Made in China 4.1: Smashing the Bell Jar

Dear Colleagues,

I am glad to announce the publication of the latest issue of the Made in China Journal. You can download the pdf for free and subscribe at this link: Below you can find the editorial:

Smashing the Bell Jar: Shades of Gender in China

Sun and moon have no light left, earth is dark;
Our women’s world is sunk so deep, who can help us?
Jewelry sold to pay this trip across the seas,
Cut off from my family I leave my native land.
Unbinding my feet I clean out a thousand years of poison,
With heated heart arouse all women’s spirits.
Alas, this delicate kerchief here
Is half stained with blood, and half with tears.

Qiu Jin, 1904 (translated by Jonathan Spence) Continue reading

Sydney China Visitors Program reminder

Call for Applications: 2020 Sydney China Visitors Program
The University of Sydney invites applications for the prestigious Sydney China Visitors program.

This is a friendly reminder that the University of Sydney’s 2020 Sydney China Visitors Program will close for applications on Friday 3 May 2019.

The 2018 and 2019 programme have been very successful, and we are keen that this opportunity for 2020 reaches out to as many colleagues internationally as possible, so we would be grateful if you could circulate this to your networks.

The Sydney China Visitors program offers two types of fellowship:

  • Sydney China Distinguished Fellowship will host senior scholars specialising in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, culture or translation studies.
  • Sydney China Fellowship will host scholars at any stage of their career specialising in any field, historical or contemporary, related broadly to China or the Chinese world (including, for example, Hong Kong, Taiwan, overseas Chinese, ‘minorities’, as well as comparative or global perspectives).

Continue reading

Vinograd lecture at the British Museum

Professor Richard Vinograd to give the 2019 Sir Percival David Lecture at the British Museum, on 16 May.

Work of art: artistic labour in 19th century China
Thursday 16 May 2019, 18.00–19.00
BP Lecture Theatre, The British Museum
Free, booking essential

Representations of the work of Chinese art, that is artistic labour, had many sources and dimensions both within and outside of nineteenth century China. Some of those arenas of interest were in artistic process and technologies, in imperial works of ideological or political import, and in customs and occupations from ethnographic perspectives. This lecture will focus on two further views, involving the foreign photographer’s lens and the sociality of urban Chinese painters.

Richard Vinograd is the Christensen Fund Professor in Asian Art in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. He is the author of Boundaries of the Self: Chinese Portraits, 1600-1900; (1992); co-editor of New Understandings of Ming and Qing Painting(1994); co-author of Chinese Art; Culture (2001) and author of Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang (2018). Professor Vinograd’s research interests and publications include studies of Chinese portraiture, landscape painting, literati painting of late imperial China, urban print culture, painting aesthetics and theory, art historiography, modern and contemporary Chinese painting, and aspects of intercultural artistic exchange in the early modern era.

Sponsored by the Sir Percival David Foundation Trust.

Posted by: Helen Wang <>

Sarah Lawrence position

Chinese Language – Guest Faculty Position

The search committee is still accepting applications.

Sarah Lawrence College invites applicants for a guest position in Chinese Language for the 2019 – 2020 academic year, with the possibility of renewal for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. Applicants for the position should possess at least a Master’s degree in Chinese language pedagogy, second-language acquisition, education or related field. Requirements include native or near-native command of Mandarin and English; experience in teaching all levels of Chinese language (preferably at the university or college level in the U.S.) and experience in curriculum and material development.

Responsibilities will include teaching Chinese language at a range of levels and overseeing our Language Assistants. The application should include the following: cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement addressing the candidate’s teaching philosophy and experience, sample syllabi, a lesson plan for one class at the intermediate level, and three letters of recommendation. Review of applications will begin on April 20 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply for the position, please go to: Continue reading

Censorship in Chinese Studies (5)

Further on the Frontiers/Brill censoring:

One of the more pernicious aspects of this particular episode — which, as Kirk points out and as I know, is far from the only one at Frontiers  — is how the censorship is given ex post facto intellectual sanction by the editor(s) of the journal. If reasons of market are used by publishers to militate against challenging the Chinese State, and if hastily designed intellectual arguments from respected scholars located in North American institutions also are used to do so, the problem is far more advanced than a few unfortunate exposures of greedy business practices.

