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

Ming Qing Studies 2019–cfp

Ming Qing Studies 2019
edited by Paolo Santangelo
(Sapienza University of Rome)

We are glad to inform you that the new edition of Ming Qing Studies 2018 will be published by Aracne Publishers before the end of the year (see contents below).

Applicants are encouraged to submit abstracts for the next issue, Ming Qing Studies 2019. The contributions should concern Ming-Qing China in one or few of its most significant and multifaceted aspects, as well as on East Asian countries covering the same time period. All articles will be examined by our qualified peer reviewers. We welcome creative and fresh approaches to the field of Asian studies. Particularly appreciated will be the contributions on anthropological and social history, collective imagery, and interdisciplinary approaches to the Asian cultural studies. All submitted papers must be original and in good British English style according to our guidelines and editorial rules. Please email an abstract of the article you will submit us (300-500 words, plus a basic bibliography) in MS Word or pdf attachments along with your biographical information to the addresses listed below. Please mention your full name with academic title, university affiliation, department or home institution, title of paper and contact details in your email.

Deadline for the abstract and bibliographical notes: July 31st, 2018.

Deadline for the article: December 31st, 2018. Continue reading

Literary Information in China–call for contributor

Dear Colleagues,

I am coediting a book project titled Literary Information in China: A History. This volume will be the first history in any language that examines the forms and practices through which literary information management has been encoded and transmitted from the early period to the present day. Departing from other literary histories that track major authors or texts, the general philosophy of this project is a focus on forms, rather than on content, and how such forms evolve to respond to issues of searching, scanning, classification, complexity, overload, selectivity, and so on.

The structure of the project aims at comprehensiveness, covering literary information management at the level of words, documents, and collections. At this point, we already have commitments from nearly fifty scholars representing a variety of disciplines and periods. Now we are searching for someone to contribute on the topic of information management in the literary journals of the PRC period (both official and underground publications such as Jintian). We expect the length of the essay to be relatively short at appx. 3500-4000 words, with the final draft submitted to us by April 15th, 2019.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining the project, please get in touch with me at


Anatoly Detwyler <>
Columbia University

Wandering Mind and Metaphysical Thoughts

Gao Xingjian 高行健
Wandering Mind and Metaphysical Thoughts 遊神與玄思
The Chinese University Press, 2018
Translated by Gilbert C F Fong 方梓勳

Gao Xingjian does not write many poems, but the ones he has written are real gems; they are snippets of his reflective moods. To those of us who know the man, he is poetry incarnate, with the essential purity and density of a good poem. The present collection, his first and only poetry anthology in English translation, affords insights into Gao’s philosophy of freedom and the independence of spirit, and elucidates his ideas as a novelist, dramatist and painter. Modern art, claims Gao, is at a crisis point, under attack from all sides by onslaughts coming especially from politics and the marketplace, which results in what he calls the “annihilation” of beauty. We see Gao Xingjian as a natural, warm, and insightful thinker capable of grace, beauty, and his own brand of esoteric wisdom, at times almost honest to a fault but not without a touch of humor and wittiness. A riveting and compulsive read. Continue reading

Women, Gender and Research

Women, Gender and Research – Chinese-Nordic Perspectives. New release!
English edition:
Chinese edition: Shanghai Publishing  Company 女性、性别与研究:中国与北欧视角, 上海三联书店 2018.


Gender Dynamics and Connecting Comparisons
Hilda Rømer Christensen, Bettina Hauge, Cancan Wang


“I Don’t Do Theory – I Do Concept-Work” An Interview With Aihwa Ong
Nina Trige Andersen

Between Necessity and Delight – Negotiating Involved Fatherhood among Career Couples in Denmark.
Anna Sofie Bach Continue reading

Cambria book launch at iPreciation

A double book launch for Painting History: China’s Revolution in a Global Context and Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics 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 rare, exclusive opportunity to meet authors Mr. Shen Jiawei and Dr. Mabel Lee, who will be giving talks about their books. Continue reading

Song King

New Publication
Song King: Connecting People, Places, and Past in Contemporary China
Author: Gibbs, Levi S.
University of Hawai’i Press, 2018

When itinerant singers from China’s countryside become iconic artists, worlds collide. The lives and performances of these representative singers become sites for conversations between the rural and urban, local and national, folk and elite, and traditional and modern. In Song King: Connecting People, Places, and Past in Contemporary China, Levi S. Gibbs examines the life and performances of “Folksong King of Western China” Wang Xiangrong (b. 1952) and explores how itinerant performers come to serve as representative symbols straddling different groups, connecting diverse audiences, and shifting between amorphous, place-based local, regional, and national identities. Moving from place to place, these border walkers embody connections between a range of localities, presenting audiences with traditional, modern, rural, and urban identities among which to continually reposition themselves in an evolving world. Continue reading

The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics” review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Yizhong Gu’s review of The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture (Hong Kong University Press, 2018), edited by Rosemary Roberts and Li Li. The review appears below, but is best read online at: My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC  book review editor for literary studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy, Kirk Denton, editor

The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: 
Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture

Edited by Rosemary Roberts and Li Li

Reviewed by Yizhong Gu
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright May, 2018)

Rosemary Roberts and Li Li, eds. The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2018. v-xix + 199 pp. ISBN: 9789888390892. (Hardcover: $60.00 / £47.00).

The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics” not only reveals the mechanisms and operations of Maoist ideology within a variety of cultural products, it also teases out how aspects of the Maoist legacy have been inherited, twisted, and channeled to serve sociopolitical purposes in the reform era (chapters are broadly divided into those addressing issues from the “Maoist Era” and those from the “Reform Era”). In the process, this volume both instantiates a rigorous methodology for the scholarly analysis of “Red Classics” and demonstrates how socialist works of art and aesthetics continue to inform PRC cultural production in the present.

