MCLC is pleased to announce publication of vol. 32, no. 2. Below find a table of contents, with links to essay abstracts. Those of you who are subscribers will be receiving your print copies in the next few weeks. If you have any questions about the status of your subscription or if you would like to initiate a new subscription, please contact Jennifer Nunes, my new editorial assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirk Denton, editor
Volume 32, Number 2 (Fall 2020)
Rethinking the Modern Chinese Canon: Refractions across the Transpacific by Clara Iwasaki (Cambria Press)
Cambria Sinophone World Series (General Editor: Victor H. Mair)
Hardback 9781621965473 $104.99 244pp. (Save 25% off hardback—use coupon code SAVE25).
E-book editions start at $30.99—Order from Cambria Press.
The texts that are examined in this study move in and out of different languages or are multilingual in their origins. Texts and authors do not move randomly; rather, they follow routes shaped by the history of contact between different nations of the transpacific. As these texts move into and out of the Chinese language or become multilingual, they necessarily do not always remain Sinophone. The works of the authors discussed are refracted out of Chinese literature into American, Malaysian, and Japanese literatures and, in some cases, back into Chinese again. Following their paths through multiple languages makes visible the ways that these trajectories are informed by, are arrested by, and bend around historical and geopolitical barriers across the Pacific. To this end, examining the path that these texts from a transpacific perspective allows for the possibility of not only multilingual but multidirectional movement. Continue reading
The University of Sydney China Studies Centre is pleased to announce Shades of Green: Notes on China’s Eco-civilisation (edited by Olivier Krischer and Luigi Tomba, 2020), published with Made in China journal as the first in a new series of ‘Made in China Notebooks’.
Shades of Green: Notes on China’s Eco-civilisation
Edited by Olivier Krischer and Luigi Tomba
Is China the new champion of environmentalism? Are democratic models becoming obsolete? Is efficiency all we need to tackle this environmental crisis? Believing such questions to be flattening the debate and obscuring as much as they reveal, Shades of Green offers short reflections from the perspectives of 14 young scholars addressing the problem in compelling and original ways. They are exploring issues of language and policy interpretation, the complex nexus of social and environmental justice, case studies in rural revitalisation, precarious urban housing and hygiene impacts of city development, as well as the potential to address spiritual or indigenous questions to ecological challenges in the context of China today.
The PDF book is available on China Studies Centre website.
YANPING ZHANG | Events and Communications Officer
China Studies Centre
I am pleased to announce the release of Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn, from the University of California Press. The book is available open-access in pdf format and on the Luminos platform. It can also be purchased in paperback.
From fashion sketches of smartly dressed Shanghai dandies in the 1920s, to multipanel drawings of refugee urbanites during the war against Japan, to panoramic pictures of anti-American propaganda rallies in the early 1950s, the polymorphic cartoon-style art known as manhua helped define China’s modern experience. Manhua Modernity offers a richly illustrated, deeply contextualized analysis of these illustrations across the lively pages of popular pictorial magazines that entertained, informed, and mobilized a nation through a half century of political and cultural transformation. In this compelling media history, John Crespi argues that manhua must be understood in the context of the pictorial magazines that hosted them, and in turn these magazines must be seen as important mediators of the modern urban experience. Even as times changed—from interwar-era consumerism to war-time mobilization to Mao-style propaganda—the art form adapted to stay on the cutting edge of both politics and style.
I am delighted to announce the publication of my book, The Evolution of the Chinese Internet: Creative Visibility in the Digital Public (Stanford University Press, 2020).
