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

Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics event cancelled

Alert: Columbia University in NYC just bowed to Chinese pressure/intimidation, canceling an event, Thursday, Nov. 14 2019. I personally think it’s very likely that the effort to shut down the event was organized from the Chinese consulate in NYC, using proxies from clubs like the CSSA. I think everyone is now asking, will they reschedule it? When? Will Columbia University be able to defend the freedom of expression, and the right to hold this event? Below, the organizer’s statement issued last night. Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Source: Students for a Free Tibet


Free Speech in American Universities Under Attack From Beijing
November 15, 2019
Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics

The event that was cancelled: “Panopticism with Chinese Characteristics: the human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party and how they affect the world.” Continue reading

The Bookworm to close

Source: SCMP (11/5/19)
The Bookworm, a centre of literary life in Beijing, to close, unable to renew its lease amid crackdown on ‘illegal structures’
A cafe, a community centre, a place for lively discussion and for authors to meet their readers, The Bookworm has survived for 17 years in the Chinese capital. Co-founder says it is a victim of clean-up by city planners, and won’t speculate on a political motive; patrons take to social media to voice their sadness.
By Elaine Yau

David Cantalupo, co-founder of The Bookworm, takes a phone call at the bookstore in Beijing on Tuesday as customers look on. The store, a cornerstone of the expatriate literary community in the Chinese capital, announced it would close on November 11 having been unable to renew its lease. Photo: Simon Song

David Cantalupo, co-founder of The Bookworm, takes a phone call at the bookstore in Beijing on Tuesday as customers look on. The store, a cornerstone of the expatriate literary community in the Chinese capital, announced it would close on November 11 having been unable to renew its lease. Photo: Simon Song

Book lovers in Beijing have been left saddened by the impending closure of a cornerstone of the city’s expatriate community.

The Bookworm, a bookshop in the shopping hub of Sanlitun that is beloved by expatriates and locals alike, announced on Tuesday that it would close on November 11.

Its general manager, David Cantalupo, told the Post he was very sad that they had been unable to secure an extension on their lease. Continue reading

Rudolf G. Wagner (1941-2019)

On October 25th, 2019 Rudolf G. Wagner died, surrounded by his family. He was 77 years old.

Heidelberg has lost one its great inspirations, one of the great European sinologists, who built one of the most important China libraries in Germany and Europe and became Spiritus Rector of Heidelberg’s Excellence Cluster Asia and Europe in a Global Context. From these beginnings, he built the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies and from it an entire Asia Campus has come into being, CATS, the Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies.

Rudolf G. Wagner was, if one may say so, a living specimen of “transcultural dynamics”: going back and forth between not just Harvard and Heidelberg, but Taipei and Beijing, Tokyo and Paris, and a variety of other places, too, he has been a constant presence to many of us, nevertheless (and he will continue to, in our memories). His frequent emails from anywhere and everywhere, tenor “get this, read this, buy this,” have been an unceasing stimulation. He has made us expand our visions and trajectories by fostering a spirit of openness, of discussion and often fierce, but always fair debate–full of bon mots, in the truest sense of the word–that involved the body and mind and that always included good food, good music, good art. He made us go to Théatre du Soleil, he took us to exhibitions of panopticons and much more, and he always reminded us, not to “never forget class struggle” (although that was also one of his concerns) but, “never to forget the Heidelberg opera.” He taught us multiple–and always intensive–ways of seeing, feeling, hearing. Continue reading

Ilham Tohti wins EU Human Rights Prize

Source: Sup China (10/28/19)
Jailed Uyghur Scholar Wins Top EU Human Rights Prize
Part of the SupChina Weekly Briefing newsletter

Photo credit: SupChina illustration

Like the U.S., European countries are getting louder on human rights in China after several years of relative silence. This month, jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti received two human rights awards from Europe.

