Tang Xianzu’s family graveyard rediscovered

Source: SCMP (8/30/17)
Family graveyard of ‘China’s Shakespeare’ rediscovered
Traces of the family plot of playwright Tang Xianzu were largely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, according to newspaper report
By Wendy Wu

Archaeologists at work in the graveyard. Photo: Handout

The remains of the family graveyard of Tang Xianzu, a famous Chinese playwright who lived more than 400 years ago, have been rediscovered after it was largely destroyed during the social upheavals of the Cultural Revolution, according to a newspaper report.

Archaeologists found traces of the family plot in Fuzhou in Jiangxi province, The Beijing News reported.

The major plays written by Tang, who has been dubbed “China’s Shakespeare” by some critics, are known as the Four Dreams. They include the work The Peony Pavilion, which is still regularly performed in China. Continue reading

publishers admit to self-censorship

Source: SCMP (8/24/17)
At Beijing book fair, publishers admit to self-censorship to keep texts on Chinese market
Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan are off limits for companies wanting to sell their books in China, publisher says
By Agence France-Presse

Just days after the world’s oldest publisher briefly caved in to Chinese censorship demands, international publishing houses are courting importers at a Beijing book fair, with some admitting they keep sensitive topics off their pages.

The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press (CUP) sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opened on Wednesday.

But some acknowledged their companies had already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books did not offend and were published in China. Continue reading

Wang Hui and Leftist Orientalism

Source: New Bloom (8/23/17)
MCKENZIE WARK’S TAKE ON WANG HUI AND LEFTIST ORIENTALISM
By Brian Hioe

THE COVER OF GENERAL INTELLECTS

A RECENT ESSAY by McKenzie Wark on Chinese New Left intellectual Wang Hui published on Verso Books’ blog proves an exercise in western academic leftists’ lack of knowledge of Asia and their inadvertent support of individuals with politics that they would likely find repulsive, if not for lack of sufficient knowledge about Asia and wishful desire to find analogues to themselves in non-western countries. Wang, a leading figure of the Chinese New Left, is among a series of individuals that Wark promotes in his recent book, General Intellects, which seems aimed to be a sort of “Who’s Who” of supposedly international thinkers relevant to the contemporary Left. The primary three figures included in the book to represent “Asian” political thought and the political situation of Asian countries are Wang Hui from China, and Kojin Karatani and Hiroki Azuma, both of Japan. Continue reading

Grammy boss knuckles under China censors

Singers to keep their mouth shut after another US outfit kowtows to the censors. Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu (ps, on Bieber, see https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2017/07/24/commentary/world-commentary/beijing-watching-justin-bieber/ )

Source: Japan Times (8/4/17)
Grammys boss knuckles under China censors as show readies tour
Reuters. Aug 4, 2017

Neil Portnow (left), president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Bravo Entertainment CEO Steven Fock attend a ceremony in Beijing on Thursday marking the start of a partnership to create the Grammy Festival China. | REUTERS

BEIJING – The Grammys is looking to break into China, but it will have to do so without the help of some of its top stars — Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, among others — after it pledged to bring only well-behaved artists to meet Chinese censors’ demands.

Lady Gaga, plus Bjork and Bon Jovi, are blocked in China after they met or expressed support for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. China recently blacklisted Canadian star Bieber, citing bad behavior. Continue reading

Why China’s AI push is worrying

I think we need a lot more research on what China and other authoritarian anti-democratic states are doing with AI, and other such new tools for the control and subjugation of people, and, what are the implications inside and outside China. What’s the good research that has been done so far? including on the collusion by Western companies, and indeed similar developments in Western countries? Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: The Economist (7/27/17)
Why China’s AI push is worrying: State-controlled corporations are developing powerful artificial intelligence

IMAGINE the perfect environment for developing artificial intelligence (AI). The ingredients would include masses of processing power, lots of computer-science boffins, a torrent of capital—and abundant data with which to train machines to recognise and respond to patterns. That environment might sound like a fair description of America, the current leader in the field. But in some respects it is truer still of China. Continue reading

Dirlik lecture on the rise of China

Source: Boundary 2 Online Community (7/30/17)
Arif Dirlik: The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know It
By boundary2

On February 27, 2016, longstanding boundary 2 board member Arif Dirlik gave his final lecture at the University of British Columbia. The talk, The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know Itis available in full on the UBC Library’s website.

Cantonese opera film Guan Hanqing (1)

Dear Zhou Yunjun —

A DVD copy of the Cantonese opera film exists that has Chinese-English dual subtitles. I think there were a few lines that weren’t translated though I can’t recall w/o looking at it again. Further work on rethinking the film script with a new English translation should be beneficial and welcomed, I would think.

