Comparative crackdowns

Matthew Robertson has an essay on China Change exploring the similarities between the crackdown on Falun Gong that commenced in 1999 and the vast coercive re-education program now being implemented in Xinjiang.

https://chinachange.org/2018/06/18/comparing-the-brainwashing-of-uighurs-with-the-partys-anti-falun-gong-campaign/

Mr. Robertson does not pretend to be an impartial observer; but in this short article he offers a remarkably perceptive analysis.

A. E. Clark <aec@raggedbanner.com>

Uni Göttingen fellowship

Post- or Pre-Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellow

Institution: Sociology Institute and Center for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS) (ID 13554) Contact Person: Prof. Sarah Eaton

The Sociology Institute and Center for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS) at the Georg-August-University Göttingen are seeking to fill an open three-year position connected to chair of the Professor of Modern Chinese Society and Economy (Sarah Eaton). The earliest possible start date for this full-time position (currently 39.8 hours/week) is 01.08.2018. This position will be remunerated at the salary group 13 TV-L level.

The successful candidate will be actively involved in research, teaching and administrative duties at the university. Applications are welcome from candidates with training in Politics, Sociology or Economics and a strong regional focus on contemporary China. Applications from degree-holders in East Asian or Chinese Studies/Sinology are also encouraged. The position is open to both post-doctoral applicants and doctoral students. The successful applicant must have excellent organizational skills and research abilities. A thorough grounding in the study of Chinese economy and/or politics, fluency in English and German as well as relevant language skills in Chinese is also expected. Prior teaching experience as well a record of publications is also desired. Continue reading

Documentary Film, Regional, Theoretical and Political Parameters

Documentary Film, Regional, Theoretical and Political Parameters
Academy of Film
School of Communication
Hong Kong Baptist University
Date: 25 -27 June 2018 (Mon-Wed)
Conference Venue: CVA1022, Communication and Visual Arts Building, HKBU, 5 Hereford Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong.

Screening Venue: CVA104

June 25 (Mon)

Panel 1: HK Documentary Film       1010-1250pm

Chair: Dr. Lo Wai Luk (HKBU)

  1. Ms. Angelina Chen (Filmmaker)
  2. Ms. Tammy Cheung (Independent Filmmaker)

  3. Ms. Lo Yan Wai Connie (Documentary Film Director)
    Title: “How Patriotism Drives the 67 Riots?”

4.  Dr. Kenny Ng (HKBU)
Title: “In the Mood for Change: Chan Tze-woon’s Mockumentary and Documentary (Yellowing) of the 2014 Umbrella Movement”

5.   Dr. Winnie Yee (The University of HK)
Title: “In Search of the Disappearing Rhymes: Topographical Writings In Three HK Documentary Films”

Continue reading

Ming Qing Studies 2019–cfp

Ming Qing Studies 2019
CALL FOR PAPERS
edited by Paolo Santangelo
(Sapienza University of Rome)

We are glad to inform you that the new edition of Ming Qing Studies 2018 will be published by Aracne Publishers before the end of the year (see contents below).

Applicants are encouraged to submit abstracts for the next issue, Ming Qing Studies 2019. The contributions should concern Ming-Qing China in one or few of its most significant and multifaceted aspects, as well as on East Asian countries covering the same time period. All articles will be examined by our qualified peer reviewers. We welcome creative and fresh approaches to the field of Asian studies. Particularly appreciated will be the contributions on anthropological and social history, collective imagery, and interdisciplinary approaches to the Asian cultural studies. All submitted papers must be original and in good British English style according to our guidelines and editorial rules. Please email an abstract of the article you will submit us (300-500 words, plus a basic bibliography) in MS Word or pdf attachments along with your biographical information to the addresses listed below. Please mention your full name with academic title, university affiliation, department or home institution, title of paper and contact details in your email.

Deadline for the abstract and bibliographical notes: July 31st, 2018.

Deadline for the article: December 31st, 2018. Continue reading

Literary Information in China–call for contributor

Dear Colleagues,

I am coediting a book project titled Literary Information in China: A History. This volume will be the first history in any language that examines the forms and practices through which literary information management has been encoded and transmitted from the early period to the present day. Departing from other literary histories that track major authors or texts, the general philosophy of this project is a focus on forms, rather than on content, and how such forms evolve to respond to issues of searching, scanning, classification, complexity, overload, selectivity, and so on.

