PRISM 19.1

PRISM 19.1 (2022)

THEMED CLUSTER CHRONOTOPIA: Urban Space and Time in Twenty-First-Century Sinophone Film and Fiction

Introduction: Chronotopia: Urban Space and Time in Twenty-First-Century Sinophone Film and Fiction
By Astrid Møller-Olsen


Dialogical Representation of the Global City in Chinese New Urban and Rural-Migrant Films
By Jie Lu

Ghostly Chronotopes: Spectral Cityscapes in Post-2000 Chinese Literature
by Winnie L. M. Yee

Spatiotemporal Explorations: Narrating Social Inequalities in Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction
By Frederike Schneider-Vielsäcker

Reconfiguring the Chronotope: Spatiotemporal Representations and Cultural Imaginations of Beijing in Mr. Six
By Xuesong Shao and Sheldon Lu

Take the Elevator to Tomorrow: Mobile Space and Lingering Time in Contemporary Urban Fiction
By Astrid Møller-Olsen Continue reading

China in the World review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Julia Keblinska’s review of China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision, by Ban Wang. The review appears below and at its online home: My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

China in the World:
Culture, Politics, and World Vision

By Ban Wang

Reviewed by Julia Keblinska

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2022)

Ban Wang, China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022, xi + 215 pp. ISBN: 9781478010845 (paper).

Ban Wang’s China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision examines how the nation of China was imagined in political discourse and cultural practice vis à vis “a broad spectrum of international outlooks”—that is, conceptions of “the world”—throughout the twentieth century (7). More than a mere history of such worldly outlooks, be they late Qing reformulations of Confucian social concepts of tiānxià 天下  and dàtóng 大同 (“all under heaven” and “great unity,” respectively) or later iterations of socialist internationalism, Wang offers a serious and urgent critique of Chinese Studies and a call to political awareness at a moment when Cold War logics threaten to flatten the nuance and complexity of our field. In accomplishing this task, China in the World is an elegantly efficient volume. Coming in under 200 pages, the text is comprised of an introduction and eight chapters, the initial six of which are devoted to focused historical case studies of literary and cinematic works, while the final two are more polemical, urging an interrogation of the state of the Chinese Studies classroom and articulating the imperative to critically “use the past to understand the present” (170). Continue reading

The Making of Chinese-Sinophone Literatures as World Literature review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Dylan Suher’s review of The Making of Chinese-Sinophone Literatures as World Literature, edited by Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang. The review appears below and at its online home: My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

The Making of Chinese-Sinophone
Literatures as World Literature

Edited by Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang

Reviewed by Dylan Suher

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2022)

Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang, eds., The Making of Chinese-Sinophone Literatures as World Literature. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2022. xi + 249 pp. ISBN 9789888528721.

Listing just a few of the texts analyzed in the 11 chapters of Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang’s The Making of Chinese-Sinophone Literatures as World Literature is a good demonstration of this edited volume’s ambition:

  • A translation by Mao Dun 茅盾 of the Nicaraguan writer Rubén Dario’s story “El velo de la reina Mab” (The veil of Queen Mab);
  • a Taiwanese picturebook about a half-crocodile, half-duck creature’s identity crisis;
  • translations of pseudo-haiku by the poet Chen Li 陳黎 into subway posters, “poetry walls,” and dance pieces.

The editors and nine other contributors to this volume show an admirable lack of complacency in exploring the intersection between Chinese-Sinophone literatures and world literature. But despite the thoughtfulness of the essays collected here, I nevertheless retain some doubts about the volume’s overall framework.

