Luce/ACLS 2024 grantees

American Council of Learned Societies Announces 2024 Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies Fellows and Grantees  

Fellowships and Grants Totaling $475,000 Support Research, Writing, and Travel for Early-Career Scholars and Graduate Students in the Field of China Studies

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2024 Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellows and Travel Grantees in China Studies.

The awards are part of the redesigned Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies, which the Henry Luce Foundation has awarded ACLS $1.25 million to continue through 2025. This generous grant will support the next round of Early Career Fellowships, Travel Grants, and a Collaborative Grant, as well as a mapping project to identify archives and collections related to China studies around the world. Additional long-term fellowships are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

In 2024, the program will support 25 fellows and grantees representing a diverse range of institutions and disciplines, including anthropology, film and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, literature, and sociology.

  • Fourteen Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies support emerging scholars whose research focuses on China’s societies, histories, cultures, geopolitics, art, and global impact. This year’s awards include eight long-term fellowships of up to $45,000, which allow recent PhDs to take leave from university responsibilities for research and writing toward a scholarly text, and six flexible fellowships of $15,000, which enable scholars with heavy teaching and service responsibilities to advance their projects.
  • Eleven Luce/ACLS Travel Grants in China Studies provide $5,000 for graduate students in a PhD program to visit research sites in China or China studies-related collections or archives anywhere in the world. The 2024 grantees will visit China, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, and more to research topics, ranging from the nineteenth-century Chilean copper trade and family care in rural Tibet, to displacement and migration at the Kazakh-Chinese border, and the political economies of carbon capture technologies.

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Chi Pang-yuan dies at 100

Source: Focus Taiwan (3/30/24)
Renowned Taiwan writer Chi Pang-yuan dies at 100
By Chiu Tsu-yin and Ko Lin

Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan. CNA file photo

Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan. CNA file photo

Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (齊邦媛), who was instrumental in introducing Taiwanese literature to the Western world through her translations, has died at the age of 100.

Feng Te-ping (封德屏), president of Wenhsun Magazine, said Friday that Chi’s death was confirmed by friends who were familiar with the retirement home where she resided.

Chi was known for her autobiography “The Great Flowing River” (巨流河), which recounts the ups and downs of her eventful life in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and then her relocation to Taiwan. Through the memoir, she addresses the world about the historical past that should not be forgotten. Continue reading

David Pollard (1937-2024)

In Memoriam: Professor David Edward Pollard (1937–2024)

Dear all,

It is with a heavy heart that we write to announce the passing away of Professor David Edward Pollard, former co-editor (1989–1997), advisory editor (1998–2007), and Advisory Board member (2007–2023) of Renditions, in the early hours of February 6, 2024.

Professor Pollard was born in Kingston on Thames in 1937 and attended St John’s Primary School and Tiffin Boys School. During national service he was selected for the then secret Chinese Language Course and served in Hong Kong, an experience that changed his life. When he took up his place at Downing College, Cambridge, he switched from Modern Languages to Chinese. On graduation he was offered a scholarship at Stanford. On returning to the UK in 1962, he was appointed Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London University, where he became Chair Professor of Chinese in 1978.

Professor Pollard joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1989 as Chair Professor of Translation Studies. After his retirement, he served as Research Professor at the City University of Hong Kong, Visiting Fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and Renditions Fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Continue reading

Scaglione Prize for East Asian Studies


Last year, the generosity of Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione enabled the Modern Language Association to create the Scaglione Prize for East Asian Studies, to be awarded annually to an outstanding scholarly work in East Asian literary studies. Works of literary history, literary criticism, philology, and literary theory are eligible, as are works dealing with literature and other arts and disciplines, including cinema.

The inaugural award was conferred at the recent MLA conference in Philadelphia to Edward Mack (U of Washington) for Acquired Alterity: Migration, Identity, and Literary Nationalism (U of California P, 2022). At the same time, Brian Hurley (U of Texas Austin) was awarded Honorable Mention for his Confluence and Conflict: Reading Transwar Japanese Literature and Thought (Harvard U Asia Center, 2022).