Marjorie Chan <chan.9@osu.edu>
Ohio State University

‘Mourning’ Liu Xiaobo

Source: China Heritage (6/30/17)
Mourning
By Geremie R. Barmé

When Oliver Sacks learned that his ocular melanoma had returned after a period of what he called ‘intermission’, he said he wished for a ‘speedy dissolution’. In My Own Life Sacks describes the feelings experienced as a person gradually loses loved ones and friends. He calls it a kind of ‘abruption’:

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

A tearing away, a sense of rending, heartfelt pain and emotional despair: that’s how I responded to the news this week that Liu Xiaobo, China’s leading Nobel Laureate and pre-eminent political prisoner, had been given ‘medical leave’ from gaol to receive treatment for late-stage liver cancer.

— Geremie R. Barmé, Editor, China Heritage


Mourning
Geremie R. Barmé
30 June 2017

I’ve been mourning Liu Xiaobo for a quarter of a century.

For five intense and eventful years in the late 1980s and early 1990s Xiaobo and I shared what I believe was a real friendship, something special to both of us. We weren’t pengyou朋友 in that vacuous, Sino-American ‘everyone’s my friend’ kind of way; nor were we gemen’r 哥們兒, that smart ass Beijing version of buddy-buddiness. Much less, thank heavens, did we ever become lao pengyou 老朋友, an accursed expression that, in reality, indicates a long-term association reaffirmed by bonds of mutual benefit, imposing thereby an exploitative emotional burden on both parties. Nonetheless, we were, to use the Beijing argot, tie 鐵, iron-clad. Continue reading

Chinese to English interpreter needed

Dear list members,

I am a PhD candidate doing a research entitled “Forging Development in Western China: A Case Study on Lanzhou City.” I plan to conduct interviews with experts, scholars, and business people in Lanzhou from July 7 to July 17. I need the help of an interpreter to make Chinese to English translation during interviews. Do anyone knows a suitable person in Lanzhou? Or any suggestion for an online way of finding a translator there.

Best Regards,

Veysel Tekdal <vtekdal@gmail.com>

Twenty-eight years later

Source: Sup China (6/5/17)
Twenty-eight years later

June 4 is a yearly reminder of the bifurcated mediascape of the China-watcher: The anniversary of the protests and crackdown in Beijing and across China in 1989 are diligently commemorated outside of China, but within the Great Firewall, there is scarcely a peep.

  • In Hong Kong, the annual candlelit vigil at Victoria Park to commemorate June 4 drew 110,000 ­people, according to organizers, which the South China Morning Post says is “the lowest turnout since 2008.” Last year’s memorial drew 125,000 people.
  • The Washington Post reports that “police detained at least 11 Chinese activists after a pair of small events to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the bloody crackdown.”
  • TechCrunch notes that social media platform Weibo “clamped down on all overseas users with a ban on uploading images and videos from Saturday until the end of Monday,” presumably a move to hinder the spread of memes and photographs, which are more difficult to filter and censor than text postings.
  • SupChina editor-at-large John Pomfret has published his eyewitness account of the June 4 crackdown in Beijing, excerpted from his book Chinese Lessons.

NTU translation/interpretation positions

The Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation (GPTI) at National Taiwan University (NTU) announces two full-time faculty positions. Initial appointment will begin on August 1, 2018.  For more information, please refer to the attachment or the following website: http://gpti.ntu.edu.tw/main.php.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could share the news with your members.

Sincerely,

Graduate Program in Translation and Interpretation
National Taiwan University
No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Tel: +886-2-33661582
Fax: +886-2-33661708
E-mail: ntutiprogram@ntu.edu.tw

Plastic China (5)

For those of you who are interested in purchasing an institutional copy of this documentary, Georgia Tech just bought one from Journeyman Publicity at <publicity@journeyman.tv> for our Global Media Festival. https://modlangs.gatech.edu/globalmediafest

This company is based in UK. Here is the contact:

https://www.journeyman.tv/film/7020/plastic-china
Milo Riley-Smith
Publicity l Journeyman Pictures l T: +44 (0) 208 786 6054 l

Good luck,
Jin Liu <jin.liu@modlangs.gatech.edu>

Statement protesting HK prosecution of activists

To sign the petition, go here: https://sites.google.com/site/hksaaf/

or here for the Chinese version: https://sites.google.com/site/hksaaf/170330-statement-ch

Statement by International and Hong Kong Scholars to Protest against Hong Kong SAR Government’s Prosecution of Activist Scholars and Umbrella Movement Participants

As scholars and global citizens, we are alarmed and outraged by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s decision to launch criminal prosecutions against nine activist scholars, former student leaders, former and current legislators involved in the 2014 Umbrella Movement. They are: Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Professor Chan Kin-man, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, former student leaders Cheung Sau-yin and Chung Yiu-wah, lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka Chun, Wong Ho-ming of the League of Social Democrats and Lee Wing-tat of the Hong Kong Democratic Party. Using peaceful means of civil disobedience, with participation by more than one million Hong Kong citizens, these activists joined a 79-day occupation movement demanding universal suffrage for the election of the SAR legislature and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Yet, they now face criminal charges of “conspiracy to commit public nuisance, inciting others to commit public nuisance, and inciting people to incite others to commit public nuisance”. Each charge carries a ¬maximum penalty of seven years in jail. Continue reading