Migrant Workers and Subalternity bibliography

Dear MCLC list members,

A new theme called “Migrant Workers and Subalternity” has been added to the MCLC Resource Center bibliographies. See (One can also access the bibliography from the main MCLC Resource Center site, by clicking Bibliographies > Literature and then scrolling down to Theme.) The bibliography was compiled by yours truly, with the help of a dozen fellow scholars who were kind enough to offer feedback on a first draft. It includes material on literature and other arts and media (music, film, digital video, television, photography, art, museums/exhibtions, etc). I am grateful to Kirk Denton for retaining this approach in the theme’s presentation. List members are invited to point out any omissions and to suggest additions as new publications appear.

Migrant worker culture is an important component of Chinese cultural production today. It offers diverse entry points for scholars, translators, and other commentators such as labor activists. Keywords include migration, precarity, subalternity, rurality and urbanity, exile; labor, gender; social justice, activism; and the nexus of aesthetics and ideology (not to mention global capitalism). In addition to these generic categories, there is the question of cultural specificity or Chineseness. This is manifest in issues that range from migrant worker poetry’s claims of kinship with the Shijing tradition to the complexity of state-society relations in cultural production in the PRC today. An example of the latter is the interaction of the grassroots “cultural education” undertaken in the Picun Migrant Workers Home (music, a museum, digital video, literature, theater, “shadow” editions of the Spring Festival Gala, etc) with the cultural apparatus of the state. Continue reading

Shanghai International Film Fest back on

Source: China Daily (7/17/20)
Shanghai Intl Film Festival back on track

Photo provided to The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival will be the first major film event to take place in China since the outbreak of the pandemic. The event will take place from Jul 25 to Aug 2.

In May, festival organizers announced that the event, originally scheduled to take place from June 13 to 22, would be delayed because of COVID-19.

It was announced on Jul 16 that Taopiaopiao, Alibaba’s movie ticketing application, will be the official ticketing platform for the film festival.

Meanwhile, will be the official live streaming platform and online showcase partner of the festival.

“We are grateful for the support of film institutions from home and abroad, film lovers and others during the pandemic,” read the notice released on May 20. “We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused by the delay.”

The film festival will be followed by the Aug 3-7 Shanghai TV festival.

[See also Shanghai Film Festival Sells out in Mere Hours]

Palace Museum novel

Source: China Daily (7/21/20)
Revised novel on Palace Museum treasure published
By Xinhua |


A revised version of the novel “Shou Zang,” which means “treasure keeping” in English, has been published by the People’s Literature Publishing House to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City, the now Palace Museum, in Central Beijing.

Written by woman novelist Xuan Se, the novel tells the story of a group of “treasure keepers” escorting a special train transferring treasure from the Palace Museum down south to avoid damage from the Japanese invasion in the 1930s.

From 1933 to 1947, a total of 13,427 boxes of relics from the museum were transported to Nanjing, now the capital of Jiangsu Province in east China, and then to the west of the country until the Chinese people won the victory against Japanese aggression.

The story is also expected to be put on the big screen.

Murong Xuecun

Source: SCMP (7/18/20)
‘I’m a Chinese writer, I write about this place and I don’t wish to go elsewhere,’ says Murong Xuecun
The enfant terrible of Chinese literature talks about growing up in rural poverty, becoming a writer in the internet age, and why he thinks we’re living in dangerous, chaotic times

Chinese writer Murong Xuecun. Photo: Handout

Chinese writer Murong Xuecun. Photo: Handout

Frosty beginnings: In the late 1950s and early 60s a great famine swept across China and my paternal grandfather starved to death. Fearing hunger, my grandmother fled from Shandong province to northeast China with her three children in tow, including my mother. She would go on to meet my father in a small village in Jilin province. The village was situated in the foothills of the Changbai Mountains, a range that crosses Manchuria and North Korea. In winter, the place could freeze like ice cream.

I was born there at the tail end of the Cultural Revolution, in 1974, the middle child of three but I have few memories from those years. When I was two years old, my parents took us back to Shandong, where we lived in Xunzhai Village, a tiny little place situated about 30km from the port city of Qingdao.

My prevailing memory from this period is one of poverty. We only ate meat twice a year and all my clothes were patched and worn. When, in 1988, my father died, my mother took us back to Jilin. To this day, I never know whether to say that I’m a Shandonger or a Northeasterner. Continue reading

Georgetown lecturer position

Georgetown University
Lecturer for Modern Chinese Literature/Culture

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University is seeking a lecturer for one 3-credit upper-level course on modern Chinese literature and/or culture to be conducted entirely in Chinese in the Fall semester. The ideal candidate should have a Ph.D. or be ABD with specialization in modern Chinese literature or culture; previous college-level teaching in North America is preferred. The course will be taught online via Zoom (as will all of the department’s classes this fall). There is a strong likelihood that an additional course will be needed in the Spring semester. Please send a letter of application and CV (including courses previously taught), along with names and contact information for two references, to Application review will begin immediately.

