Zhang Kechun, the subtle provocateur

There’s an accompanying video to this piece that you can watch at the link below.–Kirk

Source: Sixth Tone (2/20/18)
China, Captured: Zhang Kechun, the Subtle Provocateur
The photographer captures the beauty and sorrow of China’s Yellow River and how it represents a changing society.
By Ming Ye [Ming Ye is a writer and curator who aims to bring Chinese photography to a global audience.]

This article is part of a series on some of China’s most renowned photographers.

‘Between the mountains and water,’ 2015. Courtesy of Zhang Kechun

No natural landmark carries as much cultural significance to the Chinese as the Yellow River. From its remote source in the Tibetan plateau, the country’s second-longest river runs 5,500 kilometers through nine provinces. Thanks to its vast, fertile floodplain, the river is frequently invoked as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Today, it supplies water to 100 million people, 190 million acres of farmland, and thousands of factories in northern China. Continue reading

China dismisses criticism of blackface skit

Source: SCMP (2/22/18)
China ‘opposes’ racism but dismisses criticism of CCTV blackface skit
Foreign ministry says backlash over Lunar New Year comedy sketch is ‘futile’ effort to drive a wedge between China and African nations
By Catherine Wang

Beijing on Thursday said it was against any form of racism but dismissed widespread criticism of state broadcaster CCTV’s annual holiday variety show as an attempt to drive a wedge between China and African nations.

A comedy sketch on the country’s biggest and most popular Lunar New Year television show caused uproar for using a Chinese actress in blackface and giant fake buttocks to depict an African character, and a black performer playing a monkey. Continue reading

Encounters in the Middle Kingdom

Encounters in the Middle Kingdom: On the way in China under a psychological perspective / Begegnungen im Reich der Mitte: Mit psychologischem Blick unterwegs in China
By Ulrich Sollmann
Psychosozial-Verlag, 2018
ISBN: 978-3-8379-2547-0; ISBN E-Book: 978-3-8379-7377-8

  • The book shows how Chinese feel, how they behave, how they relate to each other, how they solve conflicts, how they experience themselves and how they make business.
  • The book defines typical patterns of experience, behaviour and impact. This is illustrated by practical examples.
  • This of course is related and explained via the Chinese culture and tradition. Continue reading

UC San Diego postdocs

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows

Two Postdoctoral/Lecturer positions emphasizing new directions in language learning and language instruction research in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego are available beginning July 2018. Initial appointments will be for one year with the possibility of renewal contingent on performance and funding availability. We encourage applicants who can combine their primary expertise in language pedagogy, language-learning in digitally mediated environments, technology-enhanced (TE) language course design with competences in cultural studies, cognitive science, translation studies, linguistics or related fields. Ethnographic approaches to language learning and language research are also welcome. Salary and level of appointment are based on qualifications and UC pay scale. Proof of authorization to work in the U. S. will be required prior to employment (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985). Continue reading

Wolf Warrior II: The Rise of China and Gender/Sexuality Politics

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “Wolf Warrior II: The Rise of China and Gender/Sexual Politics,” a compilation of short essays on the film Wolf Warrior II edited by Petrus Liu and Lisa Rofel. The essays appear below, but are best read online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/liu-rofel/.

Kirk Denton, MCLC editor

Wolf Warrior II:
The Rise of China and Gender/Sexual Politics

Compiled and edited by Petrus Liu and Lisa Rofel

Petrus Liu | Zairong Xiang | Lisa Rofel | María Viteri | Aisha Udochi | Yiping Cai | Paul Amar | Chih-ming Wang

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February 2018)

Petrus Liu and Lisa Rofel

This collection of essays originates from an international workshop called “China in the Global South: The Central Role of Gender and Sexuality,” convened by Lisa Rofel (UC Santa Cruz) and Huang Yingying (Renmin University of China) and held in Beijing from September 15 to 17, 2017. It continued a conversation that began with the first workshop on the same theme, held a year ago in Santa Cruz, that brought together a group of scholars, activists, and NGO workers to reflect on the impact of China’s rise on other countries in the Global South. With the country’s national “going out” policy (中国走出去), China has become the largest South-South cooperation provider, with investment in Latin America, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. While China’s interactions with the Global South have been the subject of much attention and study, the issues of gender and sexuality have been largely ignored. The workshop asked experts from China, Africa, Latin America, and the US working on security, migration, environmental, economic, and social issues to collectively think about the role of gender and sexuality in China’s relationships with the Global South Collectively, the workshop brought together experts from China, Africa, Latin America, and the US who work on gender and sexuality, as well as on security, migration, environmental, economic, and social issues, to collectively think about the role of gender and sexuality in China’s relationships with the Global South. Continue reading

Environmental Humanities, China and Japan–cfp

“Environmental Humanities, China and Japan”
CFP: Roundtable at the Modern Language Association convention
Chicago, IL, January 3-6, 2019

This roundtable considers recent developments in the intersection of modern Chinese and Japanese studies and the environmental humanities, broadly defined. The roundtable is organized by the Modern and Contemporary Chinese forum and cosponsored by the Japanese since 1900 forum.