Poshek Fu essay wins award

MCLC is proud to announce that Poshek Fu’s essay, “More than Just Entertaining: Cinematic Containment and Asia’s Cold War in Hong Kong, 1949-1950,” published in MCLC 30.2 (Fall 2018), has been recommended as one of the Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference’s outstanding papers. Here’s the announcement.–Kirk

On behalf of The Academy of Hong Kong Studies (AHKS), we are very pleased to inform you that your paper entitled “More than Just Entertaining: Cinematic Containment and Asia’s Cold War in Hong Kong, 1949-1959” has been recommended as one of the outstanding papers for the 2019 Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference (HKSAC) to be held on 5 and 6 December 2019. Continue reading

Huang Yong Ping dead at 65

Source: Art News (10/20/19)
Huang Yong Ping, Provocateur Artist Who Pushed Chinese Art in New Directions, Has Died at 65
BY Alex Greenberger

Huang Yong Ping.


Huang Yong Ping, the Chinese artist whose propensity for provocation allowed him to address taboo subjects in China and beyond with audacity and wit, has died at 65. His death on Saturday was confirmed by Gladstone Gallery, which represented him in New York and Brussels. A representative for the gallery did not immediately state a cause of death.

In his sly installations and sculptural work, Huang often melded techniques derived from the history of Chinese art and international avant-garde movements alike. His ability to deftly combine seemingly opposed methods of art-making made him one of the foremost artists in an emergent group of Chinese artists during the late 1980s. Continue reading

Contemporary China Centre Blog

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Contemporary China Centre Blog.

Based at the University of Westminster, the Contemporary China Centre focuses on interdisciplinary research about contemporary China which is grounded in cultural studies. Our work builds on Westminster’s long-term commitment to Chinese Studies, at whose heart lies an engagement with Chinese language, cultural practice and production, and its critical analysis. We seek to complement social science-based research on contemporary China with a critical perspective from the Humanities.

Our new blog project brings together our research and expertise concerning the cultural dimensions of social and political transformation in China and the cutting-edge issues and agendas that are core features of China’s role in the global circulation of knowledge and cultural influence. It also seeks to promote the University of Westminster Archive’s China Visual Arts Project, which was founded in 1977 and holds over 800 Chinese propaganda posters, as well as a wealth of Chinese books, objects and ephemera dating from the 1940s to the 1980s. We hope that this project will contribute to ongoing debates and promote interdisciplinary dialogue about the social, cultural, political and historical dynamics that inform life in China today.

You can access the Contemporary China Centre Blog at:  http://blog.westminster.ac.uk/contemporarychina/. You can also read about our very first issue, which is entitled Fashion, Beauty and Nation, here:  http://blog.westminster.ac.uk/contemporarychina/issue-1-fashion-beauty-and-nation/. Continue reading

MLA election

Colleagues who are members of the MLA: If you have not affiliated with FIVE Forums, you may do so before October 15 and then vote in the upcoming Forum election for those five. I encourage you to consider one outside your comfort zone, such as TC Anthropology and Literature. I could use your vote! I am running for the TC Anthropology and Literature Forum Exec Ctte and am asking for your vote! Here is a little information about me. As a Chinese specialist, I may be unfamiliar to most of you but I’ve actually been a member of the MLA for 30 years and now am a Life Member. I am Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies and Chair of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta. My research encompasses literature and film. I am the author most recently of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien (Cambria, 2016) and a co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature (5 vols.) due out in January. I am currently writing a book on filiality (intergenerational relations, respect for one’s elders, ancestor worship, kinship structure) in modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film, a topic traditionally considered the province of anthropology and ethnography. This study arises from his previous discussions of Hou Hsiao-hsien and Chinese/Taiwanese authors such as Bai Xianyong and Wang Wenxing, on whom I previously have published articles. I also have published an extended review article of Steven Sangren’s book Filial Obsessions in the most recent issue of China Review International. I have another review article on three recent books on filiality in the Qing dynasty that is forthcoming from CLEAR: Chinese Literature, Essays, Articles, and Reviews. I view serving on the Literature and Anthropology Forum Executive Committee as an opportunity more broadly to pursue such topics as family relations, kinship, the relationship of gender identity to biological and social reproduction, and ritual, as well as such efforts as linking literary and cinema studies scholarship with certain sectors of social science, such as cultural anthropology. I also see it as an opportunity for the Forum to branch out a bit and into non-Western literary and cultural studies. Previously, I served on the East Asian Division Executive Committee, the LLC Modern Chinese Forum (founding chair), the Delegate Assembly (three terms), the Elections Committee (one year as chair), and the Advisory Board of PMLA. I also have been President of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature and President of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. I sincerely hope I can make it on to the Anthropology and Literature Forum. This will push me in new directions, allow me to bridge the gap between East Asian Studies and what have been more mainstream studies in the MLA, and meet a lot of new people. Thank you for considering this!

