at the National Museum, Art Museum, and Military Museum in Beijing, as well as in public and private collections around the world. Mr. Shen’s unique experiences and innovative techniques are documented in his new book Painting History: China’s Revolution in a Global Context (edited by Dr. Mabel Lee), which he will discuss at the event. Continue reading