Despite widespread consensus that China’s digital revolution was sure to bring about massive democratic reforms, such changes have not come to pass. While scholars and policy makers alternate between predicting change and disparaging a stubbornly authoritarian regime, in this book Shaohua Guo demonstrates how this dichotomy misses the far more complex reality. The Evolution of the Chinese Internet traces the emergence and maturation of one of the most creative digital cultures in the world through four major technological platforms: the bulletin board system, the blog, the microblog, and WeChat. Guo transcends typical binaries of freedom and control, to argue that Chinese Internet culture displays a uniquely sophisticated interplay between multiple extremes, and that its vibrancy is dependent on these complex negotiations. In contrast to the flourishing of research findings on what is made invisible online, this book examines the driving mechanisms that grant visibility to particular kinds of user-generated content. Offering a systematic account of how and why an ingenious Internet culture has been able to thrive, Guo highlights the pivotal roles that media institutions, technological platforms, and creative practices of Chinese netizens have played in shaping culture on- and offline. Continue reading
Ming Qing Studies 2020
edited by Paolo Santangelo, Sapienza University of Rome
We are glad to inform you that Ming Qing Studies 2020 will be issued in December 2020 by WriteUp Site (https://sites.google.com/site/mqsweb/home/ming-qing-studies-2020 and https://www.writeupbooks.com/ming_qing_studies/).
Ming Qing Studies is an annual publication focused on late imperial China and the broader geo-cultural area of East Asia during the premodern and modern period. Its scope is to provide a forum for scholars from a variety of fields seeking to bridge the gap between ‘oriental’ and western knowledge. Articles may concern any discipline, including sociology, literature, psychology, anthropology, history, geography, linguistics, semiotics, political science, and philosophy. Contributions by young and post-graduated scholars are particularly welcome. Continue reading
NEW PUBLICATION: Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, edited by Katherine Mezur and Emily Wilcox
The new book Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, edited by Katherine Mezur and Emily Wilcox, was published by the University of Michigan Press in September 2020. It is part of the Studies in Dance History book series and is the first book-length academic study of multiple genres of dance across the East Asia region. Contributors come from across the US and East Asia and include leading scholars of East Asian dance and performance studies, history, and literary studies.
Corporeal Politics investigates the development of dance as a deeply meaningful and complex cultural practice across time, placing special focus on the intertwining of East Asia dance and politics and the role of dance as a medium of transcultural interaction and communication across borders. Countering common narratives of dance history that emphasize the US and Europe as centers of origin and innovation, Corporeal Politics demonstrates the expansive creativity of dance artists in East Asia and asserts the region’s importance as a site of critical theorization and reflection on global artistic developments in the performing arts. Corporeal Politics addresses a wide range of performance styles and genres, including dances produced for the concert stage, as well as those presented in popular entertainments, private performance spaces, and street protests.
Book Launch – Utopian Ruins: A Memorial Museum of the Mao Era
Dec 10 2020 | 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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
Jie Li, Utopian Ruins: A Memorial Museum of the Mao Era (Duke University Press, 2020)
In Utopian Ruins Jie Li 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 each chapter 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
New Publication: Photo Poetics: Chinese Lyricism and Modern Media Culture
By Shengqing Wu
Columbia University Press, Dec. 2020
Chinese poetry has a long history of interaction with the visual arts. Classical aesthetic thought held that painting, calligraphy, and poetry were cross-fertilizing and mutually enriching. What happened when the Chinese poetic tradition encountered photography, a transformative technology and presumably realistic medium that reshaped seeing and representing the world?
Shengqing Wu explores how the new medium of photography was transformed by Chinese aesthetic culture. She details the complex negotiations between poetry and photography in the late Qing and early Republican eras, examining the ways traditional textual forms collaborated with the new visual culture. Drawing on extensive archival research into illustrated magazines, poetry collections, and vintage photographs, Photo Poetics analyzes a wide range of practices and genres, including self-representation in portrait photography; gifts of inscribed photographs; mass-media circulation of images of beautiful women; and photography of ghosts, immortals, and imagined landscapes. Wu argues that the Chinese lyrical tradition provided rich resources for artistic creativity, self-expression, and embodied experience in the face of an increasingly technological and image-oriented society. An interdisciplinary study spanning literary studies, visual culture, and media history, Photo Poetics is an original account of media culture in early twentieth-century China and the formation of Chinese literary and visual modernities.
Poems by Yang Jian
Translated and with an Introduction by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Foreword by Christopher Merrill
Published by MerwinAsia, 2020; Distributed by the University of Hawai‘i Press
154 pages; hardcover and paperback
Click here to order.
