Taiwan folk songs and poems?

I am an American author currently writing a book about my recent experience walking the circumference of Taiwan and investigating the cultural phenomenon known in Taiwan as 徒步環島. I am looking for folk songs and classical poems about each region that I can use to add to the distinct local flavor of each area I describe. Examples of what I am looking for might include a Hakka hill song about Hakka farming life in Miaoli County, a Qing Dynasty Classical Chinese poem describing the torrential rains of the Lanyang (Yilan) Plain, or a Paiwan folksong about hunting in the Taimali region. The most useful type of resource would be one that divides these cultural assets by region. Chinese language resources are fine.

I looked in some of the largest Taipei bookstores for any relevant books, but did not find much of anything. I would be interested to know if there are any websites, books, or academic articles on this topic.

Jacob Rawson <shiosai123@yahoo.com>
Washington State, USA

Youth in Chinese History project

Youth in Chinese History: bibliography and video-papers

The research project ‘Youth in Chinese History: Education and Representations of Young People in Chinese Sources between Tradition and Modernity,’ coordinated by Giulia Falato (University of Parma, former Oxford University) and Renata Vinci (University of Palermo), included the organization of the Youth in Chinese History Workshop at the China Centre, University of Oxford, in September 2023. From this rich moment of exchange and dialogue, the idea arose to create digital resources to make the research of project participants available to the academic community and a broader audience.

On the project’s website, you can consult a thematic bibliography and a video-papers series produced by project participants on topics related to education and the representation of young people in imperial times. Both resources are constantly updated, so we invite you to visit the website and subscribe to the Youtube channel. You will already find the first four video-papers, and by subscribing to the channel, you will receive a notification whenever a new video is uploaded.

Project website: www.youthinchinesehistory.com

Direct link to the thematic bibliography: https://www.youthinchinesehistory.com/bibliography/

Direct link to the video-papers series: https://www.youthinchinesehistory.com/ych-video-series/

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@YouthinChineseHistory

For further information, you can contact the coordinators at info@youthinchinesehistory.com


Posted by: Renata Vinci renata.vinci@unipa.it

Interviews with filmmakers

List members might be interested in two interviews I published recently in Cineaste, one with the director Qiu Jiongjiong and the other with the directing team of Huang Ji and Ryûji Otsuka. Here are the details:

“Make it New! An Interview with Qiu Jiongjiong on A New Old Play.” Cineaste XLVIII, 1 (Winter 2022): 20-25. (now included in the booklet for the DVD)

“A Body of Her Own: An Interview with Huang Ji and Ryûji Otsuka.” Cineaste XLVIII, 3 (Summer 2023): 28-33.

Jiwei Xiao <jiweixiao@gmail.com>

China Unofficial Archives

Official Launch of the China Unofficial Archives 民间档案馆 www.minjian-danganguan.org
Online Event 13 December 2023 1pm GMT
Contemporary China Centre, University of Westminster

Register here, zoom link will be sent to all registered participants nearer the date.

Join us for this special edition of our Conference, Deconstructed to mark the official launch of China Unofficial Archives. We will have a panel discussion with Ian Johnson, author of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future and Shao Jiang, author of Citizen Publications in China Before the Internet to discuss a significant and unique new online archive which will be launched at this event.

Billed as the first independent archive of unofficial citizen histories, 民间历史 in Chinese, China Unofficial Archives (CUA) spans 75 years of samizdat magazines, books, and movies. It currently features over 860 items but has plans to grow ten-fold in the coming years as it scans and makes available online material that is in the public domain (and thus not-IPR protected). The site is curated, with introductions to the items, and fully bilingual. Aimed at global audiences, its goal is to show the span and breadth of Chinese people’s efforts to write their own history, free of political control.

Following a short presentation by each speaker, they will field questions, advice and constructive criticism from the audience. The event will be chaired by Gerda Wielander.

Registration link: Official Launch of the China Unofficial Archives Tickets, Wed 13 Dec 2023 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Posted by: Gerda Wielander <g.wielander@westminster.ac.uk>

Manchuria, Literature and Culture 1900+ website launch

Manchuria, Literature and Culture 1900+ website launch
Fri, Aug 25, 2023 3:00-4:00 PM EDT on Zoom
Hosted by: Ronald Suleski (Suffolk University, US)
with Norman Smith (University of Guelph, Canada)
and Miya Xie (Dartmouth College, US)

image of painting

We are proud to launch a website devoted to the literature and culture of modern Manchuria, or the Northeast of China. Cofounded and edited by Norman Smith and Miya Xie and on-line with the University of Guelph, this website brings together academics from Canada, China, Czechia, Japan, Korea, Malta, Taiwan, and the United States to post translations, original sources, and web materials that shed important critical light on a region of great importance to East Asia’s modern history. Join us for the launch and a discussion with the Editors, who will also introduce their recent publications.