Please send a 300-word abstract, a short bibliography, and a short bio to Christopher K. Tong (christopherktong@gmail.com) by March 9, 2018. While MLA membership is not required at this stage, presenters will be asked to join the MLA as part of the proposal process.

Historical genres of the Chinese Nanyang–cfp

CFP: Historical Genres of the Chinese Nanyang (1650–1980)
MLA special session
Chicago, Jan. 3-6, 2019

We are seeking panelists for a 2019 MLA special session “Historical Genres of the Chinese Nanyang (1650-1980).” We are interested in papers that explore some of following questions:

What role does genre play in shaping the direction of Chinese-language historical narratives of Nanyang, the South Seas, or Southeast Asia, from premodern to modern times? How are Confucian and other regional traditions tapped into and appropriated in a discourse on a sea-oriented culture/nation? How does Chinese-language historiography of Southeast Asia evolve over time and space? What rhetoric is employed, what is the intention of such a narrative, and how does a Chinese-language historical account of the South Seas project an identity of an author, a community, a nation, or an empire? How is the South Seas narrated in different genres, i.e., fiction, various types of history, and poetry? What does this say about genres themselves?

Please send a 250-word paper abstract and a CV by March 10 to Yuanfei Wang yuanfeiw@uga.edu and Nicholas Y. H. Wong at nicwong@uchiago.edu for consideration.

Seeking scholarly advisor for In Memoriam: Liu Xiaobo

Layman Poupard Publishing seeks a scholarly advisor for a memorial entry on Liu Xiaobo to be included in the Contemporary Literary Criticism Yearbook 2017, which will be published by Gale in September.

Advisors will be asked to recommend previously published scholarly essays on Liu Xiaobo and to summarize critical trends on his work. They will also vet a 1500-word background essay and a primary works checklist.

Advisors will be credited in print and paid an honorarium. Academic affiliation is required.

Interested parties should contact Cindi Barton at  info@lpppub.com.

For more information about Layman Poupard Publishing and the Literature Criticism series visit http://www.lpppub.com.

Lo Ch’ing exhibition

The Poet’s Brush: Chinese Ink Paintings by Lo Ch’ing  
February 1 – March 17
Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, UMBC

The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) presents an exhibition of paintings by Lo Ch’ing (羅青), a Taiwanese poet-painter working in contemporary ink art. The exhibition, curated by University of Maryland professor Jason Kuo, comprises 30 artworks and represents the artist’s first show in the United States in ten years. Critically acclaimed both in Taiwan and China for his painting and his poetry, Lo Ch’ing’s works have been shown internationally at venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Saatchi Gallery in London. Continue reading

Changpian no. 17

长篇 // Changpian // Longform

Welcome to the 17th edition of Changpian, a selection of feature and opinion writing in Chinese. With other resources devoted to the many interesting sound bites from Chinese social media, this newsletter focuses instead on some of the wealth of longer writing that is produced in Chinese, both in traditional news media and on platforms like WeChat.

Changpian includes any nonfiction writing, from stories and investigations to interviews and blog posts, that I found worth my time – and that you might like as well. It aims to be relevant to an understanding of Chinese society today, covering topics in and outside the news cycle.

The selection is put together by me, Tabitha Speelman, a Dutch journalist and researcher currently based in Leiden, The Netherlands. As always, feedback is very welcome (tabitha.speelman@gmail.com or @tabithaspeelman). Back issues can be found here. Continue reading

Made in China summer school 2018

Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to announce the 2018 Made in China Summer School—’Chinese Labourscapes: Transregional Perspectives on Work and Rights’—which will be held in Florence, Italy, from 9 to 13 July.

This event will bring together leading scholars from all over the world for a series of presentations and discussions with students, trade unionists, and NGO activists. For an outline of the initiative and a list of confirmed speakers, please refer to this webpage.

Up to 30 participants will be admitted and applications can be submitted until 25 March through this online form.

No enrolment fee will be required to attend the Summer School, but participants will have to pay for their own transport, food, and accommodation. We have reserved rooms at the Summer School venue, and will be available to assist with all necessary booking arrangements. Additionally, up to four scholarships will be awarded to students to fully cover accommodation expenses.

If you have further inquiries, please contact us at micsummerschool@chinoiresie.info.

We hope you will help us circulate this announcement.

Best regards,

Ivan Franceshini (ivan.franceschini@anu.edu.au) and Nicholas Loubere

Shameless Africa skit in CCTV spring festival gala

Source: Sup China (2/16/18)
China’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala Included A Truly Shameless Africa Skit, Featuring Blackface
A lowlight from the most-watched program on the planet.
By Anthony Tao

We need to talk about that Africa skit. You know the one.

