The Future of Chinese Studies in the US

Source: China File (8/27/20)
The Future of China Studies in the U.S.: A ChinaFile Conversation
The ChinaFile Conversation is a weekly, real-time discussion of China news, from a group of the world’s leading China experts.

Melissa Sue Gerrits—Getty Images. A student wearing a face mask studies outside the closed Wilson Library on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, August 18, 2020.

As an extraordinarily fraught school year begins, the study of China on U.S. campuses (or their new virtual equivalents), as well as China’s role in university life more broadly, has recently become a subject of scrutiny and debate. Last week, a group of China-focused political scientists outlined the “unique challenges” they feel educators now face when teaching about China in an atmosphere colored by Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, potential surveillance of online teaching platforms, stepped-up repression of dissent in China, the mass internment and persecution of members of ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang, and a growing hostility in U.S.-China relations. Their statement came on the heels of calls for Western universities to close satellite campuses in China, as well as an unusual letter from a U.S. Under Secretary of State to university governing boards urging a variety of measures to counteract what he described as the “the malign actions of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]” threatening academic freedom, human dignity, university endowments, and intellectual property. Meanwhile, in China, Peking University last week issued rules requiring professors to seek permission 15 days in advance to attend international academic webinars (including those held in Hong Kong and Macau). And all of this is occurring against a backdrop of the various changes to study and teaching wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Online teaching suggestions

Dear MCLC Listmembers,

MCLC List would like to solicit input on teaching Modern Chinese Literature and Culture courses remotely via such platforms as ZOOM, myCourses, Blackboard, etc.

Many members are or soon will embark on a virgin semester of online teaching, and we are quite at sea about how to do such things as convert classroom-structured syllabuses, lectures, quizzes, tests, discussions, etc. to remote style teaching.

We would like to encourage members with experience in such matters to submit simple, short suggestions for preparing, structuring, lecturing, holding discussions, etc., anything that would be helpful to neophytes in online teaching.

The best way to submit a post is to send it directly to Kirk Denton (, with the subject line “Online teaching suggestions.”

Nicholas Kaldis <>

Fulbright China/HK program

I’m forwarding this appeal for support for the Fulbright China Program, which the Trump administration seeks to end. I encourage you to join in.–Kirk

For those of who you don’t know me, my name’s Ned Downie, and I was a 2017-18 Fulbright at Yunnan University, studying Chinese investment in energy and agriculture in Southeast Asia. You all may have heard the recent announcement from the current administration that it wants to terminate Fulbright China/Hong Kong (exec order here, news coverage here). If you’re like me, the Fulbright was a hugely valuable opportunity for you: helping advance your research, getting to know new sides of China, making lifelong friendships, and much more.

I’m asking you to speak up on Fulbright China/HK’s behalf! There’s ongoing organizing by Fulbright China/HK grantees and alums: Here’s how you can help:

Spread the Word:

Sign this petition put together by current grantees / alums / Fulbright Lotus (a diversity initiative by and for Asian Fulbrighters). We’ve got 500+ signatures and counting — anyone can sign, not just Fulbrighters, so share it with your networks! Continue reading

Migrant Workers and Subalternity bibliography

Dear MCLC list members,

A new theme called “Migrant Workers and Subalternity” has been added to the MCLC Resource Center bibliographies. See (One can also access the bibliography from the main MCLC Resource Center site, by clicking Bibliographies > Literature and then scrolling down to Theme.) The bibliography was compiled by yours truly, with the help of a dozen fellow scholars who were kind enough to offer feedback on a first draft. It includes material on literature and other arts and media (music, film, digital video, television, photography, art, museums/exhibtions, etc). I am grateful to Kirk Denton for retaining this approach in the theme’s presentation. List members are invited to point out any omissions and to suggest additions as new publications appear.

Migrant worker culture is an important component of Chinese cultural production today. It offers diverse entry points for scholars, translators, and other commentators such as labor activists. Keywords include migration, precarity, subalternity, rurality and urbanity, exile; labor, gender; social justice, activism; and the nexus of aesthetics and ideology (not to mention global capitalism). In addition to these generic categories, there is the question of cultural specificity or Chineseness. This is manifest in issues that range from migrant worker poetry’s claims of kinship with the Shijing tradition to the complexity of state-society relations in cultural production in the PRC today. An example of the latter is the interaction of the grassroots “cultural education” undertaken in the Picun Migrant Workers Home (music, a museum, digital video, literature, theater, “shadow” editions of the Spring Festival Gala, etc) with the cultural apparatus of the state. Continue reading

Taiwan Lit online journal/forum

Dear Friends,

We are happy to announce the publication of Taiwan Lit, a new online journal/critical forum on studies of literature and culture from Taiwan. The journal has evolved from a website project that faculty, alumni, and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin have worked on for quite some time.  Ironically, it is the COVID-19 lockdown that has enabled us to reach the finish line.  The link is  Below is an outline of the website:


Taiwan Lit, launched in the summer of 2020, is an online journal centering on studies of Taiwan literature and culture. It aims to reinvigorate the intellectual climate of the field by building a transnational critical forum, disseminating substantive research ideas, and facilitating innovative modes of scholarly exchange.

