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):

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 <>

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

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:

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 (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

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 ( 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 ( 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

Can Xue influence?

Dear all,

I am Xiaoxiao Xin, a second-year PhD candidate at School of Foreign Languages, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P. R. China, and now a visiting student at The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, University of Leeds, UK.

I am now doing my PhD dissertation on the translation and reception of Can Xue’s works in the English-speaking world, paying particular attention to her influence among US and UK universities. I am wondering if you happen to know something about it, for example, which works of Can Xue are often read in courses like modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture. I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know. Please contact me off-list at the email below.

Thank you very much for your time and help in advance.

Best regards,

Xiaoxiao Xin

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

Kindness to animals (1)

Michael Day posted the following on the MCLC Facebook page as a response to my query:

“Well, it wasn’t until the 1990s that pets were even allowed in China (for obvious reasons, I should think)… so, only Hu and Xi would be fair game on this one…. so, nothing I can find on Hu, but lots on Xi … as in his wife and him have a dog as a pet, and pics like this:“–Michael Day

I still can’t find traces of dictator Xi having his own dog — but will keep looking. Would be fascinating to look at how the dog is presented to the public, if it is.

(It’s hard to believe that he would keep a dog. Many dogs owned by the rich and powerful in China seem to be mainly for social prestige, not for petting or companionship, and it still is surely an un-Communist thing to do, insofar as the powerful still pretend to be Communists – as Xi would. There is also a certain newly antagonistic social gap between the masses, and those rich cadres who can keep dogs for prestige or other purposes, as opposed to the pets of the middle classes. Example: Continue reading

Kindness to animals?

A friend asked: has any Communist leader in China ever been seen in public showing kindness to an animal. Not sure of the answer. Seems one has to go back to Buddhist emperors doing the fangsheng thing

although that is mostly a kind of hypocrisy, of course.

There is one obvious “branding” reason Chinese Communist leaders do not have pets like lapdogs or cats: such animals were long associated with bourgeois habits and this political tradition is still strong. Also includes bourgeois wastefulness in wasting food on a pet when it could go to the Poor, hypocritically speaking. So, for a leader to hold a dog or a cat and suggest it was his, or even petting a different dog, would probably NOT look good politically.

Does anyone have a better theory, or better observations?


Magnus Fiskesjö

Access to free resources

Dear Chinese scholars,

We’ve been working with vendors supplying Chinese language e-resources to seek free full access to their databases through June to support online teaching and research in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad to share that we have prepared a list of over 100 databases with generous support from a variety of vendors and publishers.

We have also been communicating with vendors and asking for flexible pricing models to address our unique needs, such as tier-based or user size-based models. We’d like to encourage you to ask your library to advocate for flexible pricing models when contacting the vendors so that more libraries could afford the needed resources.

We are grateful to the vendors and publishers for understanding the impact of the current global COVID-19 pandemic on our community and making content available and accessible during this challenging time. We hope these resources will facilitate your teaching and research. Wish you, your family, and students stay healthy and safe.

Best wishes,

Yao Chen
East Asian Studies Librarian at UC Santa Barbara
Secretary (2018-2021), Council on East Asian Libraries
Chair (2020-2022), Committee for Information Exchange, Society for Chinese Studies Librarians

Chengzhi Wang
Chinese Studies Librarian at Columbia University
Chair (2020-2023), Committee on Chinese Materials, Council on East Asian Libraries

sources on spring festival couplets?

My name is Lesya, 爱丽丝 in Chinese. I live in Bologna, Italy where I’m finishing my studies. I’m attending graduate school, specializing in Far East Studies, so I’m also studying Chinese language and culture. The subject of my final thesis is , Spring Festival Couplets. My purpose is to give a deep analysis of the couplets from a social and anthropological point of view. I want to focus on the evolution of the couplets in an urban area, such as Beijing or Shanghai, then offer a comparison with a more rural area, such as Hakka regions of Fujian province. Unfortunately, I have had problems finding a lot of information about this subject in English. So I wonder if list members could suggest scholarly articles, books, or websites about Chinese Spring Festival, Chinese New Year Couplets, and other important celebrations that would be helpful for my work. Please contact me off-list at the email below.

Lesya Uhrak <>

Unofficial Poetry Journals from China

Dear MCLC List members,

Leiden University Libraries holds an internationally unique Special Collection of unofficial (minjian) poetry journals from China.

These journals travel widely among Chinese poets, critics, and researchers. As such, they are hugely influential. But paradoxically, they are difficult to access, sometimes to the point of becoming almost legendary — because they generally operate outside the official infrastructure of bookstores and libraries.

Now, a digital collection of twelve early items in the Leiden collection (about 1000 pages in all) is full-text available online, for students, educators, researchers and other readers.

This pilot project was undertaken in close collaboration with the editors of the journals in question. Fundraising efforts to digitize more material are underway.

The entry page offers a list of related content, including a web lecture by Maghiel van Crevel, with abundant visuals and intended as an educational resource. (Rotate the prezi / slides / speaker screens using the pop-up button in the top right corner of the biggest screen.) Continue reading