Xi Xi dies at 85

Source: SCMP (12/19/22)
Hong Kong author Xi Xi, often credited with putting city on literary map, dies aged 85
A prolific writer of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and screenplays, Xi Xi led a life that was ‘wonderful, happy and meaningful’, a publisher she co-founded said. Her imaginative writing often gave mundane events a fairy tale twist. She famously called Hong Kong a ‘floating city’ in 1984 when its return to China was sealed

A scene from “Women Like Us”, a chamber opera commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival last year is based on two short stories by Xi Xi. Photo: Hong Kong Arts Festival

A scene from “Women Like Us”, a chamber opera commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival last year is based on two short stories by Xi Xi. Photo: Hong Kong Arts Festival

Hong Kong author Xi Xi, whose whimsical tales became a defining portrait of a city transitioning away from British rule, died on Sunday, according to a publisher she co-founded. She was 85.

One of the most beloved names in Sinophone literature, she published more than 30 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and screenplays in a career spanning six decades.

She was often credited with putting Hong Kong on the map in the literary world.

Xi Xi died of heart failure at a Hong Kong hospital on Sunday morning surrounded by family and friends, publisher Plain Leaves Workshop said in a statement on Facebook. Continue reading

Paper Republic 16

Hello, hello, a happy autumn to one and all! (It’s my favourite season, can you tell?) (Sickening, right?)

It’s been a while since the last instalment of this here newsletter came out, and a lot has happened between those heady dog days of August and now, some of which you might have missed. So wherever there are recordings of events I’ve included them below. And of course, if there’s something that has happened in the world of Chinese lit over the past few months that isn’t below, please do send in the article or link and I’ll pop it in the list [website only].
The reason for this is, though you might have been waiting eagerly chewing at the bit for this issue to come out, it is nevertheless going to be the last one for a short while. Probably until early next year, in fact. We enjoy running the newsletter and putting it together, and there has been some lovely feedback about it as a resource, for which we thank you, but we need to rethink how to make it more readily sustainable and maintainable for those of us behind the scenes. In the meantime, a period of rest is in order (instead of a period of procrastination, which is what the last three months have been).

We hope you’ll stick around and stay subscribed for when the new issue drops into your inboxes come January or February, and if it happens that any of you have any interest in being part of running a newsletter for Chinese literature in translation on a voluntary basis, then be sure to get in touch. The same goes for if you have or know of any news that you think would fit the newsletter, now or anytime in the future; you can always email news AT paper-republic DOT org with anything Chinese-lit-related that you think worth sharing. If it’s urgent, and waiting until the next issue would mean missing out, we’ll post it straight onto the website and socials (Facebook, WeChat and Twitter for the time being). Continue reading

Remembering Yingjin Zhang

November 25, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

It’s with a heavy heart that over the past several days we gradually recognized and accepted the fact that Professor Yingjin Zhang had passed away. Yingjin was the fourth president of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature, serving our Association from 1992 to 1994, and convening the third ACCL conference, in 1994 at Princeton University.

Many of us, through Facebook postings or emails, shared touching, emotional tributes in which we described how each of us benefited so much from Yingjin’s erudition, generosity, and professional perfectionism. Over the past four decades, Yingjin Zhang was one of the most foundationally important scholars who reshaped our field of modern Chinese studies. He was a pioneer in urban studies, cinema studies, visual studies, transmedia studies, and studies in world literature, with his numerous groundbreaking monographs, an incredibly long list of research articles, and various important anthologies and encyclopedias. Almost all of us, teachers of modern Chinese literature, have taught something written by Yingjin, and his ideas and research have already inspired two or three new generations of younger scholars to find new paths in the academic world. Yingjin has been remembered as a kind, courteous, and principled person, a mentor to many and a friend to all. His contribution to the field has become an integral part of our knowledge, research, and collective memory, which will last and live on. Yingjin will be profoundly missed, and his life and achievement, cherished forever.

Professor Yingjin Zhang was the Distinguished Professor of Modern Chinese Literature in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, where he also served as Department Chair. His research fields included Chinese Literature; Comparative Literature; Cinema and Media Studies; Visual Culture; Literary and Cultural History; Urban Studies. He received his M.A. from the University of Iowa in 1987 and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University in 1992. Before joining the UCSD faculty in 2001, he taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was honored with an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 1996. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago as well as several Chinese universities, such as Nanjing University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tongji University, and Wuhan University. His most influential books include: The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film: Configurations of Space, Time, and Gender (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996); Screening China: Critical Interventions, Cinematic Reconfigurations, and the Transnational Imaginary in Contemporary Chinese Cinema (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 2002); Chinese National Cinema (London: Routledge, 2004); and Cinema, Space, and Polylocality in a Globalizing China (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010).

Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature

Signed by:

Mingwei Song <msong2@wellesley.edu>, President of ACCL (Professor of Chinese Literature, Wellesley College)
Michelle Yeh, ACCL President 1999-2001 (Distinguished Professor of Chinese, University of California at Davis)
Daniel Fried, ACCL President 2017-2019 (Associate Professor, University of Alberta)
Nicolai Volland, ACCL President 2019-2022 (Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, Penn State University)
Carlos Rojas, ACCL President 2015-2017 (Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, Duke University)
Sheldon Lu, ACCL President 1991-1992 (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California at Davis)
Christopher Lupke, ACCL President 2011-2013 (Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta)
Michel Hockx, ACCL President 2002-2004 (Professor of Chinese Literature, University of Notre Dame)
Charles A. Laughlin, ACCL President 2008-2010 (Professor of Chinese Literature, University of Virginia)
Shengqing Wu, ACCL President 2013-2015 (Professor of Chinese Literature, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, ACCL President 1999-2000 & President-Elect 1997-1998 (Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin)
Yomi Braester, ACCL President 2006-2008 (Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Washington)
Xiaomei Chen, ACCL Founding President 1988-1989 (Distinguished Professor Emerita of Chinese Literature, University of California, Davis)


Chang Kuei-hsing wins 2023 Newman Prize

For Immediate Release Nov. 2, 2022
Sinophone Novelist Chang Kuei-hsing Wins 2023 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature 張貴興荣获2023年美国纽曼华语文学奖

NORMAN, OKLA. – An international jury has selected the Sinophone novelist Chang Kuei-hsing (張貴興) as the winner of the eighth Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.

Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma Institute for US-China Issues in the David L. Boren College of International Studies, the Newman Prize is awarded biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition, and is conferred solely on the basis of literary merit. Any living author writing in Chinese is eligible. A jury of five distinguished literary experts nominated the seven poets last spring and selected the winner in a transparent voting process on Oct. 26, 2022.

Chang Kuei-hsing will receive $10,000, a commemorative plaque and a bronze medallion. He will be celebrated at an online symposium and award ceremony held on the OU Norman campus March 2-3, 2023. Chang Kuei-hsing was nominated for the prize by Professor E.K. Tan (Stony Brook University). Other nominees and jurors include: Continue reading

New Ailing Zhang English manuscript

Source: USC Libraries (9/2/22)
New English Manuscript Discovered in Ailing Zhang (Eileen Chang) papers
By Nathan Masters

A page from the recently discovered manuscript

A new English translation of Eileen Chang’s short story “Xiang Jian Huan,” translated as “She Said Smiling,” has been discovered in the author’s papers in the USC Libraries’ Special Collections. The twenty-two typewritten pages were previously believed to be related to Chang’s translation of the 1892 novel Hai Shang Hua (The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai)—until a patron noticed that they came from a different project. With the help of the patron and Professor Yunwen Gao of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, archivist Bo Doub and Chinese studies librarian Tang Li of the USC Libraries confirmed the discovery and moved the manuscript to its own folder within Box 2 of the collection.

Professor Gao, a USC alumna and Chang scholar, wrote the following introduction to the manuscript:

The 22 pages of manuscripts from the Zhang Ailing paper archive at USC has been discovered recently. Scholars from mainland China (Li and Zhou) have published research articles to prove that it is one version of the English translation/transwriting of Chang’s 1978 short story “Joyful Reunion” (相見歡). The Chinese title of the story is named after a Tang and Song tune pattern (cipai 詞牌), which describes the plot of two cousins, neither happy with their marriage, get together in their middle age, chat with each other with the company of one’s daughter, reminisce their youth, and end the conversation with a shocking moment when one forgets about telling an anecdote while the other forgets about having heard of it a few months before. The story was first drafted in the 1950s, yet not until 1978 did the story get published in Taiwan. In 1983, a revised version of the story was published in the short stories collection titled “The Story of Regret” (惘然記). In the decades in between, the story, like many other stories written around the same time, went through rounds and rounds of revision, translation, or as scholars call it, transwriting. In the article by Li and Zhou, they proved that there are at least two versions of the English translation of “Joyful Reunion,” translated as “She Said Smiling,” according to a letter from April 29, 1964 by Eileen Chang. The English manuscript found at USC, which is missing the title page, has many similarities with the Chinese version of “Joyful Reunion” and the English version “She Said Smiling” so that the authors Li and Zhou concluded that it might be the manuscript of “She Said Smiling.” Continue reading

ACCL Election

Dear ACCL members

My final duty as ACCL President is to call the election for the our next President. In accordance with our Constitution, the election is overseen by two members of the Executive Committee—Wu Shengqing and Daniel Fried—who will be reporting results back to me. I am grateful for their support.