Since the origin of the term “red classics” is unclear, the volume wisely circumvents the question that could lead to a deadlock: which literary and art works can be counted as “red classics”?[1] Instead, it adopts “the broadest understanding of the scope of the ‘red classics’” (ix), investigating not just literature but “films, TV series, picture books, cartoons, and traditional-style paintings” (xi). The editors address this array of media according to three key characteristics: “their sociopolitical and ideological import, their aesthetic significance, and their function as a mass cultural phenomenon” (xi). The volume engages in dialogue between English- and Chinese-language scholarship (two essays are translated from Chinese), a quite welcomed effort since Chinese scholarship on socialist literature is relatively limited for English readers. Although essays vary greatly in subject matter and discipline, the volume still reads like an organic whole (the volume emerged from a 2015 University of Queensland symposium). The authors cross-reference one another’s essays and trace some key theoretical features shared among “red classics” that will be of interest and inspiration both to China studies scholars and general readers who are interested in modern Chinese literature, politics, and culture. Continue reading

Interview with Carolyn Brown

The following is an interview with Dr. Carolyn T. Brown, author of the new book Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung, which is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Why did you decide to write Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung?
Carolyn T. Brown:
 The seeds of this book lie in the mid-1980s when I was an academic in Chinese literature. My career took a turn away from academia, and the book sat in the drawer for several decades. But the nascent book wouldn’t allow me to forget it. So after I retired, I refurbished my reading knowledge of Chinese and finished the book. Somewhere during those decades I encountered the work of Carl Jung and over time, the resonances between the two emerged naturally for me. In the end, there were two questions that drove Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung: why were Lu Xun’s stories so personally compelling to me and what did he mean by wanting to cure the spirits of the Chinese people. I found these questions so compelling that in the end it was easier to write the book than to not write it. Continue reading

Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia

The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia

This online global project will be the most comprehensive work of its kind, a heavily illustrated encyclopedia that draws upon the expertise of an internationally renowned advisory and editorial board and hundreds of stellar contributors to detail Shakespeare’s life, works, world, and global impact through over 4,000 alphabetically arranged entries. It will be an open access online encyclopedia, free to anyone in the world with access to the internet. There will also be indices, topical gatherings, and links across entries making it an invaluable online resource for research, teaching (from high school to graduate school), and use by the general public; as well as Appendices on digital resources, reliable free online editions, global films, creative writing, and Lesson Plans for teachers. Continue reading

Queer Comrades

Bao, Hongwei. Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2018.

• First book on gay identity and queer activism in the PRC examined from a cultural studies perspective.
• An interdisciplinary project that combines historical and critical analysis of queer cultural texts and ethnographic studies of queer public culture in urban China.
• Offers keen insights on identity, power and governmentality in China. Continue reading

October Dedicationss

Announcing October Dedications, the selected poems of Mang Ke 芒克, edited and translated by Lucas Klein, with further translations by Huang Yibing and Jonathan Stalling—part of the Jintian series jointly published by Zephyr and The Chinese University Press.

Mang Ke (b. 1950, penname of Jiang Shiwei 姜世伟) began writing poetry as a sent-down youth in Baiyangdian, rural Hebei province, during the Cultural Revolution. As co-founder of the PRC’s first unofficial literary journal Jintian (Today) in 1978, he is one of the progenitors of what would later be called Obscure or “Misty” Poetry, with spare, impressionistic poems that were among the first to break free of the imposed discourse of Maoism towards an image-based literary style that left space for both expression and interpretation. He currently makes his living as an abstract painter and lives in Songzhuang, an artists’ colony on the outskirts of Beijing. Continue reading

Made in China 3.1: state of emergency

Dear Colleagues

I am glad to announce the publication of the latest issue of Made in China, the open access quarterly on Chinese labour and civil society supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World, the Australian National University. You can download the pdf for free and subscribe at this link: Below you can find the editorial of the new issue:

States of Emergency: The Sichuan Earthquake Ten Years On

On 12 May 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Wenchuan county, Sichuan province. Felt as far as Beijing, the tremors caused horrific damage: 69,229 people died and 17,923 went missing. Yet, the aftermath of the earthquake was also a time of hope. Chinese citizens from all over the country outdid each other to show solidarity with the victims, not only donating money and goods, but also rushing to the disaster zones to provide assistance. Young volunteers from all walks of life poured into Sichuan to help, with many of them going on to establish their own social organisations. As local governments began to recognise the importance of NGOs in providing disaster relief and social services, 2008 was widely seen as a ‘Year Zero’ for Chinese civil society. Continue reading

Changpian 18

长篇 // Changpian // Longform

Welcome to the 18th edition of Changpian, a selection of feature and opinion writing in Chinese. With other resources devoted to the many interesting sound bites from Chinese social media, this newsletter focuses instead on some of the wealth of longer writing that is produced in Chinese, both in traditional news media and on platforms like WeChat.

Changpian includes any nonfiction writing, from stories and investigations to interviews and blog posts, that I found worth my time – and that you might like as well. It aims to be relevant to an understanding of Chinese society today, covering topics in and outside the news cycle.

The selection is put together by me, Tabitha Speelman, a Dutch journalist and researcher currently based in Leiden, The Netherlands. Feedback is very welcome ( or @tabithaspeelman). Back issues can be found here.

I’m glad to finally get to a new issue. Changpian doesn’t really have an events section but for non-fiction fans in Beijing: a 非虚构创作者大会 coming Friday might be of interest. And if you’re looking for a place to read in the capital — non-profit 鸿芷’s coffee shop in 银河SOHO is closing, but still there until May 20. Continue reading