Queer Taiwan and Historical Difference

Event Announcement: At the Edge of the Sea: Queer Taiwan and Historical Difference

Join us for a conversation on new ways of thinking about Taiwan’s past and future. Exploring regional diversity and global connections, four panelists draw on a range of cultural repertoire to diagnose the stakes of queer narration and Taiwan’s historical difference in the world.

Forum speakers include Eno Chen (National Chengchi University), Fan-Ting Cheng (National Taiwan University), Ta-wei Chi (National Chengchi University), and Wen Liu (Academia Sinica).

Forum discussants include Amy Brainer (University of Michigan-Dearborn) and Ying-Chao Kao (Virginia Commonwealth University).

Event Organizer & Contact: Howard Chiang (

Time: April 28, 2021 6pm in Pacific Time
Zoom Registration Link

HK court convict democracy leaders

Source: NYT (3/31/21)
Hong Kong Court Convicts Democracy Leaders Over Protest March
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The defendants, including the media tycoon Jimmy Lai and the barristers Martin Lee and Margaret Ng, were some of the city’s most prominent activists.
By Austin Ramzy

Martin Lee, the 82-year-old barrister often called the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong, before the verdict on Thursday. Credit…Isaac Lawrence/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — Seven of Hong Kong’s veteran pro-democracy leaders were found guilty on Thursday of unauthorized assembly, a verdict seen by their supporters as a severe assault on the freedom of speech and other civil liberties that once were core to the city’s identity.

Martin Lee, an 82-year-old barrister known as the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong; Jimmy Lai, 73, a media tycoon and founder of the staunchly pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper; and Margaret Ng, 73, a respected barrister and columnist, along with four others, were convicted of participating in and organizing an unauthorized march in 2019.

They each face up to five years in prison, and sentences will be handed down on April 16. A severe penalty would be seen by critics of the government as an attempt to muzzle some of the most prominent and internationally recognized figures in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. It would also send a strong message about how the courts may rule in several other trials this year on similar charges of illegal assembly. Continue reading

Manhua Modernity review

Source: Association for Chinese Animation Studies (3/31/21)
Review: John A. Crespi, Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn (University of California Press, 2020) 198 pp.
By Jeremy E. Taylor

John A. Crespi’s Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn represents an important contribution to the study of print and visual cultures in mid-twentieth-century China. Given the prominence of Republican Shanghai in Crespi’s narrative, this book might also be seen as part of a broader attempt to re-assess the place of this city in the story of modern Chinese print and visual cultures—a trend that is evident in other recent monographs, such as Pedith Chan’s The Making of a Modern Art World (2017) and Paul Bevan’s “Intoxicating Shanghai:” An Urban Montage (2020). Like such scholarship, Crespi’s book challenges what he refers to as the “anti-urban bias” (27) inherent in some earlier work in the field. Yet Manhua Modernity goes much further than this, providing a new set of methodologies for “horizontally reading” pictorial magazines. Indeed, Crespi should be congratulated for his methodological and conceptual ambition, for he seeks not simply to re-assess the evolution of manhua per se, but also to demonstrate the potential contribution of such a re-assessment to fields such as “pictorial studies” and visual cultures. Manhua Modernity contextualizes the manhua form (even as it takes issue with some of the existing literature on the topic) and updates an earlier fascination with images as stand-alone objects. Crespi’s approach also helps to free the history of manhua from a “nation-centered narrative” (34), as per Bi Keguan’s much cited work on the topic and seeks to bring the very notion of “manhua”—a term that Crespi refuses to italicize—into the mainstream of Chinese cultural history. Continue reading

University of Puerto Rico position

University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
College of Humanities, Department of Foreign Languages

Announcement for a Tenure-Track position in Chinese (Mandarin) 

The Department of Foreign Languages, College of Humanities, at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus announces a search to fill a tenure-track position in Mandarin Chinese, beginning on August 1st, 2021.

Requirements: The applicant must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Chinese or related field (e.g., foreign language teaching methodologies or applied linguistics with a specialization in Chinese) from an accredited university comparable with the University of Puerto Rico, at the time of appointment, and native or near-native proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. The applicant will need to evidence his/her ability to conduct research in their area of specialization with publications and conference presentations. They will also demonstrate a commitment to excellence in teaching (in-person and virtual instruction), and preferably will have teaching experience at the college or university level. The applicant should demonstrate availability for supervising thesis and dissertations, and commitment to actively seeking external funding. In addition, the applicant must have a good level of Spanish or willingness to learn it.