The structure of the project aims at comprehensiveness, covering literary information management at the level of words, documents, and collections. At this point, we already have commitments from nearly fifty scholars representing a variety of disciplines and periods. Now we are searching for someone to contribute on the topic of information management in the literary journals of the PRC period (both official and underground publications such as Jintian). We expect the length of the essay to be relatively short at appx. 3500-4000 words, with the final draft submitted to us by April 15th, 2019.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining the project, please get in touch with me at ad2515@columbia.edu.

Sincerely,

Anatoly Detwyler <ad2515@columbia.edu>
Columbia University

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Yan Liang’s review of Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text (Columbia UP, 2017), translated and edited by Aili Mu, with Mike Smith. The review appears below, but is best viewed online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/yanliang/. My thanks to Michael Berry, MCLC book review editor for translations, for ushering the review to publication.

Enjoy, Kirk Denton, editor

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories:
A Parallel Text

Translated and edited by Aili Mu with Mike Smith


Reviewed by Yan Liang
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2018)


Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text. Translated and edited by Aili Mu with Mike Smith. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017. pp. 528. ISBN: 9780231181532 (paper); ISBN: 9780231181525 (hard cover); ISBN: 9780231543637 (e-book).

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories (2018) is a parallel-text (Chinese-English) collection of Chinese short-short stories translated and edited by Aili Mu in collaboration with poet and essayist Mike Smith. It is a delightful read for anyone curious about contemporary Chinese society. The English translations of the stories are smooth and graceful, despite Mu’s conscious choice—for the pedagogical sake of Chinese language learners—of translating the text more literally than literarily. With the addition of the parallel Chinese text and the thoughtfully designed teaching materials, including introductory essays, glossaries, reading questions, and author biographies, the book makes an easy-to-use and much-needed textbook for teachers and advanced students of Chinese language and culture. Continue reading

Tighter regulations on film and tv dramas

Source: Sup China (6/12/18)
Internal Memo Reveals Tighter Regulations On Chinese Films And Television Dramas
By JIAYUN FENG

Censorship of Chinese films and TV programs has been bad recently, and it’s about to get worse. That’s the takeaway from an internal document circulating in the Chinese entertainment industry.

The memo (in Chinese), obtained and shared by WeChat blogger Xiaode Zhang 晓得张, is allegedly from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (see this piece on recent developments at the organization known as SAPPRFT).

In the document, the government encourages content that showcases “people’s happiness” and features important upcoming events, such as the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC in 2019, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s 100th anniversary in 2021. Continue reading

Academia Sinica position

Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica position

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2018

  1. Position: Researcher (open rank Research Fellow, Associate Research Fellow, or Assistant Research Fellow).
  2. Field: Modern history.
  3. Qualifications:
    • Ph.D.(Taiwan or foreign). Applicants who have passed their final oral defense of doctoral dissertation are encouraged to apply.
    • Good comprehension of Chinese is required.
    • Under the applying Act, this position is not open to the P.R.O.C. citizens. Continue reading

Interview with Cai Xiang

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Yu Zhang’s and Calvin Hui’s interview with Cai Xiang, professor of modern Chinese literature at Shanghai University. Too long to publish in full here, you can find the entire interview, along with the original Chinese version, at http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/zhang-hui/

Enjoy,

Kirk Denton, editor

Postsocialism and Its Narratives:
An Interview with Cai Xiang

Interviewed and Translated by Yu Zhang and Calvin Hui


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June 2018)


Cai Xiang

Time: July 3, 2016
Location: Bodao Café, 1420 Meichuan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, P. R. China

Notes from the Interviewers and Translators: Cai Xiang is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature in the Department of Chinese at Shanghai University and the director of its Research Center for Contemporary Literature. His book Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966 was translated into English by Rebecca E. Karl and Xueping Zhong and published by Duke University Press in 2016. In this interview, Cai Xiang shares his thoughts about the contemporary Chinese writer Lu Yao (1949-1992) and China in the 1980s, the revival of realism, pure literature, the relationship between the subaltern and the middle class, literary and cultural studies in China, and finally his research on socialist literature and culture. Cai Xiang stresses the importance of rebuilding an ideal mainstream society and looking for a new kind of certainty in this fragmented world. He also introduces illuminating new concepts such as “intellectual laborer,” “cultural proletariat,” and “petty bourgeois-socialism” to understand the cultural politics of postsocialist China. For the Chinese version, see below. The interviewers would like to express our gratitude to Kirk Denton and Xueping Zhong for their support and to Gao Ming for his assistance.