Register in advance to obtain Zoom link and other information via this survey:


For a brief program of the event and a website map, please see this PDF: manchuria_web_launch_event_program.pdf

If you are interested in browsing the website, please go here: https://www.manchurialiteratureculture.uoguelph.ca/
If you are interested in knowing more about recent publications by the two website editors that they will introduce during the event, please check here:

Norman Smith: Writing Manchuria: The Lives and Literature of Zhu Ti and Li Zhengzhong and Mei Niang’s Long Lost Writings: Young Lady’s Collection.

Miya Xie: Territorializing Manchuria: The Transnational Frontier and Literatures of East Asia.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the event, please contact Norman Smith at nsmith06@uoguelph.ca or Miya Xie at miya.xie@dartmouth.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at the event. Thank you!

Southeast Asian art sources?

For research on the art of Southeast Asia and more specifically on the “Nanyang school” of modern art from the late 1940’s – 1960’s, I would appreciate referrals to news articles / publications / exhibitions of “Nanyang” or “Southeast Asian” art. References in China would be of particular interest although I am not literate in Mandarin.

Please contact me off-list at the email address below.

Many thanks,

Peter Garlid <peter@librisource.com>

New additions to online archive of unofficial poetry

Over 30.000 pages of new material have been added to the digital collection of unofficial poetry journals from China at Leiden University Libraries, the online archive of a groundbreaking cultural tradition of our time. Key agents of emancipation and renewal after the Mao era, these journals are influential but hard to find. Leiden University Libraries is making its unique collection of this material freely accessible online, for viewing and downloading. In addition to journals, the collection also contains unofficially published books, both individual collections and multiple-author anthologies.

Click here for a web lecture on unofficial poetry publishing in China, with abundant visuals.

Click here for a video tutorial on using the digital collection.

Read on for more on the latest upgrade of the digital collection.

The underground

This latest upgrade contains more gems of work that is rooted in underground poetry scenes in various places in 1960 and 1970s China. These include monumental works by Huang Xiang and Ya Mo, out of Guizhou province; the Wild Grass Poetry anthology (野草诗选) by Chen Mo, Sun Lu and others, out of Sichuan province; and early individual collections by Mang Ke, Bei Dao, Jiang He, and Duoduo, out of Beijing (with this edition of Mang Ke’s collection bound in the Today (今天) journal cover). Wild Grass Poetry in particular, and the community that produced it, have gone almost entirely unstudied inside and outside of China. An outline of the contours of this group is found in in Michael Day’s China’s Second World of Poetry: The Sichuan Avant-Garde, 1982-1992 (see note 50 on p47–48). Those who want to know more can now access over 400 pages’ worth of Wild Grass poetry, with an introduction by Chen Mo. Continue reading

Cantonese Popular Periodicals website

Dear all,

I would like to bring your attention to a website that we have just launched:

Bilingual Database and Annotated Bibliography of Cantonese Popular Periodicals of the Early Twentieth Century (Phase I): https://www.cantonpp.com/

The website is supported by Lord Wilson Heritage Trust. It covers a range of Cantonese periodicals from various databases, libraries and private collections in Hong Kong, Macau and the United Kingdom.

Kind regards,

Nga Li Lam <lamngali@gmail.com>

Zheng Min (1920-2022)

Poet, translator, and cultural critic Zheng Min 郑敏 (b. July 18, 1920) has just died, on January 3, 2022, at the age of 101. Along with Mu Dan 穆旦 (1918–1977), Chen Jingrong 陳敬容 (1917–1989), and others, in the 1940s she was one of the “Nine Leaves” 九葉 poets, whose 1981 anthology was not only instructive to poets in the post-Cultural Revolution era but also constituted an important link with the poetry and poetics of the Republican era.