Let me say up front that it’s dangerous and somewhat irresponsible to analyze a Chinese production — particularly one intended solely for a Chinese audience, whose understanding of ethnicity and race is filtered through a complicated and unique culture and history — through a purely American lens. I’ve watched this skit carefully, and I can’t find any intent to offend. Which is to say, there’s no real need to call it racist.

But this skit is clearly offensive — to sensibility, to foreigners, to intelligence, to one’s self-respect. To theater. To creativity. It is condescending, and willfully so, making it all the more offensive. It is arrogant and tone-deaf and shallow. It’s hard not to be embarrassed. Continue reading

Review of Chinese sci-fi

Posted by: Chaohua Wang <sm.ca.wangchaohua@gmail.com>
Source: London Review of Books 40 No. 3 (2/8/18)
Even what doesn’t happen is epic
By Nick Richardson

  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
    Head of Zeus, 416 pp, £8.99, January 2016, ISBN 978 1 78497 157 1
  • The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen
    Head of Zeus, 512 pp, £8.99, July 2016, ISBN 978 1 78497 161 8
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
    Head of Zeus, 724 pp, £8.99, May 2017, ISBN 978 1 78497 165 6
  • The Wandering Earth by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
    Head of Zeus, 447 pp, £8.99, October 2017, ISBN 978 1 78497 851 8
  • Invisible Planets edited and translated by Ken Liu
    Head of Zeus, 383 pp, £8.99, September 2017, ISBN 978 1 78669 278 8

Science fiction isn’t new to China, as Cixin Liu explains in Invisible Planets, an introduction to Chinese sci-fi by some of its most prominent authors, but good science fiction is. The first Chinese sci-fi tales appeared at the turn of the 20th century, written by intellectuals fascinated by Western technology. ‘At its birth,’ Cixin writes, science fiction ‘became a tool of propaganda for the Chinese who dreamed of a strong China free of colonial depredations’. One of the earliest stories was written by the scholar Liang Qichao, a leader of the failed Hundred Days’ Reform of 1898, and imagined a Shanghai World’s Fair, a dream that didn’t become a reality until 2010. Perhaps surprisingly, given the degree of idealistic fervour that followed Mao’s accession, very little utopian science fiction was produced under communism (in the Soviet Union there was plenty, at least initially). What little there was in China was written largely for children and intended to educate; it stuck to the near future and didn’t venture beyond Mars. By the 1980s Chinese authors had begun to write under the influence of Western science fiction, but their works were suppressed because they drew attention to the disparity in technological development between China and the West. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s, when Deng’s reforms began to bite, that Chinese science fiction experienced what Cixin calls a ‘renaissance’. Continue reading

China’s Leftover Women review (2)

I first became interested in the topic of Chinese leftover women in 2010, when the term was already common in China and had been reported on in English-language media. I am grateful for Leta Hong Fincher’s work on the subject and have cited it in articles that I wrote for Salon and Foreign Policy in 2012, after she and I had corresponded over the phone and email.

Since 2010, I have researched and written on the topic and have also raised awareness of it through creative means, including the Chaoji Shengnu cartoon series that was published starting in 2013, and a stage play called “The Leftover Monologues” that debuted in Beijing in 2014. When Leta’s book was released, I decided not to read it because I was working on the manuscript for my own book, and I chose to stay focused on the stories of the women whose lives I feature in it.

The topic of gender and dating dynamics is such a fascinating lens through which to understand modern China, and as is true of so many China stories, it is complex, nuanced, and benefits from multiple perspectives. I recognize Leta’s important contributions to the topic and the awareness she has raised for it. The women I interviewed led me to see things from a different perspective and I have relied on the work of other scholars, as referenced in my book, to relay their stories.My publisher stands with me as I say that ultimately, we are all rooting for the same women.

Roseann Lake <roseannlake@economist.com>

Ecologizing Taiwan–cfp

Ecologizing Taiwan: Nature, Society, Culture–Call for Papers
Co-edited by David Wang and Andrea Bachner

The International Journal of Taiwan Studies, cosponsored by the European Association of Taiwan Studies and Academia Sinica, is a principal outlet for the dissemination of cutting-edge research on Taiwan. We are currently inviting submissions for a special issue titled Ecologizing Taiwan: Nature, Society, Culture.

This special issue proposes Taiwan as a point of departure to situate ecological thought and think beyond contemporary bio- and eco-politics. Extending the definition of ecology to encompass social relations and human subjectivity as well as environmental concerns, we propose to put all we do, think, and feel about Taiwan in the context of the whole to which we belong: the human, nonhuman, and post-human Sinosphere as well as the earth. Continue reading