Ordinary World, by Lu Yao

Interviewer: In the past few years, the Chinese writer Lu Yao (1949-1992), the author of the novel Ordinary World, has regained broad attention and huge popularity in China.[1] The airing of the TV serial Ordinary World (2015) made his work even more appealing to contemporary Chinese readers. I heard it has become one of the most widely read novels among college students in China. Your career as a literary critic started with the publication of an essay about Lu Yao’s well-known novella “Life” (1982). Could you tell us about the writing of this essay?

Cai: That was about thirty years ago. Now, looking back, I think what motivated me to write about Lu Yao’s “Life” was several factors: first, “Life” suggests the possibility of changing one’s destiny, even though the male protagonist’s effort fails in this tragic story. This was probably one of the key issues in the 1980s. It was precisely in the 1980s when everyone felt there was a possibility to change their fate. China’s “planned economic system” had lasted for thirty years, but then the system started to be shaken up. The reason I used quotation marks for “planned economic system” is that the concept permeated the entire society, including every aspect of individual life. Therefore, it is not merely an economic concept; an individual’s destiny was determined by the society within the planned economic system. Of course, the planned economy also brought with it a sense of security and even warmth from inside the community. Published precisely at this historical juncture, “Life” implied that the nature of human fate is changing, which actually refers to what is commonly called social mobility (such as the migration from the countryside to the city that takes place in the novella). Moreover, this change can be determined by the individual, yet it comes with high risk and a strong sense of insecurity, and even causes an inner fear. In Lu Yao’s novella, the fear is manifested in the realm of morality. . . [Read the rest of the interview here]

Yi Sha poems

祝大家端午节好!

Chinese texts to the poems below are on my blog:

http://banianerguotoukeyihe.com/2018/06/09/dream-1296-etc-%e4%bc%8a%e6%b2%99-yi-sha-traume/

Martin

Yi Sha
DREAM 1065

My wife Old G. takes a rope,
ties up a crocodile’s mouth.
Very tight,
then she picks him up
and shoves him
into an iron cage.
In the cage
there are two other
tied-up crocodiles.
She says, “If you want pets,
you have to raise them this way.
Blows before words.
That little dog,
if you had
tied him up first,
he would be
our little dog now.”

May 2017
Translated by MW, June 2018

Yi Sha
DREAM 1066

Every village
in china
has a halfwit.
I spend the night in some village
and per accident kill their halfwit.
I am terrified,
and even more terrified
when they don’t notice
his disappearance at all.

I get off scot-free.

May 2017
Translated by MW, June 2018

Yi Sha
DREAM 1296

One fellow teacher
and shitty Mao-fan
jumps to his death.
Blood splatters the empty space
between university buildings.
I am shaken,
extremely surprised,
which goes to show
I never thought
their opposition
to the current dynasty
was the real thing.

Tr. MW, June 2018

PROSE POETRY

QUESTION

June 2007, Poetry International Festival Rotterdam.
A Chinese from America who writes in English asks me,
“Who is the best poet in China now?”
“I”, I blurt out.

June 2018
Tr. MW, June 2018

From WING FEATHERS

In the face of this world-class stupid censorship system, the best method is to write a lot, to write very broadly and very well, till you are so fat you’re not afraid of them cutting off meat.

June 2018
Translated by MW, June 2018

From WING FEATHERS

Unlike you, my Kung-Fu guru is not Lu Xun’s brother Zhou Zuoren.
My Shifu’s surname is Liu.

June 2018
Translated by MW, June 2018

From WING FEATHERS

Rather than look at the way you guys preen yourself, let me preen myself too: Editing my new poetry collection, I have way too much material, first choice of everything is no good, I have to choose again, and cut away ruthlessly, otherwise the book gets too thick. So I get very edgy.

June 2018
Translated by MW, June 2018

How a Chu silk manuscript ended up in Washington

Source: NYT (6/8/18)
How a Chinese Manuscript Written 2,300 Years Ago Ended Up in Washington
By Ian Johnson

The Chu Silk Manuscript is from the Warring States period, around 475 to 221 B.C., a crucial era when lasting Chinese traditions like Confucianism and Taoism took shape.CreditCollection of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, photograph courtesy of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

BEIJING — Sitting in an underground storeroom near the Washington Mall is a tiny silk parchment. Written 2,300 years ago, it is a Chinese version of the Dead Sea Scrolls, with text that swirls like the stars through the firmament and describes the relationship between humans and heaven.