A brief history of HK protest music

Source: LARB, China Channel (7/17/20)
A Song for Hong Kong
A brief history of Hong Kong’s protest music
By Alec Ash

Crowds at Hong Kong’s Umbrella protests, 2014. Parts of this article first appeared on the LARB China Blog in 2017. All photos by the author.

Hong Kong has long been a city of song. In the 60s and 70s it was the music bars of Wan Chai and the neon-lit karaoke joints of Kowloon. In the 80s and 90s, Cantopop became central to the city’s cultural identity (as well being go-to KTV picks in mainland China, an important form of soft power). After the handover to China in 1997 Cantopop lost its mojo – supplanted by K-Pop – but over the last ten years a new musical form has come to Hong Kong: the protest song.

Song is often married to dissent, from Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ in 1939, with its haunting arboreal imagery of lynching, to Bob Dylan’s 1963 ‘Masters of War’ at the height of US-Soviet tensions. In Hong Kong, musicians took up the mantle in response to Beijing’s slow encroachments on their freedoms, from the protest pop of Denise Ho (subject of a New Yorker profile just last year) to the crowd-sourced anthem of last year’s protests (see my LARB piece following a frontline fighter). Now a new security law muscled in by Beijing has muzzled them. To mark the city’s silencing – and in hope that its voice will still be heard – here are personal vignettes of four periods of the city’s recent history, through the prism of three songs and a silent coda. Continue reading

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies MA, UNC

Take a journey with us.

The M.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is a two-year, two-track interdisciplinary humanities degree that prepares students to engage with the social, environmental, and political challenges facing countries in Asia and the Middle East, and their transnational communities. This degree will provide students with deep cultural knowledge of Asia and the Middle East while training them in the intellectual flexibility necessary to grasp and work with dynamic issues as they arise. By applying humanist approaches to real world problems, students will learn to evaluate research and apply analytical methodologies from various disciplines to specific situations and questions.

Get in touch:

Learn more:

Wuhan Diary review

Source: SCMP (7/16/20)
Review: Wuhan Diary: Chinese writer Fang Fang’s nuanced, personal account of life under quarantine
Fang Fang documents confusing, conflicting and distressing circumstances in real time. The book collects 60 social media posts, written daily during the world’s strictest Covid-19 lock­down
By Yeung Ji-ging

Chinese novelist Fang Fang. Photo: Getty Images

Chinese novelist Fang Fang. Photo: Getty Images

Wuhan Diary, or at least its recent English transla­tion, is a work whose reputation precedes it. Its author, a 65-year-old award-winning writer known as Fang Fang, was targeted with online trolling and state censor­ship after she began posting about the coronavirus outbreak on her personal Weibo account.

Outrage grew in April after Harper Collins began marketing an English-language compilation of her posts, to be published in book form in June. Fang Fang was accused of casting the nation’s coronavirus response in a poor light. Continue reading

Pandemic Asia

Special Issue: Pandemic Asia, Part I (Table of Contents)
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 18 | Issue 14 | Number 1 (July 11, 2020)

Jeff Kingston, Editor of this special issue, assembled a team of contributors from all over the region and is grateful for their working on a tight deadline to assess the pandemic in Asia as of July 2020. In editing this volume he received valuable editorial assistance from Laney Bahan, guidance from Mark Selden and production processing assistance from Joelle Tapas, Hannah LaTourette and Yayoi Koizumi who shepherded the manuscripts from submission to publication with patience and acuity.


  1. Jeff Kingston – Introduction
  2. Michael Bartos – Modern Pandemics

East Asia and the Pacific

  1. Michael Bartos – Australia and the Rhythm of the Covid-19 Epidemic
  2. David Moser – A Fearful Asymmetry: Covid-19 and America’s Information Deficit with China
  3. Anonymous – Social Media and China’s Coronavirus Outbreak
  4. Simon Cartledge – So What? Hong Kong’s Covid-19 Success Won’t be Why It Remembers 2020
  5. Brian Hioe – “Asia’s Orphan” During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  6. Ian Rowen – Crafting the Taiwan Model for COVID-19: An Exceptional State in Pandemic Territory
  7. S. Nathan Park – Fostering Trust in Government During a Pandemic: The Case of South Korea
  8. Azby Brown – Information as the Key: Evaluating Japan’s Response to COVID-19
  9. Togo Kazuhiko – The First Phase of Japan’s Response to COVID-19 Continue reading

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

National Security Law of HK webinar

The University of Sydney China Studies Centre
Webinar: National Security Law of Hong Kong: Legal and Social Implications
Time: 11:00am-12:30pm (AEST)
Date: Thursday 23 July 2020

Presented by the China Studies Centre in partnership with the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law and the Media@Sydney Seminar Series at the University of Sydney

On July the 1st, 1997, the sovereignty of Hong Kong was reverted to China on the model of “one country, two systems,” guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and later enshrined in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The recent enactment of the Hong Kong national security law has fundamentally challenged the “one country, two systems” model. Does the new law contradict the constitutional and legal framework of the HKSAR? Is the Hong Kong national security law any different from or similar to national security laws in other countries and in China? In the 23 years since the handover, major changes have taken place in the media and civil society of Hong Kong. What do these changes tell us about what may come from now?