The MLA is now inviting authors of books published in 2023 in East Asian literary studies to submit their works for consideration. Membership in the MLA is not required to be considered, but submission of required materials must be made before May 1, 2024. For further information, see the MLA announcement. Continue reading

Free access January for MCLC

I am writing to let you know that Edinburgh University Press has included Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in our literary studies free access campaign running this January. We’ve opened up all content, for free, for everyone. The free access campaign includes 25 literary studies journals – browse them all here:

Best wishes,

Carla Hepburn
Senior Marketing Manager
Edinburgh University Press

Merle Goldman dies at 92

Source: NYT (12/16/23)
Merle Goldman, a Leading Expert on Communist China, Dies at 92
A lifelong academic, she stood apart in her ability to communicate her insights about the country to nonacademic readers.
By Clay Risen

A black-and-white photo of Merle Goldman, a young woman with dark hair and a sleeveless light-colored blouse, standing at a blackboard and writing Chinese characters.

Merle Goldman explaining the Chinese characters for the word China. She was far from the only prominent China scholar of her generation, but she stood apart in her ability to communicate her insights to the nonacademic public.Credit…via the Goldman family

In November 1974, a small group of American college presidents spent three weeks traveling through China, visiting universities, communes, factories and even the office of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, who was still four years away from taking over as Communist Party leader.

Though the United States had recently re-established relations with China, it was an insular, even forbidding place, utterly foreign to these Western visitors. Fortunately, the delegation had a famed Sinologist as a guide: Merle Goldman.

A historian at Boston University, Dr. Goldman was still relatively early in her career but was already widely considered one of the world’s leading analysts of Chinese politics. She was far from the only prominent China scholar of her generation, but she stood apart in her ability to communicate her insights to the nonacademic public.

She wrote opinion articles and book reviews for The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, and her reports from her trips to China were required reading for government and business leaders.

Just weeks after returning from that trip to China, she wrote a probing analysis of the country’s defense strategy for The Times. Continue reading

Writer delivers cold, hard fiction

Source: China Daily (11/17/23)
Writer delivers cold, hard fiction
By Yang Yang

Jack Liao (second left), vice-president of Blancpain China, and Liu Ruilin (right), founder of Imaginist, present prizes to the short-listed authors at the award ceremony, as Leung Man-tao, chief consultant of Imaginist, speaks at the event. The authors are (from left to right) Fei Ying (third left), Ning Buyuan, Shao Dong, Wang Ruoxu and Yang Zhihan.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The 2023 Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize has been awarded to 29-year-old author Yang Zhihan [杨知寒], for her collection of short stories Yituan Jianbing [一团坚冰] (literally, “a block of solid ice”), after beating four other short-listed writers.

The award, cofounded by the Swiss luxury watchmaker and the Chinese publisher in 2018, aims to discover young Chinese writers. The winner receives 300,000 yuan ($41,160) and a Blancpain timepiece.

The prize targets writers under the age of 45 and is open to all fictional genres, said Jack Liao, vice-president of Blancpain China, at the award ceremony in Beijing last month.

Consisting of nine short stories and novellas, Yituan Jianbing recounts the sometime hard life stories of people in Northeast China, including one about a dropout girl hiding in a temple, a wild animal trainer who sends his tiger to a zoo after it kills another trainer during a performance, and a jobless young woman who is kicked out of the WeChat group of her classmates in primary and middle schools after she tries to sell products to them. Continue reading

The China Project shuts down

What a shame. The China Project is shutting down. For over seven years, it has offered broad and in-depth news on China that complemented mainstream media reporting. It will be sorrily missed. — Kirk

Jiong -- bright or brilliant

Source: The China Project  (11/7/23)
We have to shut down, and this is why

The China Project (formerly SupChina) launched in 2016 with the aim of informing the world about China with a breadth and depth that general interest news organizations cannot devote to one country.

As the U.S.-China relationship deteriorated, and China’s relations with other countries have become more complicated in the years since then, our work has only become more important.

But sadly, that same work has put several targets on our backs. We have been accused many times in both countries of working for nefarious purposes for the government of the other. Defending ourselves has incurred enormous legal costs, and, far worse, made it increasingly difficult for us to attract investors, advertisers, and sponsors. While our subscription offerings have been growing strongly and steadily, we are not yet in a position to rely on these revenues to sustain our operations. The media business is precarious, and the politically motivated attacks on us from various interested parties put us in an even worse situation.