Green Mountain compiles a representative selection of lyrical poems by contemporary Chinese poet and painter Yang Jian, also a Buddhist, in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s elegant translation. Exploring history, faith, memory, nature, and the various transient complexities of human existence, these poems seek a pure form of simplicity in thought and style, reminiscent of meditative beauty and Asian ink-wash painting aesthetics.
Yang Jian is the rarest of contemporary Chinese poets who takes on the excesses of modernization and materialism. In his signature style of economy and imagery, which Fiona Sze-Lorrain has rendered in English with precision, Yang creates a poetic landscape of hermit living which is as enthralling as it is illusory. —Dian Li, Professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of Arizona Continue reading
I am thrilled to announce Global Queer Asias, an exciting new book series from University of Michigan Press, edited by James Welker (Kanagawa University) and myself. Please spread the word—and get in touch if you have something you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the series.–Howard Chiang
Announcing a New U-M Press Series: Global Queer Asias
by CHARLES WATKINSON, NOVEMBER 5, 2020
University of Michigan Press is proud to announce a new series, Global Queer Asias.
The Global Queer Asias series provides an interdisciplinary platform for conceptual, archival, and ethnographic research that pushes academic discussions of Asia in new directions. The series publishes groundbreaking books from both established academics and rising scholars with innovative rubrics, frameworks, and agendas. Works in this series should engage with inclusively defined “queer” issues, that is, the social and cultural dynamics of gender and sexual diversity. Though situated in geographic sites typically associated with the label “Asia,” this series pushes for comparative and global perspectives and calls for rigorous attention to themes, approaches, and social-cultural patterns that either emerge from cross-border movements or transcend regional and national boundaries. Studies in which diaspora and migration experiences come to the fore are especially welcome, as is research that brings critical race/ethnic theory, disability studies, and other intersectional approaches to bear on inter-regional studies outside the modern West.
Howard Chiang is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.
James Welker is a Professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies at Kanagawa University. Continue reading
Dear MCLC Colleagues,
I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book Close-ups and Long Shots in Modern Chinese Cinemas (University of Hawai’i Press). Here is a short description:
Two of the most stylized shots in cinema—the close-up and the long shot—embody distinct attractions. The iconicity of the close-up magnifies the affective power of faces and elevates film to the discourse of art. The depth of the long shot, in contrast, indexes the facts of life and reinforces our faith in reality. Each configures the relation between image and distance that expands the viewer’s power to see, feel, and conceive.
To understand why a director prefers one type of shot over the other then is to explore more than aesthetics: It uncovers significant assumptions about film as an art of intervention or organic representation. Close-ups and Long Shots in Modern Chinese Cinemas is the first book to compare these two shots within the cultural, historical, and cinematic traditions that produced them. In particular, the global revival of Confucian studies and the transnational appeal of feminism in the 1980s marked a new turn in the composite cultural education of Chinese directors whose shot selections can be seen as not only stylistic expressions, but ethical choices responding to established norms about self-restraint, ritualism, propriety, and female agency. Continue reading
The 54th and 55th (a special issue for the 15th anniversary of the journal) issues of Poetry Sky have been published. The former includes the original work and translations of 20 contemporary Chinese and American poets; the latter includes the work of 74 poets. These issues were edited by Dr. Kyle David Anderson and poet Yidan Han.
We generally believe that literature first circulates nationally and then scales up through translation and reception at an international level. In contrast, I argue that Taiwan literature first attained international acclaim through intermedial translation during the New Cinema period (1982–90) and was only then subsequently recognized nationally. These intermedial translations included not only adaptations of literature for film, but also collaborations between authors who acted as screenwriters and filmmakers. The films resulting from these collaborations repositioned Taiwan as a multilingual, multicultural and democratic nation. These shifts in media facilitated the circulation of these new narratives. Filmmakers could circumvent censorship at home and reach international audiences at Western film festivals. The international success ensured the wide circulation of these narratives in Taiwan. Keywords: Taiwan; screenplay; film; allegory; cultural policy