We invite submissions in either English or Chinese with no fixed length requirements. Continue reading

Newman Prize 2021 nominees

The 2021 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature Nominations are in! Its an amazing group of authors (and jurors)!: Xu Xiaobin 徐小斌 nominated by Chen Xiaoming (Beijing University); Lung Yingtai 龍應台 nominated by Eileen Chow (Duke University); Su Tong 苏童 nominated by Huang Yunte (UC Santa Barbara); Wu He 舞鶴 nominated by Andrea Bachner (Cornell University); and Yan Lianke 阎连科 nominated by Eric Abrahamsen (Paper Republic).

The Newman Prize is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for US-China Issues, and is awarded every other year in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition. It is given solely on the basis of literary merit: any living author writing in Chinese is eligible. A jury of five literary experts nominated the five candidates and will select the winner in October through a transparent voting process. The winner will receive $10,000USD, a commemorative plaque, and a bronze medallion at an academic symposium and award banquet at OU in Norman in early March 2021. The event will be hosted by Jonathan Stalling, the Harold J. and Ruth Newman Chair for US-China Issues and Co-Director of the OU Institute for US-China Issues, which seeks to advance mutual trust in US-China relations. The inaugural Newman laureate Mo Yan (2009) went on to win the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, and other Newman Prize winners have included Han Shaogong, Yang Mu, Chu T’ien-wen, Wang Anyi, and Xi Xi. The Newman Prize honors Harold J. and Ruth Newman, whose generous endowment of a chair at the University of Oklahoma enabled the creation of the OU Institute for US-China Issues. The University of Oklahoma is also home to Chinese Literature Today, the Chinese Literature Translation Archive, World Literature Today, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Stephen Soong Translation Awards 2019-20

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020)
03 July 2020

It is with great pleasure that I hereby announce the results for the 22nd Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020) set up by Research Centre for Translation, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2019–2020) Standard Awards:

JIANG Fan (Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation, Shanghai International Studies University)

“透過翻譯現象深化文學關係研究—— 再論亞瑟·韋利和王際真在《紅樓夢》英譯中的“夢境”之爭” [An Intertextual Approach to Literary Relations: Rethinking Arthur Waley and Wang Chi-chen’s “Dream Controversy” in the English Translation and Adaptation of Hongloumeng] (in Chinese), Translation Quarterly 翻譯季刊 91 (March 2019), pp. 27–58. Continue reading

Ye Yonglie dies at 79

Source: Sixth Tone (5/15/20)
Prolific Science Fiction Writer Ye Yonglie Dies at 79

(Image: People Visual)

Chinese author Ye Yonglie, often described as the country’s answer to the acclaimed American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, died Friday at the age of 79.

Ye is known for his science fiction prowess, including introducing the genre to young readers. After graduating from the prestigious Peking University with a degree in chemistry, Ye published his famous children’s book “100,000 Whys” at the age of 20, establishing himself as an exciting new arrival to the country’s literary scene.

Born in August 1940 in the eastern city of Wenzhou, Ye started writing at the age of 11. At the time of his death, he had published over 180 works.

Harry Simon (1923-2019)

Posted by: Wah Guan Lim <>
Source: Sydney Herald News (3/10/20)
Torchbearer for Chinese studies at the University of Melbourne
By Andrew Endrey, Christopher Nailer and Carol Simon

Harry Simon.

Harry Simon.

Harry Felix Simon: September 13, 1923-July 7, 2019

Professor Harry Felix Simon, who led Chinese studies at the University of Melbourne for a remarkable 27 years, was born in Berlin on September 13, 1923.