Kuei-fen Chiu and Yingjin Zhang’s introduction, “Chinese-Sinophone Literatures as World Literature” is dedicated to explaining the somewhat unwieldy conceptual contraption of the title. At its core is “world literature”; Chiu and Zhang favor David Damrosch’s definition of world literature as encompassing works that are “actively present within a literary system beyond that of its original culture”[1] while acknowledging that even this effort to open up the category does not do away with the structures of publishing, scholarship, and prestige that favor a Eurocentric canon. Chiu and Zhang use the term “Chinese-Sinophone Literatures” as a way to “distance our position from a preoccupation with ‘China/center/major vs. non-China/periphery/minor debates” (8), charting a course between lumping all literature written in Chinese together and a Sinophone framework that excludes mainland literature and non-Chinese-speaking readers. Chinese-Sinophone literatures, the editors posit, are actively made into world literature as “the work travels beyond national boundaries and gains a new life in world literary space” (11, original emphasis). Chiu and Zhang emphasize a world literature defined not only by texts, but also by the translators and publishers who bring those texts across borders, by the genres used to package those texts for new audiences, and by the technologies and media used to disseminate these texts globally. Continue reading

Writing Chinese 1.1

Source: (6/13/22)
Writing Chinese: A Journal of Contemporary Sinophone Writing – Editorial

Writing Chinese

We’re very excited to share the editorial from the very first issue of our journal, Writing Chinese: A Journal of Contemporary Sinophone Writing! We hope you’ll read the whole issue online, and we’d like to thank all our contributors, and of course White Rose University Press. As the journal has a rolling deadline we’ll be using this blog to keep you up to date on new content, and please keep an eye on our social media too!

Inaugural Issue: Editors’ Note

We are delighted to launch the inaugural issue of Writing Chinese: A Journal of Contemporary Sinophone Literature. The Journal is based within The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, in the University of Leeds, UK. A research hub with a strong public engagement programme, our Centre was formally established in 2018. It grew out of an AHRC-funded project entitled “Writing Chinese: Authors, Authority and Authorship” which aimed to engage practitioners (authors, translators, publishers) and academics working on, or embodying, concepts of authorship in a Chinese-language setting. Continue reading

Paper Republic newsletter 14

Folks, not to brag, but I’ve all but stopped using social media for a month now (by circumstance rather than by choice) and it’s been a lovely holiday for the mind. It also means, in case you’re wondering why my boasting is relevant, this month’s newsletter is a short one.

That’s right, like many millennials, I source most of my news from the socials, and that includes Chinese-lit related news.

Here’s to a more jampacked newsletter next month, when I inevitably fall back into old habits.

In the meantime, direct your attention toward the upcoming Aberdeen Festival of Translation. By upcoming, I mean it starts on Monday 13th June with a workshop led by Nicky Harman. But there is plenty more to come.

Extracts, stories and poems:

  • Yan Lianke & Carlos Rojas on “How Contemporary Chinese Literature Made Western Modernism Its Own”
  • May Huang on “The Translator’s Guilt” and Eric Yip, who recently became the youngest-ever winner of the National Poetry Competition for “Fricatives”. Here, poet and translator, Jenny Wong chats with Eric about his win and his poetry

Continue reading

Classicism in Digital Times symposium

Harvard-Frankfurt-Lingnan Symposium
Classicism in Digital Times: Textual Production as Cultural Remembrance in the Sinophone Cyberspace
Date & Time: June 10, 2022 (15-18:00 CET; 21-24:00 Taipei; 09-12:00 Boston; 06-09:00 LA)
Online venue:

Meeting-ID: 854 2913 8251
Password: 380532

15:00-15:10: Greetings by Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Frankfurt) and Zong-qi Cai (Lingnan)
15:10-15:20: David Wang (Harvard) and Zhiyi Yang (Frankfurt), Introducing the concept
15:20-15:30: Chieh-Ting Hsieh (National Chengchi U), “The Body That Counts”
15:30-15:40: Laura Vermeeren (U of Amsterdam), “Writing the Heart Sutra Online”
General Questions and Comments

16:00-16:10: Xiaofei Tian (Harvard), “The Thrill of Becoming”
16:10-16:20: Zhiyi Yang, “In the Digital Sand”
16:20-16:30: Fangdai Chen (Harvard), “Classicist Heterotopia”
16:30-16:40: Tarryn Chun (Notre Dame), “Spectacular Erudition”
General Questions and Comments