To discuss these issues, please join us for a webinar event featuring:

Professor Bing Ling,Professor of Chinese Law, The University of Sydney Law School
Professor Vivienne Bath, Professor of Chinese & International Business Law, The University of Sydney Law School
Ms Yin-ting Mak,* former Chair of the Hong Kong Journalists Association
Associate Professor Victoria Hui, Department of Political Science, The University of Notre Dame, U.S.A.
Dr Joyce Nip (Chair), Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, and Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney

  • Please note a change of speaker from Shirley Yam to Yin-ting Mak

HK voters defy Beijing

Source: NYT (7/13/20)
Hong Kong Voters Defy Beijing, Endorsing Protest Leaders in Primary
Voters turned out in high numbers to cast ballots in an unofficial primary for the city’s pro-democracy camp despite government warnings it might be against the new security law.
By Austin Ramzy, Elaine Yu and Tiffany May

Voters waited to cast ballots in a primary the opposition camp held over the weekend to select candidates for the upcoming elections. Credit…Jerome Favre/EPA, via Shutterstock

HONG KONG — Defying warnings from local officials that the Hong Kong opposition’s unofficial primary vote could be illegal under a sweeping new security law, hundreds of thousands of people chose avowedly pro-democracy candidates to run in citywide elections this year, results released Monday showed.

Early returns showed that the more than 600,000 people who had voted favored candidates who were prominent supporters of the months of demonstrations that have gripped the semiautonomous Chinese city. Their choices indicated a desire to see the goals of the protest movement pressed within the government itself, but could lead to an intensifying confrontation with the authorities, who could bar some from running.

“So many people came out to vote despite the threat that it may violate the national security law,” said Lester Shum, a 27-year-old activist and candidate who was among the front-runners on Monday. “That means Hong Kong people have still not given up.” Continue reading

China Perspectives–cfp

My name is Allison Du, Communication Coordinator at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC). The CEFC is a publicly-funded research centre based in Hong Kong and the publisher of China Perspectives, a quarterly interdisciplinary academic journal indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). Our journal focuses on the political, social, economic, and cultural evolutions of contemporary China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.

As you may know, China Perspectives can provide useful materials for research and event planning in the MCLC Resource Center. Published in English and in French, our journal offers up-to-date, original, and solid knowledge for research and education, in particular in the field of China studies.

Peer-reviewed research articles published in China Perspectives are both comprehensive and updated, with topics ranging from the Chinese political regime under Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese investments in urban Africa, social movements in Hong Kong, grassroot organizations in contemporary China, to the Chinese legal system. Continue reading

Hong Kong Studies Research School

2020 Hong Kong Studies Research School (Targets: Current PhD Students)

Established in July 2015, The Academy of Hong Kong Studies (AHKS) of The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) is the first academy dedicated to fostering Hong Kong studies within local tertiary institutions.

To encourage young scholars to conduct research on Hong Kong-related topics, the AHKS is organizing the “2020 Hong Kong Studies Research School”. The initiative is a FREE and intensive training program targeting current PhD students with opportunities provided to participants to present their papers at the Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference.

Detailed programme information and application forms are attached and also available at the AHKS website:

We would be most grateful if you could kindly disseminate the message to your students or friends who are currently pursuing a PhD. Thank you very much for your kind assistance.

Best regards,

The Academy of Hong Kong Studies
The Education University of Hong Kong

Envisioning East Asian Art History: 20 Books in 2020

In an unprecedented year, 2020 will also see the publication of an exceptionally diverse and wide-ranging list of books on East Asian art history. Please join us for “Envisioning East Asian Art History: 20 Books in 2020,” and meet the first-time authors of these monographs to consider the present and future of East Asian art history.  We hope to come together as a community to celebrate the breadth and richness of these new publications, ranging from the tomb arts of the 3rd century BC to contemporary Japanese calligraphy, from early modern painting to textile arts, from canonical classics of calligraphy to modern design.

We ask: What can art history do to facilitate mutual understanding of complex histories of exchange, encounter, and creation?  What kinds of historical sympathy can we achieve through writing and teaching art history?  What challenges do we face, and how do we envision the role of this field in the crucial conversations of the future?

Friday, July 31, 11 AM-1 PM EST (8-11 PST, 4-6 PM UK, 11-1 AM SGT)
Read the books and meet the authors at


Organized by the Steering Committee for the Society for the Promotion of International English-Language Scholarship on East Asian Art History (Aurelia Campbell, Yi Gu, Christine I Ho, Nozomi Naoi, Stephen H Whiteman, Xue Lei)
With support from University of Washington Press, University of California Press, Columbia University Press, and Harvard University Asia Center Press

Christine I. Ho
Assistant Professor, History of Art and Architecture
University of Massachusetts Amherst