We all operate in zones of intellectual judgement, as well as in various degrees of fraught and challenging political environments; nothing is simple. Yet, if we cannot be honest about what we’re doing, then the ghost is up for sure.   One would hope that the scholarly community at large would not stand by for a surrender to deception.

Rebecca Karl, Professor
NYU History

China Story Yearbook: Power

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the publication of the China Story Yearbook: Power. You may read it online on our website (HTML):, Or download PDF and ePub versions from the ANU Press:

In 2018, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was, by most measures, more powerful than at any other time in its history and had become one of the most powerful countries in the world. Its economy faced serious challenges, including from the ongoing ‘trade war’ with the US, but still ranked as the world’s second largest. Its Belt and Road Initiative, meanwhile, continued to carve paths of influence and economic integration across several continents. A deft combination of policy, investment, and entrepreneurship has also turned the PRC into a global ‘techno-power’. It aims, with a good chance of success, at becoming a global science and technology leader by 2049 – one hundred years from the founding of the PRC. Continue reading

The special flavour of rock’n’roll Beijing

Source: BBC News (4/20/19)
The special flavour of rock’n’roll Beijing
By Stephen McDonell

Metaphor playing at the Mao Livehouse in 2013

Metaphor playing at the Mao Livehouse in 2013. Image copyright: GETTY IMAGES

The indie bands of the Chinese capital, Beijing, have their own raw, distinctive sound, says the BBC’s Stephen McDonell – partly because they are so isolated from the rest of the rock’n’roll world.

High-top black Feiyue sneakers hit the effects pedal, drums and guitars kick in and a surge of bodies moves to the sound. Cheap beer, smoky air, raucous noise; cluttered, ramshackle and bohemian… this is Beijing’s underground music scene.

Local bands are cult heroes in the dive bars of the old city: young people from all round China drift to the capital because this is where alternative music is taken seriously. People will tell you that Beijing is a rock’n’roll city. Continue reading

Literature in the Age of the Anthropocene

Gwennaël Gaffric, La Littérature à l’ère de l’Anthropocène. Une étude écocritique autour des œuvres de l’écrivain taïwanais Wu Ming-yi [Literature at the Age of Anthropocene: An Ecocritical Reading of Wu Ming-yi’s Works]
Foreword by Stéphane Corcuff
Asiathèque, Collection « Études formosanes »

Editor’s presentation:

Taking an ecocritical approach, Gwennaël Gaffric discusses in this book the literary treatment of ecological issues in Taiwan and beyond. He focuses his study on the works by Wu Ming-yi, a major figure in Taiwanese literary, artistic and militant scenes, but he seeks to expand his presentation by putting in perspective and dialogue texts from other contemporary Taiwanese authors, as well as reflections proposed by thinkers from several disciplines and all geographical horizons. He achieves an impressive synthesis, where ecology becomes an ontology of the relationship between humans and non-humans and an epistemological path to think the Anthropocene. Continue reading

Censorship in Chinese Studies (4)

This is not the first case of censorship at Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. I know of multiple instances of authors who have had their essays censored or who have pulled their essays because of censorship. Yes, one might expect censorship from a China-based publication, though that doesn’t make it any less disappointing or wrong, and I am sympathetic to the good people working at the journal who do the best they can do produce quality scholarship. But when you load the editorial board and the editorship with scholars working in universities outside of China and when the journal is distributed through Brill, the expectation is that the journal will conform to certain standards of academic freedom. I’m glad that Jasmin Lange at Brill “will not hesitate to take any necessary action to uphold our publishing ethics.” I hope that we as an academic community can also uphold our ethics and speak out against this censorship.

Kirk Denton <>

Boy’s Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols review

MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Shana Ye’s review of Boy’s Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (HK University Press, 2017), edited by Maud Lavin, Ling Yang, and Jing Jamie Zhao. The review appears below and can be read online at: My thanks to Jason McGrath, MCLC media studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Boy’s Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Queer
Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Edited by Maud Lavin, Ling Yang, and Jing Jamie Zhao

Reviewed by Shana Ye
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April, 2019)

Maud Lavin, Ling Yang, and Jing Jamie Zhao, eds. Boys’ Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Queer Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017. 292 pp. ISBN 978-9888390809 (hardback $60).