For decades, the ancient document, known as the Chu Silk Manuscript, has fascinated people seeking an understanding of the origins of Chinese civilization. But it has been hidden from public view because of its fragility — and the uncertain circumstances by which it ended up in the United States. Continue reading

Wandering Mind and Metaphysical Thoughts

Gao Xingjian 高行健
Wandering Mind and Metaphysical Thoughts 遊神與玄思
The Chinese University Press, 2018
Translated by Gilbert C F Fong 方梓勳

Gao Xingjian does not write many poems, but the ones he has written are real gems; they are snippets of his reflective moods. To those of us who know the man, he is poetry incarnate, with the essential purity and density of a good poem. The present collection, his first and only poetry anthology in English translation, affords insights into Gao’s philosophy of freedom and the independence of spirit, and elucidates his ideas as a novelist, dramatist and painter. Modern art, claims Gao, is at a crisis point, under attack from all sides by onslaughts coming especially from politics and the marketplace, which results in what he calls the “annihilation” of beauty. We see Gao Xingjian as a natural, warm, and insightful thinker capable of grace, beauty, and his own brand of esoteric wisdom, at times almost honest to a fault but not without a touch of humor and wittiness. A riveting and compulsive read. Continue reading

Simon Leys: Navigator between Worlds review

Source: NY Review of Books (June 28, 2018)
One Decent Man
Reviewed by Geremie R. Barmé

[Simon Leys: Navigator Between Worlds
by Philippe Paquet, translated from the French by Julie Rose
Carlton: La Trobe University Press/Black Inc., 664 pp., $35.00]

Pierre Ryckmans, who wrote under the name Simon Leys, on the Great Wall of China, 1955. Ryckmans Family Archives

1.

The thought of hearing back from Simon Leys filled me with dread. It was late 1976 and I was an exchange student at a university in Shenyang, in northeast China. I’d only recently learned that Pierre Ryckmans, the man who had taught me Chinese, was none other than Simon Leys, a writer both celebrated and reviled in the French-speaking world.

Mao Zedong had died in September. Not long after, Leys published an obituary in the Australian press. Mao, he said, had

outlived himself by some twenty years. If he had died a few years after the Liberation, he would have gone down in history as one of China’s most momentous leaders. Unfortunately, during the last part of his life, by stubbornly clinging to an outdated utopia, by becoming frozen in his own idiosyncrasies and private visions…he became in fact a major obstacle to the development of the Chinese revolution.

For nearly thirty years Mao had been the only fixed point in the tumultuous life of China. In the mid-1960s the uprising of the Red Guards, zealous high school students who attacked Mao’s enemies, had made the People’s Republic an epicenter of youthful rebellion, and although my original interest in China was inspired by Taoism and classical literature, I was also enamored of contemporary politics. Continue reading

Wang Yang criticizes CR

Source: SCMP (6/7/18)
Top Chinese Communist Party cadre criticises Cultural Revolution for damage to tradition
Wang Yang applauds Taiwan for preserving aspects of the past in rare reference to party’s dark past
By Jun Mai

In Xiamen on Wednesday, Wang Yang (centre), chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, meets Taiwanese living in Fujian province. Photo: CNA 

The Communist Party’s top political adviser has openly derided the Cultural Revolution for damaging traditional Chinese culture, in a rare reference by a senior Chinese official to the dark chapter in the party’s history.

“The Cultural Revolution eliminated a large part of both the essence and the dregs of traditional culture on the mainland,” said Wang Yang, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body. “But Taiwan preserved it well.” Continue reading

More on this year’s gaokao

Source: Sup China (6/7/18)
Propaganda and finger vein recognition: China’s 2018 college entrance exams
By Lucy Best

The gaokao (高考 gāokǎo) is a three-day college entrance test that covers literature, science, math, and English (see SupChina’s brief history of the exam). This year more than 9.75 million students are taking the test, according to Sixth Tone.

Propaganda is big this year. Today’s morning test session was for Chinese language and literature and included an 800-character essay. Quartz reports: “Of the nine essay questions asked across the nation — there are some regional variations — five were directly related to propaganda terms put forward by the Chinese president.”

Cheating on the gaokao already carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail, but Chinese authorities are instituting additional measures this year. Test centers in Inner Mongolia will use finger vein recognition (as opposed to fingerprint recognition) to verify test takers’ identities, according to the South China Morning Post. Metal detectors, facial recognition, and fingerprint recognition are expected to be commonplace around the country.