Jottings under Lamplight

Eileen J. Cheng and I are pleased to announce publication of Jottings under Lamplight, a volume of Lu Xun’s essays in English translation that we coedited. See below for details.–Kirk Denton

Lu Xun (1881–1936) is widely considered the greatest writer of twentieth-century China. Although primarily known for his two slim volumes of short fiction, he was a prolific and inventive essayist. Jottings under Lamplight showcases Lu Xun’s versatility as a master of prose forms and his brilliance as a cultural critic with translations of sixty-two of his essays, twenty of which are translated here for the first time.

While a medical student in Tokyo, Lu Xun viewed a photographic slide that purportedly inspired his literary calling: it showed the decapitation of a Chinese man by a Japanese soldier, as Chinese bystanders watched apathetically. He felt that what his countrymen needed was a cure not for their physical ailments but for their souls. Autobiographical accounts describing this and other formative life experiences are included in Jottings, along with a wide variety of cultural commentaries, from letters, speeches, and memorials to parodies and treatises. Continue reading

Old Demons, New Dieties

List members may be interested in the publication of Old Demons, New Deities: Twenty-one Short Stories from Tibet (OR Books, 2017), edited by Tenzin Dickie. The collection includes pieces by Tibetan writers from around the globe, a number of whom live and work in China, and contains translations from Chinese and Tibetan as well as pieces originally written in English. More information can be found here:


Chris Peacock

Journal of Chinese Humanities 3.2

Journal of Chinese Humanities has just released Volume 3.2 on the subject Historical Memory and Changing Paradigms.  Among other things, it contains an interesting discussion of the trend toward “indigenization” in Chinese humanities, and the connection of this to Confucianism, by Wang Xuedian; and a review by Joshua Mason of Huang Yushun’s English-language book, Voice from the East: The Chinese Theory of Justice (translated by Hou Pingping and Wang Keyou; Reading, UK: Paths International, 2016).

You can read abstracts on our website, and you can subscribe by going to our publisher’s page,

TABLE OF CONTENTS – Journal of Chinese Humanities, Vol. 3.2: Historical Memory and Changing Paradigms

The Paradigmatic Crises in China’s Minzu Studies: Reflections from the Perspective of Human Development
Author: ZHANG Xiaojun
pp.: 135-155

Where Is China Headed? New Tendencies in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Author: WANG Xuedian
pp.: 156-176 Continue reading

Book of Swindles

Dear colleagues,

Bruce Rusk and I are delighted to announce the publication of The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection (Columbia, 2017). This year happens to be the 400th anniversary of the earliest datable edition, and the theme has some contemporary relevance.


Christopher Rea <>

The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection
By Zhang Yingyu. Translated by Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk.
Columbia University Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780231178631

This is an age of deception. Con men ply the roadways. Bogus alchemists pretend to turn one piece of silver into three. Devious nuns entice young women into adultery. Sorcerers use charmed talismans for mind control and murder. A pair of dubious monks extorts money from a powerful official and then spends it on whoring. A rich student tries to bribe the chief examiner, only to hand his money to an imposter. A eunuch kidnaps boys and consumes their “essence” in an attempt to regrow his penis. These are just a few of the entertaining and surprising tales to be found in this seventeenth-century work, said to be the earliest Chinese collection of swindle stories. Continue reading

The Ancient Art of Falling Down

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “The Ancient Art of Falling Down: Vaudeville Cinema between Hollywood and China–A Conversation between Christopher Rea and Henry Jenkins.” The piece has too many images and video clips to post here in full. Find below the opening description. To read it its entirety, go to: I thank the authors for sharing their work with the MCLC community.

Kirk Denton, editor

The Ancient Art of Falling Down
Vaudeville Cinema between Hollywood and China

A Conversation between Christopher Rea and Henry Jenkins

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright August 2017)


Slapstick performance and trick cinematography dominated early global cinema. People climb into boxes and are tossed around; they jerry-rig all manner of dwellings and conveyances; they leap out of windows, crash through doors, dangle from clock towers, and slide down staircases; they appear and disappear like ghosts. But what did such visual gags look like in films made in Shanghai, as opposed to Los Angeles? How did filmmakers from different cultural traditions share or adapt comic tropes—and which ones? And how did their comedy change with technology, such as the advent of sound cinema, or with politics, war, and revolution?