Two candidates are standing for election: Song Mingwei (Wellesley College) and Zhu Ping (Univ. of Oklahoma). We are fortunate to have two excellent candidates who will skillfully steer our Association into the future. Please find the candidate’s personal statements below, as well as on our website.


Please cast your vote at this link.

If you encounter problems you may fill out the pdf form.

The deadline for your vote is Aug. 14, 2022. All votes received by 11:59 pm (EST) will be counted.


Nicolai Volland 傅朗
ACCL President 本會會長 Continue reading

ACCL elections: call for nominations

Dear Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature (ACCL) members,

After we have successfully concluded our biennial conference, it is my final responsibility to supervise the election of the next President of our Association. To that end, members can download a nomination form, and would ask that you all consider either nominating yourself, or encouraging colleagues to seek election.

The primary duty of the President is to run the day-to-day affairs of the Association and to help strengthen and deepen our Association’s institutional structure. Aside from that, the President arranges the next biennial conference. The President is supported by the Treasurer, the Communications Director, and the Executive Committee, all of whom are appointed as outlined in our Constitution (to be found on our website).
會長之主要任務,是主持本會日常工作、擴充學會的機制、加深本會的專業化等。此外,會長負責舉辦下次雙年會。會長有挑選財務、公關等秘書、執行委員會之權,以便協助會長之工作(細節可見本會會章)。 Continue reading

Song Translation Studies awards (2021-22)

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2021–2022) 
宋淇翻譯研究論文紀念獎 2021–2022
1 July 2022

It is with great pleasure that I hereby announce the result for the 24th Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2021–2022) set up by Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

WANG Shengyu (School of Chinese Language and Literature, Soochow University)
“Chinese Folklore for the English Public: Herbert A. Giles’s 1880 Translation of Pu Songling’s Classical Tales”, Comparative Literature 73, No. 4 (December 2021), pp. 442-462.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Wang Shengyu and extend my thanks to all who submitted their papers for consideration. Call for submissions for the 25th Stephen C. Soong Awards will be announced in January 2023.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/rct/ts/soong_awards.html.

Yours Sincerely

Lawrence Wang-chi Wong
Director, Research Centre for Translation
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Continue reading

2022 Tang Prize in Sinology

We are pleased and honored to announce Professor Dame Jessica Rawson as the newest Tang Prize Laureate in Sinology.

The 2022 Tang Prize in Sinology is awarded to Professor Dame Jessica Rawson for her gift and mastery of the craft of the visible to read the art and artifacts of Chinese civilization. By giving voice to the ancient world of objects, she has taught generations how to see when they look at things, and her acuity and vast visual learning have given new insight into the world of the lineages, transformations, and migrations of mute things.

For the press release, please visit https://bit.ly/3xGwyFe
To learn more about Professor Rawson, please visit https://reurl.cc/d2o6Yz
To hear Professor Rawson’s reaction to receiving the Prize, please visit https://youtu.be/I-Vv2YZCyZE

Tang Prize in Sinology <sinology@tang-prize.org>

He Huaren (1958-2021)

Last week, I (belatedly) learned that Taiwan printmaker, illustrator, and bird expert He Huaren (何華仁) passed away in the week prior to Christmas 2021. MCLC Listserve members interested in (woodcut) printmaking and illustration will likely know of his work, and may have purchased books written by He or others, featuring his superb illustrations. He Huaren was also one of Taiwan’s most renowned birders and an activist for the preservation and protection of Taiwan’s bird and wildlife habitat; he was especially fond of raptors. Huaren was extremely generous, ever humble, had an outstanding sense of humor, and loved single malt scotch. Here are some sources on or by He Huaren.

何華仁(1958年-2021年12月18日): https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/何華仁
戰勝腦瘤 何華仁用繪本和版畫記錄台灣野鳥

蘋中人:刻在心上的鷹姿 何華仁
何華仁鳥版畫遺作 預計二月上市       中國時報

Nicholas Kaldis

Additions to Unofficial Poetry Journals from China

Front page of The Battler Poet (打工诗人) no 2 (2002), featuring Zheng Xiaoqiong’s famous early poem “On this word dagong.”