Responsibilities: The appointee will teach basic, intermediate, and advanced Chinese courses and be willing to collaborate with other departments and graduate programs. He/she will conduct research and publish in peer reviewed journals in his/her area of expertise, actively participate in university life, advise students in his/her field (including directing theses), work in teams as a teacher and on committees, and contribute to the development of the Chinese curriculum and the organization of Chinese academic and cultural events. Experience in seeking and acquiring external funding, as well as expertise in the use of computer-assisted language learning in face-to face and online modes is desirable. The appointee will fulfill all academic responsibilities in the areas of teaching, research, publication, and service. Continue reading

University of Bristol position

Lecturer in Comparative Literatures and Cultures, University of Bristol

The role

The School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol seeks to appoint a Lecturer (Grade J level B1, Pathway 1) in Comparative Literatures and Cultures. The successful candidate will demonstrate familiarity with the practices, concerns, and debates in Comparative Literature and Culture and offer expertise in literary or visual cultures. At a minimum, the successful candidate will offer expertise in French, Italian or Spanish, as well as in a second language, which could be from the same list or a non-European language, with strong preference for Mandarin. We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate intellectual breadth and an aptitude for interdisciplinary dialogue.

What will you be doing?

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute fully to our new undergraduate programme and our established, highly successful postgraduate programme in Comparative Literatures and Cultures. The successful candidate may also teach one or two units within one of our language departments and collaborate with colleagues on school-wide units. The successful candidate will pursue research of the highest international quality in their area of specialism and will seek to develop a record of grant capture through active collaboration within the School and in wider interdisciplinary initiatives. The successful candidate will assume responsibility for an appropriate share of administration. Continue reading

A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Haiyan Xie’s review of A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919-2019): English Publication and Reception, edited by Leah Gerber and Lintao Q. The review appears below and at its online home: My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919-2019):
English Publication and Reception

Edited by Leah Gerber and Lintao Qi

Reviewed by Haiyan Xie

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2021)

Leah Gerber and Lintao Qi, eds., A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919-2019): English Publication and Reception. London & New York: Routledge, 2020. xii + 187 pp. ISBN 9780367321291.

For the past several decades, translation studies have undergone several “turns,” such as that from linguistics to culture or that from culture to globalization.[1] None of these “turns,” however, seems to have escaped Eurocentric discourse, despite the many alternative voices from outside European countries. Against such a backdrop, Leah Gerber and Lintao Qi’s collection A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919-2019): English Publication and Reception is an important contribution to the current “globalization turn” of translation studies, intervening in debates and issues concerning the field of translation studies, including the study of literature in translation from a non-Eurocentric perspective. This collection of essays, focusing on Chinese literature in translation, presents an impressive tapestry of topics, perspectives, and methodologies for a rethinking of the nature of translation and translation practice in today’s globalized context. It also demonstrates the editors’ effort to deconstruct some major stereotypes and dichotomies that, to various degrees, continue to haunt the nature of literature in translation. In doing so, this book also contributes to enriching our understanding of how Chinese literature becomes part of world literature through a “minor” culture of translation. Continue reading

Statement of support for targeted academics

Below a new statement in support of all the scholars sanctioned by China, circulating as of this morning March 30. This one is truly international — Please sign.–Magnus Fiskesjö,

Dear All:

Members of the academic and research community are invited to express their solidarity with colleagues affected by the Chinese government’s recent sanctions by signing this statement. For questions about this statement, please contact

Please consider signing – thank you.

Tawdry tale of local graft becomes a #MeToo moment

Source: NYT (3/29/21)
A Tawdry Tale of Local Graft Becomes a China #MeToo Moment
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版<
A young woman from a modest background gets a long prison term. The powerful officials who paid her draw lighter punishment. The Chinese public has questions.
By Li Yuan

Credit… Jialun Deng

The woman from a poor village was only 19 years old when she started a sexual relationship with a local police chief. Soon, she had trysts with other local leaders, including police and hospital officials.

Some of the men gave her money. A lot of it. By the time the authorities caught her and charged her with extortion, Xu Yan had received $573,000 from nine men, including eight officials, according to court documents. In December, she was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay the money back, plus $869,000 in fines.

That could have been the end of what seemed to be another tawdry tale of sex and corruption. But when people online learned the details, they began to ask questions.

Why did Ms. Xu get such a long sentence? How did all of the men but one avoid prison time? Where did public officials from such a poor place get so much money? And around such powerful men, can a teenager from such a destitute area really say no? Continue reading

A Conference in Honor of Wang Zheng

Gender in Chinese Studies: A Conference in Honor of Wang Zheng

Join us as we celebrate the career and contributions of Wang Zheng, pioneering feminist and scholar, beloved teacher, and esteemed colleague!

This conference features papers by her former students as well as current graduate students, and a keynote address by Gail Hershatter (Distinguished Professor of History, UC Santa Cruz). We will reflect on the development of Chinese gender studies, past and present, and explore future directions for research. This conference is sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan.