The following conversation between Henry Jenkins, a media scholar who works primarily on American popular culture, and Christopher Rea, a cultural historian of China, explores comic convergences on the silver screen, focusing on filmmakers who embraced a vaudevillian aesthetic of visceral comedy and variety entertainment. It offers a guided tour of cinematic comedy in comparative perspective, drawing out resonances between Hollywood and Chinese films from the 1910s to the 1950s. Illustrating the discussion are clips from a variety of films, from early works by Charlie Chaplin to the short-lived era of cinematic satire in Mao’s China. Continue reading

Beyond the Iron House

For those list members who might be interested in my book Beyond the Iron House: Lu Xun and the Modern Chinese Literary Field, originally published by Tsinghua University Press in 2014, I’d like to share with you the news that it has been republished by Routledge (2017). See details below.

Sun Saiyin, Tsinghua University, Beijing.


Beyond the Iron House is a critical study of a crucial period of life and work of the modern Chinese writer Lu Xun. Through thorough research into historical materials and archives, the author demonstrates that Lu Xun was recognized in the literary field much later than has hitherto been argued. Neither the appearance of “Kuangren riji” (Diary of a madman) in 1918 nor the publication of Nahan (Outcry) in 1923 had catapulted the author into nationwide prominence; in comparison with his contemporaries, neither was his literary work as original and unique as many have claimed, nor were his thoughts and ideas as popular and influential as many have believed; like many other agents in the literary field, Lu Xun was actively involved in power struggles over what was at stake in the field; Lu Xun was later built into an iconic figure and the blind worship of him hindered a better and more authentic understanding of many other modern writers and intellectuals such as Gao Changhong and Zhou Zuoren, whose complex relationships with Lu Xun are fully explored and analysed in the book.

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies project officer position

Dear colleagues,

The SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies is currently hiring a project officer. Please see below for more details, and click on this link for the FULL job description document.

Feel free to forward to anyone whom you think might be interested.

Many thanks.Kind regards

How Wee Ng <>

Project Officer, Centre of Taiwan Studies

Vacancy Number 001334
Location London
Campus Russell Square
Post Class Support
Department / Centre Centre of Taiwan Studies
Contract Type Fixed Term
Closing date for applications 27 August 2017

Job Description

£28,585 – £30,856 pro rata per annum inclusive of London Allowance
Part time (14 hours per week – 0.4 FTE)
Fixed term contract (11 Months)
The role and its responsibilities: The postholder will play a critical role in providing administrative support for the various Centre of Taiwan Studies (CTS) Research and events Programmes, sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education. Continue reading

Teaching Global Community in an Age of Anti-Immigration

PODCAST: Teaching Global Community in An Age of Anti-Immigration, with Eileen Chengyin Chow



What role is there for storytelling and roleplay in teaching about Chinatowns and Chinese diasporas?

The “Harvard on China” podcast talks to Eileen Chengyin Chow, Professor in Duke University’s Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Co-Director of Duke’s Story Lab, director of the Shewo Institute of Chinese Journalism at Shih Hsin University, and Harvard alum. She is the author of the forthcoming “Chinatown States of Mind,” as well as the co-translator with Carlos Rojas of Yu Hua’s two-volume novel “Brothers” and the co-editor of the “Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas.”

The “Harvard on China” podcast is hosted by James Evans at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

You can subscribe to the “Harvard on China” podcast on iTunes, or listen on Soundcloud, Stitcher, and other podcast apps.

Comparative Literature and World Literature 2.1

Dear colleagues,

I am happy to tell you that the latest issue of Comparative Literature & World Literature is now available to download at  www.

We welcome any feedback and comments, as well as submissions of articles and reviews from scholars in comparative literature and related fields.

Comparative Literature & World Literature Vol. 2, No. 1, 2017


1 Some Thoughts about ‘World Literature’ and the Literature Truly Needed / Andreas Weiland (Aachen University)

51 De l’Exotisme à la Mondialité : Problématique sur la Relation dans la Littérature Française / Yaqin WU (Paris-Sorbonne University)

Continue reading

Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 14.1

Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese has just released its Volume 14 Number 1.