17:00-17:10: Paize Keulemans (Princeton), “Immersion without Mimesis”
17:10-17:20: Yedong Chen (Harvard), “Gaming with Chinese Characteristics”
17:20-17:30: Rossella Ferrari (U of Vienna), “Xiqu 2.0”
17:30-17:40: Michelle Yeh (UC Davis), “Classicist Television Drama in Digital Times”
General Questions and Comments

Posted by: Heidi Huang <>

Dickinson College visiting position

Dickinson College – Visiting Assistant Professor in Chinese Language

The Department of East Asian Studies at Dickinson College invites applications for a visiting assistant professor position in Chinese language. This is a one year position for the academic year of 2022-2023, with expectations to be on board in August 2022. The teaching load is six courses a year. Applicants should be prepared to teach Chinese at all levels. Prior experience in Chinese instruction at the university level is preferred, as is training in proficiency-oriented, task-based, and project-based teaching. The ability to create inclusive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body will be an important characteristic of the successful candidate. Native or near-native fluency in Chinese and English is required.

Interested candidates should apply for this position electronically via QUEST (online application system) at

Please include a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and the names of three references.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled. Priority will be given to applications received by June 24, 2022.

Please direct any questions to: Nan Ma, Search Committee Chair, at

Dickinson College is a highly selective four-year, independent liberal arts college with 2300 students. Dickinson prides itself on having dynamic faculty who combine excellent teaching and research. The College is located in Carlisle, PA. Carlisle is 20 minutes west of Harrisburg and a two-hour drive from Baltimore, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. Dickinson College is committed to building a representative and diverse faculty, administrative staff, and student body. We encourage applications from all qualified persons.

In conversation with Mukaddas Mijit

Source: Screen Worlds (nd)
In Conversation with Mukaddas Mijit
What can mainstream filmmakers do to listen better to creators from colonised worlds?
Mukaddas Mijit discusses Uyghur cultural expression and filmmaking along with her recent work, “A Poem About Exile” (2020).
Interviewed by David Tobin (The University of Sheffield).
Produced by Screen Worlds and The University of Sheffield. n.d. [2022].

Videos featured: (A Poem About Exile) (Uighur tradition meeting Palestinian music) (Momam: the great woman, 2012) (6 meters of Etles / Brooklyn Bridge – Mukaddas Mijit & Lisa Ross) (Qumul Muqam Center 2020) (L’ IMPROMPTUE DANSANTE PAR MUKADDAS MIJIT, XAVIER COLLET, BIJANE ETEMAD-MOGHADAM) (Ahim (I cry) by Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed 2020) Ayshemgul Memet Ensemble & Mukaddas Mijit (traditional Uyghur music and dance, Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck) (2018 Biopics Muqueddes TLS, Guayabo Collectivo)

Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö,

Liu Yifei stars in A Dream of Spendor

Source: China Daily (6/6/22)
Actress Liu Yifei shows off tea acrobatics in her latest outing
By Xu Fan

A scene in A Dream of Splendor. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A Dream of Splendor [梦华录], marking A-list star Liu Yifei’s [刘亦菲] return to the historic theme, has quickly hooked millions of views since the 40-episode costume series began streaming on Tencent Video domestically and its overseas platform WeTV on June 2.

Starring Liu as a brave and independent young woman, the tale set in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) is inspired by Jiu Feng Chen [救風塵], a four-act play about a sophisticated heroine’s effort to rescue her friend from domestic violence by Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) playwright Guan Hanqing [关汉卿]. Continue reading

Mo Yan Speaks review

Source: LA Review of Books (5/31/22)
Uncle Tall Tale: On “Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China”
By Astrid Møller-Olsen

Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China

ALTHOUGH MO YAN’S claim to fame is undoubtedly as the Nobel laureate from China, the 23 public lectures gathered in Mo Yan Speaks present a truly “glocal” writer who has one literary foot firmly planted in the soil of his native Gaomi Township and the other tiptoeing into the arena of world literature. They show an author performing a balancing act between his international elite status and the local storytelling tradition present in his work.