I was surprised to see that the MCLC bibliography, which is usually so thorough, lists so few articles about her and translations of her work into English. Hopefully the following can be added to the database [they have been added–Kirk Denton]? Most of the titles below are in Géraldine Fiss’s entry on Zheng in the Dictionary of Literary Biography out this year (op. cit.), but I have added some recent translations as well as a few takes (by van Dongen, Saussy, Yeh, and Zhao) on her controversial essay ‘A look back at the end of century: Chinese language reform and new poetry in China’ 世纪末的回顾: 汉语语言变革与中国新诗创作 (Wenxue pinglun 3 (1993): 5–20). If I’ve missed anything, I hope someone will let me know!

Lucas Klein Lucas.Klein@asu.edu

Continue reading

Inquiry regarding donation of Chinese books

I am writing on behalf of our family friend who passed away last year and left behind a large collection of Chinese books on Chinese literature, roughly estimated to be about 30-35 boxes.  His family wishes to find a university or individual scholars interested in taking the entire or a subcategory of the entire collection and to donate a significant part of his book collections. He collected Chinese academic books in the field of Chinese history (pre-modern to modern), linguistics (pre-modern to contemporary studies of Chinese dialects), literature (pre-modern, modern, and contemporary), as well as many books on Chinese modern and contemporary fiction, literary criticism, and other titles that would be classified under general cultural studies.  Altogether the collection is more than 1,000 Chinese books.  For those interested in taking only part of the collection, the family will ask for the individuals to cover the delivery cost of the books to be shipped with the USPS media mail rate.

The book collection includes the following subcategories: Continue reading

Hu Xudong’s Poems in Translation — a call for help

Dear colleagues and friends,

As our MCLC blog has reported, Hu Xudong 胡续冬, poet and professor at Peking University, passed away on Aug 22, 2021. This is a heartbreaking loss that many will find impossible to recover from. As Christopher Lupke commented on social media, Hu “was such a character and full of life.” And for me as well as for Beida, an intimate, nonconformist, and lively atmosphere is now gone. I shared my 挽联 on social media: https://www.facebook.com/pu.wang.104/posts/10157804722426642

Currently Hu’s students and followers are collecting his works, including his poems translated into other languages. A scholar and true epitome of world literature, Hu was a polyglot/polymath and worked with various translators on various occasions to render his works into English, Portuguese, and Spanish, among others. If you know any references to these works in translation, please contact me at pwang@brandeis.edu (or WeChat: wangpu101). I’ll forward the information and texts to the editing group that is still in the making back in China. Thank you very much for your assistance in advance.

May Hu Xudong rest in peace and stay forever young.

Pu Wang pwang@brandeis.edu

Increased access to Unofficial Poetry Journals from China

The Leiden University Library offers online access to a growing digital collection of China’s unofficial poetry journals. Key agents of cultural renewal after the Mao era, these journals are hugely influential yet difficult to access. The Leiden digital collection addresses this paradox.

Click here for a web lecture on the the topic of the journals at large, with abundant visuals. Click here for a video on accessing the online material. The material is best viewed on a computer. Functionality on smartphones and tablets is limited. Loading can be slow but this will hopefully improve in future.

In a major expansion of the collection, it now contains our full holdings for key publications such as Today (今天), Second-Growth Forest (次生林), Them (他们), At Sea (海上), Not-Not (非非), Poetry Reference (诗参考), the nationwide Modern Chinese Poetry (现代汉诗), the groundbreaking women’s writing journal Wings (翼), and the iconoclastic The Lower Body (下半身). A full list is found below. The items were selected with an eye to diversity in terms of poetics and regional provenance.

These recent additions to the digital collection were enabled by a generous gift from Dr. Freerk Heule. The support of Chinese poets and editors has been invaluable for building the physical collection (accessible here in full) and remains so for the digitization project.

We are working together with colleagues at Fudan University to further expand the digital collection. New additions will be announced in due course, depending on funding. If you can help us find potential sponsors or would like to support the project yourself, please get in touch.

Read on for some quick tips on accessing the material and the full list of our digital holdings to date. Enjoy!


Maghiel van Crevel and Marc Gilbert Continue reading

Jiefang ribao (1)

Jiefang Ribao is included in WiseSearch (https://wisesearch6.wisers.net/) from Wisers in Hong Kong starting from the issues August 2000 onwards. Many libraries subscribe to this database.

You can also try the 全国报刊索引 (https://www.cnbksy.com). They have indexed  解放日报(上海) 1955-2019 (but I am not sure how complete the index is). You can order individual articles for scanning. Some libraries offer to cover this for their readers.

Best wishes,

Joshua Seufert

Chinese Studies Librarian
East Asian Library
Princeton University
email: jseufert@princeton.edu