Christopher Lupke, Ph. D.  陸敬思
Professor and Chair, Department of East Asian Studies
Faculty of Arts
University of Alberta
3-32A Pembina Hall
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H8, Canada

Urgent appeal for Tashpolat Tiyip

Dr Tashpolat Tiyip, a leading Uyghur academic from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is facing imminent execution.

Since 2014, organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Scholars at Risk have called attention to increasingly severe government repression in the XUAR. Extraordinary levels of human rights violations have been documented by human rights organisations, international media and in peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

The detention and prosecution of Dr Tiyip occurs against the backdrop of an apparent campaign by Chinese authorities to detain large numbers of ethnic minorities in the XUAR, including at least 435 prominent Uyghur, Kyrgyz, and Kazakh intellectuals and scholars. Human rights groups estimate that as many as one million members of these minority communities have been detained at centres for so-called ‘transformation through education’, now officially represented as ‘vocational training centres’. Continue reading

Academic publishing

Source: China Daily (8/29/19)
Beijing hosts meet to discuss future of academic publishing
By Fang Aiqing | chinadaily.com.cn

Scholars and publishers attend the meeting themed “University Publishing in the Context of Globalization——Past and Future”. [Photo provided to China Daily]

University publishers from home and abroad gathered in Beijing on Monday to discuss the past, present and future of academic publishing in a globalized, digitalized world.

The meeting themed “University Publishing in the Context of Globalization——Past and Future”, saw university publishing directors, publishing professionals and authors share their experiences on promoting academic dialogue and social progress, analyzing the opportunities and challenges university presses are facing, and also exploring development and cooperation prospects. Continue reading

13th Special Book Awards of China (1)

Here’s more information on the book awards.

“Translators from Australia, Canada and Russia were among the winners of the Special Book Award of China, which is the highest honour given to international publishing professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of Chinese literature and culture overseas.  The award was established in 2005, and has been presented 12 times so far. Over the past years, 123 winners from 49 countries and regions have received the accolade. This year’s awards were made to:

• Bonnie Suzanne McDougall from Australia, Laureate Professor of the University of Sydney and translator who has been instrumental in developing young Chinese translators overseas as well as the publication of such books as Letters Between Two: Correspondence Between Lu Xun and Xu Guangping.
• Daniel Bell from Canada, who has pursued an academic career at Shandong University as well as producing monographs about Confucius culture and Chinese politics including The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy. Continue reading

13th Special Book Awards of China

Although she is not mentioned in the article below, Bonnie McDougall was also among the honorees for her outstanding contributions to the translation and publication of Chinese books, in addition to her work in promoting cultural exchanges and training translators in Chinese literature.–Alison Bailey <abailey@mail.ubc.ca>

Source: China Daily (8/22/19)
China recognizes 15 in prestigious book awards
By Mei Jia


The Special Book Award of China, the top publishing award from the Chinese government, was given to 15 foreign translators, publishers, writers and Sinologists in Beijing on Tuesday to honor their contributions in bridging cultures and fostering understanding.

They include Polish publisher Andrzej Kacperski, who set up sections of Chinese titles in 100 Polish bookstores and hosted Reading About China book exhibitions; Staburova Jelena, the Latvian researcher of Chinese language and literature; and both the Nepali and Uzbek translators of Volume 1 of the global best-seller Xi Jinping: The Governance of China. Continue reading