Mo Yan (whose real name is Guan Moye) repeatedly draws on both these strands when presenting his literary persona. His public lectures combine anecdotes from his rural childhood with musings on literary style and namedropping of famous writers (who, with the notable exception of Wang Anyi, are all men). It is this duality of humble storyteller and Nobel laureate that defines the Mo Yan phenomenon, and it is his playful creation and shaping of this persona that make the speeches in this volume so entertaining.

In Mo Yan’s own words, the path of a writer includes straddling the spheres of knowledge and imagination: “I think a writer’s education can more or less be split up into two parts. The first takes place prior to becoming a writer, a kind of involuntary, impractical, meandering learning.” In Mo Yan’s case, the initial phase entailed listening to market storytellers, local opera troupes, and “pow-boys” (child raconteurs) with a passion for telling tall tales. The second part of Mo Yan’s literary education was spent in the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Art Academy, “at which point reading and writing fiction became my day job.” Continue reading

Flowers of Lhasa

I am pleased to announce the publication of my translation of Flowers of Lhasa by Tsering Yangkyi. The novel, highly popular in Tibet, is a major milestone for Tibetan feminist writing, and is also one of the first Tibetan-language novels from the PRC to be translated into English. The book is published by Balestier Press:

Chris Peacock

Jia Pingwa ‘Broken Wings’

MCLC members might be interested in this event, featuring the great Nicky Harman and Zhang Lijia:

Readers Club (May): Jia Pingwa – Broken Wings

Join us for a discussion about the issues faced by contemporary Chinese women from the viewpoint of one of China’s literary titans

About this event

It is almost time for another session of our Readers’ Club! Join us and translator Nicky Harman as we go through the story of Butterfly, a humble but also ambitious young woman who unexpectedly finds herself part of a plan that will change her life forever. Jia Pingwa’s 2019 novel Broken Wings addresses themes of great social importance that make it incredibly relevant and contemporary – among which women trafficking and forced marriage, great urban investments as opposed by the expenses paid by rural village life.

It will be an interesting discussion open to everyone, regardless if you’ve read the book before or not, but you can order your copy here [] with 10% off using code CLRCUK10. If you’d like a taster before you buy or find yourself opening this too close to the date to read the whole book, please find the afterword available to read here – trust us, it might be the afterword, but it is definitely worth reading before the rest.

We would love to see you there!

Daniel Yang Li

Book Marketer
Alain Charles Asia Publishing

Yan Lianke on mythorealism

Source: Literary Hub (5/23/22)
How Contemporary Chinese Literature Made Western Modernism Its Own
Yan Lianke on the Concept of “Mythorealism”
By Yan Lianke; translated by Carlos Rojas

Via Duke University Press

A Simple Explanation of Mythorealism

I am certainly violating a crucial taboo when I say I believe contemporary Chinese literature already contains a body of writing that diverges from both 19th-century realism and 20th-century modernism. Or, at the very least, we can say that the sprouts of this new writing have already begun to emerge—though due to the laziness of critics who don’t have the patience to perform a careful analysis, these sprouts often end up getting overlooked. This overlooked literature is precisely what I am calling mythorealism.

In simple terms, it can be said that mythorealism is a creative process that rejects the superficial logical relations that exist in real life to explore a kind of invisible and “nonexistent” truth—a truth that is obscured by truth itself. Mythorealism is distinct from conventional realism, and its relationship to reality is not driven by direct causality but instead involves a person’s soul and spirit (which is to say, the connection between a person and the real relationship between spirit and interior objects) and an author’s conjectures grounded in a real foundation.

Mythorealism is not a bridge offering direct access to truth and reality, and instead it relies on imaginings, allegories, myths, legends, dreamscapes, and magical transformations that grow out of the soil of daily life and social reality.

Mythorealism does not definitely reject reality; it attempts to create reality and surpass realism. Continue reading