Many students in my Gender and East Asian Culture class are amazed by the almost omnipresent representation of androgynous pop idols, sexually ambiguous celebrities, and gender-bending TV shows in both Chinese mainstream media and fan communities. These cultural proliferations seem to contradict what they have in mind of what China is like from the perspective of their everyday North American lives. Some of the students, especially those with a feminist background who are concerned with the relationships between new forms of queer desire and transnational digital capitalism ironically reinscribe queer transgression into stereotypes of “Asian gender/sexual transitions.” For those who themselves are practitioners of boy’s love, cosplay, and queer cultural production, different media industries and grassroots fandom culture provide new windows through which to reflect on questions of nationality, belonging, cosmopolitan identity, and heteropatriarchy. Yet, a large number of the students still have trouble distinguishing China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea from one another. Continue reading

A specter is haunting Xi’s China: Mr. Democracy

Source: NY Review of Books (4/19/19)
A Specter Is Haunting Xi’s China: ‘Mr. Democracy’
By Ian Johnson

Pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989. China’s Communist authorities are wary about the approaching thirtieth anniversary on June 4. Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

Beijing—Something strange is happening in Xi Jinping’s China. This is supposed to be the perfect dictatorship, the most sustained period of authoritarianism since the Cultural Revolution ended more than forty years ago, a period of such damning disappointment that all but the regime’s most acquiescent apologists have become cynics or critics. And yet the past few months have also seen something potentially more interesting: the most serious critique of the system in more than a decade, led by people inside China who are choosing to speak out now, during the most sensitive season of the most sensitive year in decades.

The movement started quietly enough, with several brilliant essays written by a Chinese academic that drew an attack from his university bosses, which in turn stirred a backlash among Chinese public intellectuals. None of this means that the Communist Party is getting ready to loosen its icy grip over the country, but it is a remarkable series of events that is challenging what was supposed to be possible in Xi’s China. Continue reading

Pittsburgh position

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures of the University of Pittsburgh seeks a Chinese literature specialist for AY2020. The candidate must hold a PhD or be an advanced ABD in Chinese literature, who can teach premodern literature courses as well as courses in other areas. Teaching experience is highly desired but not required. The teaching load will be six courses per year. The appointment begins in the fall and ends in the spring 2020. Fall classes begin on Aug 26, 2019. Email a letter of application, CV, three letters of recommendation, and any other supporting materials to Pitt’s secure email address The position is filled as soon as a qualified candidate is found. Contact Hiroshi Nara ( for more information.

Posted by: Kun Qian <>

Censorship in Chinese Studies (3)

Yes, there is censorship in FLSC. Is anything published in the PRC not somehow impinged upon by those above? However, I would like to add to this conversation that when I published an article with FLSC the editor and the editorial board members went up to bat for me against those censors when I wrote about Taiwanese literature as opposed to “Taiwan literature.” In my humble opinion, tiny, incremental change is better than hand wringing refusal to engage.

Bert Scruggs <>

Censorship in Chinese Studies (2)

Inside Higher Ed has now written on FLSC‘s censorship.–Kirk

Source: Inside Higher Ed (4/19/19)
Censorship in a China Studies Journal
Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.
By Elizabeth Redden

Yet another account of censorship involving a China studies journal has come to light. And the scholars involved say this case involves an insidious “blurring of boundaries” where they were misled into thinking Western publishing standards would apply when in fact the journal in question was subject to Chinese government censorship.

Lorraine Wong and Jacob Edmond, both professors at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, have written an account of the censorship they encountered when they edited a planned special issue of the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. The journal is published by the Netherlands-based publishing company Brill in association with the China-based Higher Education Press, an entity that describes itself on its website (in Chinese) as affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The journal’s editorial board lists scholars from major American and international universities — including Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Washington — and its editor in chief is based at New York University. The journal’s editorial office is located in Beijing. Continue reading

Censorship in Chinese Studies (1)

Since 2012 Brill has had an agreement with Higher Education Press (HEP) in China to distribute the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. HEP is responsible for the editorial process and production of the journal. Brill distributes the journal in print and online to customers outside China. We are very concerned about the developments that were described in the recent blog post by Lorraine Wong and Jacob Edmond. Brill, founded in 1683, has a long-standing tradition of being an international and independent publisher of scholarly works of high quality. We are committed to the furthering of knowledge and the concepts of independent scholarship and freedom of press. The cooperation with HEP is currently under review and Brill will not hesitate to take any necessary action to uphold our publishing ethics.

Jasmin Lange
Chief Publishing Officer