It is our pleasure to announce the next upgrade of the digital collection of China’s unofficial poetry journals at Leiden University Libraries. Key agents of cultural renewal after the Mao era, these journals are hugely influential but hard to find. The Leiden digital collection makes them freely accessible online, for viewing and downloading. (Click here for a web lecture on unofficial poetry publishing in China, with abundant visuals.)

We’d like to draw attention to two highlights. The first is the 1985 two-volume New Tide Poetry (新诗潮诗集), edited by Lao Mu 老木,a key advocate of poetic innovation in the roaring 80s. This groundbreaking book showed avant-garde poetry right when it began to diversify after Obscure poetry (朦胧诗, aka Misty Poetry), years before this was recognized in official publications.

The second highlight is subaltern writing, variously referred to in English as migrant worker poetry, (new) worker poetry, and battler poetry. The journals in question include The Battler Poet (打工诗人), Worker Poetry (工人诗歌), The New Worker (新工人) and The New Worker Quarterly (新工人季刊), and the Migrant Workers Home Picun Literature Group Series (工友之家皮村文学小组作品集).

The collection as a whole now contains a variety of works from across four decades of unofficial poetry publishing in the PRC, of diverse poetical persuasion and regional provenance (click here and sort by “title” for the full list). It shows how the practice of unofficial publishing—aka self-publishing, publishing outside the system, underground publishing, etc—connects marginalized groups such as politically disenfranchised “avant-garde” (先锋) poets, advocates of feminist and queer emancipation, ethnic “minorities” (少数民族), and precarious workers. Continue reading

Hao Chang has passed away

Source: Academia Sinica (5/5/2022)
Academician Hao Chang Has Passed Away

Academician Hao Chang passed away in the United States on April 20, 2022. He was 85 years old.

Dr. Chang was a renowned Sinologist, devoted to the intellectual history of modern China and history of Chinese political thought. He studied under notable scholars, including Yin Hai-guang, Yang Lien-sheng, and Benjamin I. Schwartz, and obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966. Dr. Chang taught at Ohio State University from 1968 to 1998, and at the University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, since 1998.

Dr. Chang obtained many outstanding achievements and authored several articles and books in both Chinese and English. His comparison and reflection on Western Liberalism and Chinese Confucianism were widely influential in Sinology and in intellectual history studies. In February of this year, Dr. Chang donated his book and manuscript collection to the National Library, a remarkably generous gesture and invaluable contribution to history research.

During his distinguished career, Dr. Chang has received numerous honors, including grants from the American National Humanities Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, the Qian Mu History Lectureship and the Yu Ying-shih Lectureship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Tseng Yueh-nung Lectureship on Comparative Study of Cultures at Tunghai University, Taiwan. Dr. Chang was elected Academia Sinica Academician in 1992.

Paper Republic newsletter 11

Hello one and all, this month’s newsletter is packed with stories, poems and, much more so than usual, top notch podcasts for your all reading and listening pleasures. We’d also like to plug another newsletter we’ve been reading and loving recently, The Slow Chinese 每周漫闻, which is a resource to help you learn, use, and understand Chinese language the way people speak it today. The link there is for one recent instalment, but there are many, many more you can choose from on the site.

Also, some of you may have noticed in our annual roll call for 2021 that, for the first time, we included links to lists of published translations into other languages besides English. We would like to do more to promote and work with translators and publishers of Chinese fiction working in other languages, so this month we have the pleasure of sharing a roundup of news about Chinese literature in Spanish, from (China traducida y por traducir in collaboration with DIGITRANS, which can be found beneath the usual news pieces. Unfortunately, some of the events mentioned in this roundup have already passed, but do keep your eyes out for similar happening in the future.

And last but certainly not least, just in case you’ve managed to miss the announcement, the Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature is out now and available to purchase in paperback and ebook form. Known affectionately as The Guide, the publication features detailed biographical entries covering almost 100 of the most important writers working in the Chinese language today, alongside in-depth essays on topics like the role of the authorwomen’s writing and Sci-Fi. We’ve already held one successful launch event in partnership with Aberdeen University Confucius Institute, and we have another coming up on Wed April 27th with China Institute, as well as one more in the works for anyone who is London-based (keep your eyes peeled for details about that). If you have questions or issues re: buying the Guide or registering for the event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at info@paper-republic.org Continue reading