We are not prepared to compromise our values for funding. And this week, we learned that a source of funding that we had been counting on was no longer going to come through, and we have had to make the difficult decision to close down. Continue reading

Chinese Independent Film Archive launches

The Chinese Independent Film Archive (CIFA) has been officially launched at Newcastle University. The launch was marked by a successful two-week programme in late September and early October, consisting of a large-scale multi-media exhibition; a poster exhibition; a film series of 19 films that were shown for the first time in the UK with post-screening Q&As with 16 filmmakers; a one-day symposium; four roundtables; and a journal issue launch.

CIFA is home to nearly 800 independent films, their associated material culture, over 140 oral history video interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, and other collections. It is the only archive of its kind in the world, established with the help of a research grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The archive hopes to draw attention to this unique, significant, but marginalised film culture, and encourage the use of the collections at CIFA for research on, and the teaching of, modern and contemporary China, over a wide range of subject areas.

Located on the second floor in the Old Library Building at Newcastle University, CIFA is open to students, researchers, and the general public, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9:30am to 5:30pm. It provides access to a large collection of films and video interviews, intended to enhance the understanding of Chinese cinema, history, and society.

To make a reservation to visit CIFA, please click this link.

Luke Robinson <>

China Studies in an Uncertain Age (1)

The ACLS report blames US and US media for a souring US-China relationship that “has had a chilling effect on academic exchanges” …

Hey, what’s been the chilling effect of:

The Chinese government’s massive genocide against the Uyghurs?
China’s treaty breach & destruction of Hong Kong?
China’s kidnappings of citizens of Sweden, Canada, Australia etc?
etc etc.

Any chilling effect of that … or is it just “US media” as the ACLS suggests?

I find it appalling that the report leaves out what the CCP has done, and tries to write off legitimate criticism as “China-Bashing.” For God’s sake, they are running a genocide. Put the blame where the blame belongs.

Magnus Fiskesjö <

China Studies in an Uncertain Age

Source: ACLS

From 2021-2023 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), in conjunction with the Henry Luce Foundation, worked with fellows, grantees, advisors, and institutions in rethinking its Program in China Studies in light of the many challenges currently facing scholars of China.

Building on the results of the survey report published in 2021, the new report, China Studies in an Uncertain Age provides a deeper understanding of the individual experiences of China studies scholars through in-depth interviews with 14 scholars conducted by faculty advisors, Emily Baum (University of California, Irvine) and Yingyi Ma (Syracuse University) during the 2022-23 academic year.

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 80 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its $155+ million endowment and $37 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge, reflecting our commitment to diversity of identity and experience. ACLS collaborates with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship. In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to deepen knowledge and understanding in pursuit of a more democratic and just world.  It does so by nurturing knowledge communities and institutions, fostering dialogue across divides, enriching public discourse, amplifying diverse voices, and investing in leadership development.

Wang Wen-hsing dies at 84

Source: Focus Taiwan (10/3/23)
Taiwanese novelist Wang Wen-hsing dies at 84
By Chiu Tzu-yin and Matthew Mazzetta

Former National Taiwan University president Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔, left) awarded Taiwanese writer Wang Wen-hsing a certificate of honorary doctorate during a ceremony at the university in 2007. CNA file photo

Former National Taiwan University president Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔, left) awarded Taiwanese writer Wang Wen-hsing a certificate of honorary doctorate during a ceremony at the university in 2007. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) Taiwanese writer Wang Wen-hsing (王文興), best known for his 1973 novel “Family Catastrophe,” has died at the age of 84.

Wang’s death, from natural causes on Sept. 27, was announced by National Taiwan University’s (NTU) Department of Foreign Languages on Oct. 2, and confirmed to CNA by his wife, Chen Chu-yun (陳竺筠).

According to the Ministry of Culture, Wang was born in Fuzhou City in China’s Fujian Province in 1939, and came to Taiwan with his family in 1946, settling first in Donggang in Pingtung County and then in Taipei two years later.