His father, Professor Walter Simon, was lecturing in Chinese at the University of Berlin. Unable to retain his position following the Nazis’ rise to power, Walter departed with his family for England in March 1936, where he became professor of Chinese in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

Harry, aged 12, adjusted swiftly to England at the Thames Valley Grammar School. Following in his father’s footsteps, he studied Chinese at SOAS during the early years of World War II and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Regiment. By 1944, he was a service instructor in Chinese at London University; in 1947, he took up an appointment there as lecturer in Chinese. Continue reading

Taiwanese poet Yang Mu dies at 79

Source: Focus Taiwan (3/13/20)
Noted Taiwanese poet Yang Mu dies at 79
By Chen Cheng-wen, Chao Ching-yu and Elizabeth Hsu

Taiwanese poet Yang Mu (楊牧)

Taiwanese poet Yang Mu (楊牧)

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Renowned Taiwanese poet, essayist and critic Yang Mu (楊牧) passed away at a hospital in Taipei Friday at the age of 79, according to his friend.

Yang had been suffering from respiratory and heart ailments in recent years, and was admitted to the intensive care unit of Cathay General Hospital last week after his health deteriorated further, Shiu Wen-wei (須文蔚), a professor at the Department of Sinophone Literature of National Dong Hwa University in Hualien County, told CNA. Continue reading

Eleanor Goodman wins Hanan Prize

Source: Notes on the Mosquito (3/13/20)

The Hanan Prize for Translation (China and Inner Asia) was established in 2015 and is given biennially to an outstanding English translation of a significant work in any genre originally written in Chinese or an Inner Asian Language, from any time period.

This year’s winner is Eleanor Goodman, for The Roots of Wisdom by Zang Di 臧棣 (Zephyr Press).

The Awards Ceremony was going to be at the upcoming AAS annual conference in Boston, MA on Friday, March 20, but the conference has been canceled.

Click here for all this year’s AAS awardees.

A Sensational Encounter with High Socialist China

A Sensational Encounter with High Socialist China
Paul G. Pickowicz with a Preface by Xi Chen
220 pages, papaerback
HK$198/US$29 ISBN: 978-962-937-433-4
City University of Hong Kong Press
Publication Date: October 2019

Purchase/Website Link:

A Sensational Encounter with High Socialist China is a recollection of the historic visit of fourteen American students (and one Canadian) to China in 1971. The visit was one of the first approved for American scholars after the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 and occurred prior to President Nixon’s famous trip (as well as that of a second group of scholars) in 1972. One of these students, Paul Pickowicz, kept a journal and photographically documented the trip. This book is a personal account of the events leading up to their visa approvals as well as those that occurred during the journey itself. The five senses are used to connect the reader to his experience and are placed in the context of a theatrical production. The images included have been selected from an archive at the University of California, San Diego, which digitized the author’s images as well as those of others in the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS) taken during both the 1971 and 1972 delegations. Continue reading

Wilt Idema at 75

Dear MCLC list members,

In late 2019, Wilt Idema’s 75th birthday was celebrated at the Leiden University Libraries. Here’s the announcement of the event, including a portrait of the scholar as a young man.

For the occasion, Wilt was asked to give a lecture on developments in Chinese Studies since his student days in the early 1960s. Video of the event is now available online. Wilt’s talk starts at 00:24:40.

Enjoy! Sincerely,

Maghiel van Crevel
Leiden University

Lovell wins 2019 Cundhill History Prize

Source: McGill Reporter (11/15/19)
Julia Lovell wins 2019 Cundill History Prize
Julia Lovell, China expert and translator of Chinese literature, wins major prize for her book Maoism: A Global History
By McGill Reporter Staff

“Julia Lovell’s Maoism embodies everything the Cundill History Prize is here to celebrate,” said Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. “Deeply researched, beautifully written, and truly global in its scope, this book will find audiences right around the globe.”

The China expert and translator of Chinese literature Julia Lovell has been named the winner of the 2019 Cundill History Prize for Maoism: A Global History, published by The Bodley Head (UK) and Knopf (US). At a time when tensions between China and the west are on the rise, Lovell’s sweeping work of history provides a re-evaluation of Maoism as a force that played out around the world – and continues to shape political practice in China today.

The British historian and professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London – was awarded the US$75,000 prize, administered by McGill, at a Gala at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on November 14. She was chosen in what the twice Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor, Chair of the Jury, called “a very close call.” Continue reading

Winners of 11th Fu Lei Awards unveiled

Source: China Daily (11/25/19)
Winners of the 11th Fu Lei Translation and Publishing Awards unveiled


The winners of the 11th Fu Lei Translation and Publishing Awards were unveiled in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province on Saturday.

Jin Longge won the top award for literature for the translation of Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s “Castle to Castle,” and the top award for social sciences went to Zhang Gen for his translation of “Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth” by Michel Foucault.

Kong Qian was honored as Best New Translator for translating Kaouther Adimi’s “Our Wealth.”

A total of 44 works competed for this year’s award, including 29 in social sciences and 15 in literature. In September, a list of 10 finalists was announced at a news conference in Beijing. Continue reading