The Table of Contents of our latest issue is below:

  • Homeless in the World: War, Narrative, and Historical Consciousness in Eileen Chang, György Lukács, and Lev Tolstoy. By Roy Bing Chan.
  • Old Tales, Untold: Lu Xun against World Literature. By Daniel M. Dooghan.
  • Translation in Distraction: On Eileen Chang’s “Chinese Translation: A Vehicle of Cultural Influence”. By Christopher Lee.
  • The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Vernacular Happiness. By Haiyan Lee.
  • The Migrant Voice: The Politics of Writing Home between the Sinophone and Anglophone Worlds. Kenny K.K. Ng.
  • A Critical Review of Japanese Scholarship on Modern Chinese Fiction and Translation Studies. By César Guarde-Paz.
  • The Translated Identities of Chinese Minority Writers: Sinophone Naxi Authors. By Duncan Poupard.

Our website —

Posted by: Chris Song

Chinoperl 36.1

CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature No. 36.1 (July 2017)
Special Issue: Chinese Opera, Xiqu, and New Media, 1890s-1950s
Edited by XU Peng and Margaret Wan

To access abstracts and download the essays, link here:



Hearing the Opera: “Teahouse Mimesis” and the Aesthetics of Noise in Early Jingju Recordings, 1890s-1910s XU PENG

Qi Rushan, Gewu (Song-and-Dance), and a History of Contemporary Peking Opera in Early Twentieth-Century China HSIAO-CHUN WU

Locating Theatricality on Stage and Screen: Rescuing Performance Practice and the Phenomenon of Fifteen Strings of Cash (Shiwu guan, 1956) ANNE REBULL Continue reading

Encyclopedia of ethnic groups

Source: China Daily (8/4/17)
China publishes first encyclopedia of ethnic groups
By Xinhua

China publishes first encyclopedia of ethnic groups

The first encyclopedia of China’s 56 ethnic groups. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has published its first encyclopedia of its 56 ethnic groups.

The 15-volume encyclopedia has more than 45,000 entries and 6,400 color images. It deals mainly with the history, politics, military, religions and customs of the ethnic groups.

The Han ethnic group makes up around 91 percent of the total population, according to the 2010 census.

Some 1,000 researchers have been involved in compiling the encyclopedia since 1997, according to the editor-in-chief Li Dezhu.

Late ethnologist Fei Xiaotong, also honorary editor-in-chief, said in the foreword that the book will open a window for the world to understand China’s ethnic groups.

Fei passed away in 2005.

Book on first students to study in US after CR

Source: Global Times (7/11/17)
First group of Chinese mainland students to study in US after Cultural Revolution talk about their experiences in recent book
By Li Jingjing

Eleven members of the first group of 52 students sent to the US in 1978 pose for a picture in 2009. Photo: Courtesy of Qian Jiang

While it may be a common sight to run into a student from the Chinese mainland at universities around the world today – more than half a million students from China went abroad for educational purposes in 2016 – a little more than 40 years ago you would be hard-pressed to find a single one. That all changed in 1978, when top Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made the decision after the end of Cultural Revolution (1967-77) to send out a large number of students to study abroad. Deng felt that this move would be a vital part of China’s reform and opening-up. Continue reading

Remember Little, Forget More

Source: China Daily (7/27/17)
Woman writer from Xinjiang features her life in new book
By Li Hongrui

Woman writer from Xinjiang features her life in new book

Remember Little, Forget More. [Photo/]

Li Juan, a Xinjiang-based writer born in the 1970s, has won wide acclaim for her prose featuring Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region since she wrote for a newspaper.

Having published eight books, she saw her latest work published recently after five years of break.

The new book, Remember Little, Forget More (Ji Yi Wang San Er), is a collection of prose about her life, especially her childhood in Xinjiang.

Although born in a small town in Xinjiang, Li is the child of immigrants from Sichuan province. She also once stayed in Sichuan for some time when she was young. Continue reading