He studied at NTU in its Department of Foreign Languages, where he was part of a group of talented young writers including Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇), Ouyang Tzu (歐陽子) and Chen Ruo-xi (陳若曦) who founded the magazine “Modern Literature” (現代文學). Continue reading

Tie Ning wins PEN Translates grant

Source: English Pen (8/22/23)
China’s premier female author Tie Ning wins PEN Translates grant from English Pen

The Buttonless Red Shirt (没有纽扣的红衬衫), her bestselling novella, will be translated from Chinese into English by Annelise Finegan and published by Sinoist Books.

Distinguished Chinese author Tie Ning (铁凝) has been honoured with the prestigious PEN Translates Grant from English PEN. The award underscores Tie Ning’s contribution to the global literary landscape and highlights the importance of bridging cultures through the power of words.

“These thirteen books are significant works of literature – individually, in their quality; and collectively, in how they help shift the UK literary landscape. We have major figures – International Booker-winning authors and translators – sitting alongside exciting debut voices, with stunningly experimental work. The range of language and region represented is remarkable, but so too is the range of form, readership, theme and style. We’re thrilled to support these books, and excited for English-language readers to be able to buy them and enjoy them.” – Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN

With an impressive body of work that has captured the hearts of readers in her native China, Tie Ning is known for the exquisite way she renders everyday people, and the realism she imparts, especially with her female characters.
The Buttonless Red Shirt is one of Tie Ning’s earliest successes. It’s a semi-autobiographical novella that draws on the relationship between the author and her sister. The novella documents both characters maturing into their roles. It conveys delicate and vivid descriptions of their lives while preserving the beauty contained in the trivial every day. Continue reading

Leo Ou-fan Lee memoir

Prof. Leo Ou-fan Lee’s memoir, 𝑀𝑦 𝑇𝑤𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝐶𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑦: 𝐴 𝑀𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑖𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝐿𝑒𝑜 𝑂𝑢-𝐹𝑎𝑛 𝐿𝑒𝑒, was published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press in July, 2023:

The English translation of the preface to this memoir was published by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal  and is available here:

Heidi Huang <>

Eulogy for Maureen Robertson

Eulogy for Dr. Maureen Robertson

Dr. Maureen Annette Robertson passed away on July 27 2023 in Stoughton, Wisconsin at the age of 87, in comfort and peace.

Dr. Robertson was a professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa from 1976 to 2017, and was one of the pre-eminent scholars of Chinese medieval women’s writing.  She inspired and trained a generation of women scholars in what she entered as an overwhelmingly male discipline, forging ties between literary translation, comparative literature, and feminism.  Her pathbreaking analytic work on identifying and magnifying women authors in the Ming and early Qing Dynasties – a period during which women were officially forbidden to be literate – was matched by the precise elegance and clarity of her translations; what one colleague called “her exacting words, a model of intellectual vigor and stylistic beauty.” She poured matchless energy into mentoring, and her advisees recall the tirelessness and generosity of the line-editing and compositional notes she provided, her house always open and her ear always ready.  Her work and her advisees stand as a formidable legacy, the more so because of the forces arrayed against women of her generation trying to establish a space and a voice in academia. Being a scholar, a mentor, and a writer was her passion and her deepest calling.

She earned her MA from Indiana University in 1960 and her PhD from the University of Washington in 1970 as a student of Dr. Hellmut Wilhelm.  Her dissertation was on the male T’ang poet Lǐ Hè (李贺), but during a year doing research in Taiwan in 1965 she was already laying the foundations for a life of work on women’s writing.  This was, her advisors assured her, empty and meaningless work, because it was well known that women didn’t write in medieval China.  Knowing this to be false, she nonetheless, in her own initial notes towards the very idea of exploring a literary thematics of gender, tentatively asked “of what interest is this topic?”.  Unsure and finding no external validation, she made her own.  By 1990, she was a senior figure in a small but prolific group of women researching the lives and writing of medieval women in China, who met that year at UCLA in the Colloquium on Poetry and Women’s Culture in Late Imperial China, and included Kang-i Sun Chang, Ellen Widmer, Dorothy Ko, and Susan Mann.  Over her long career, she directly advised nearly 50 graduate degrees and sat on over 150 graduate committees. Continue reading