Schedule overview (times in EDT):

9:30 am–Welcome
10:00 am–Panel #1 (“Archives and History”)
12 noon–Keynote address, Gail Hershatter
2:00 pm–Panel #2 (“Scholarship and Activism”)

10:00 am–UM graduate student panel (“Future Directions”)
11:10 am–Lunch and mingle
1:00 pm–Panel #3 (“Interspecies, Affects, and Boundary Pushing”)
2:45–Closing remarks by Wang Zheng

NOTE: Advance registration is required for this free Zoom event. Visit this link to register.

For the most up-to-date details on participants, papers, and abstracts, please see our Google Doc schedule.

Support for targeted academics

Many people are coming out in support of Newcastle University social anthropologist Jo Smith Finley who’s just been sanctioned by the Chinese regime for … doing her research, and for voicing her opinion, on the oppression of the Uyghurs in China.

Chinese Sanctions on Newcastle academic ‘counter-productive,” BBC NEWS (March 26, 2021).

China imposes sanctions on UK MPs, lawyers and academic in Xinjiang row.” The Guardian (March 26, 2021).

Her university officially tweeted their support for her, together with Universities UK, and the Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities. ( … though they stopped short of outright condemning the Chinese government’s outrage). Continue reading

What happened in Mingjing Village

Source: China Media Project (3/23/21)

The breaking story of a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday afternoon made headlines across the United States and around the world. Many outlets in the US have followed with live updates, and in the days to come there will surely be further reports and analysis asking a crucial question: Why?

The treatment of the Colorado story by US and international media starkly contrasts with the reporting of a story unfolding the very same day on the outskirts of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou – the detonation of a bomb in a historic village, killing five and injuring five others. In this case, there were no big headlines. There were no reporters on the scene. There was only a trickle of information, including a pair of terse local police notices, a news item from the state-run Xinhua News Agency that parroted the police line, and a graphic video of the aftermath circulating with little context on social media.

Today the Guangzhou story has settled into eerie silence across the Chinese media landscape. News editors are reportedly under instructions to use only official copy from Xinhua — ensuring that if the story is told at all, it is told only in the way the authorities see fit.

Left with only hints as to what might have happened in the Mingjing Village (明经村), what can we learn? Continue reading

Jia Pingwa event

Next Friday, April 9, 9:00AM EST, we’ll be talking about Jia Pingwa and my translation of his 《老生》, titled The Mountain Whisperer. Jia Pingwa will be there (a recorded message and live Q&A), as well as Nicky Harman, who will also discuss her translations of Jia’s work. It is a bit early, unfortunately, but that can’t be helped insofar as we’re coordinating three time-zones.

The link to the event is here:

Jia Pingwa: Master Storyteller of rural China


Chrisopher Payne>

Intellectual Groups in Post-Mao China

Talk title: Intellectual Groups in Post-Mao China, 1976—2000
Time and Location: Wednesday, March 31, 7pm EST, virtual talk
Organizer: Chinese program and political science department, University of Richmond


In contemporary China, people often speak of “left” or “right” as an indicator of one’s political orientation, but what does such a label mean? Commentators often say that ideological designators in China are different, or even to the contrary of, those in the West, but how did that happen? In this talk, I propose that we go back to history to find the answer. I will trace the evolution of China’s intellectual field, paying particular attention to the key debates and the formation of intellectual groups. If we view liberalism and the New Left as “communities of discourse” rather than coherent political philosophies, we will be able to appreciate the complexity of contemporary Chinese political thought.

Speaker: Junpeng Li, his profile is available at:

To attend this event, please register at: A link to the virtual talk will be sent to you the day before the event.

Posted by: Gengsong Gao

HK targets art deemed critical of China

Source: NYT (3/26/21)
‘Insult to the Country’: Hong Kong Targets Art Deemed Critical of China
Pro-Beijing lawmakers have called for work by the dissident artist Ai Weiwei to be removed from a new museum, and accused local arts groups of undermining national security.
By Vivian Wang

The M+ museum in Hong Kong is expected to open later this year, but it is already facing criticism from pro-Beijing lawmakers and newspapers for including works by dissident artists in its collection. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — With its multibillion-dollar price tag and big-name artists, M+, the museum rising on Victoria Harbor, was meant to embody Hong Kong’s ambitions of becoming a global cultural hub. It was to be the city’s first world-class art museum, proof that Hong Kong could do high culture just as well as finance.

It may instead become the symbol of how the Chinese Communist Party is muzzling Hong Kong’s art world.

In recent days, the museum, which is scheduled to open later this year, has come under fierce attack from the city’s pro-Beijing politicians. State-owned newspapers have denounced the museum’s collection, which houses important works of contemporary Chinese art, including some by the dissident artist Ai Weiwei. Hong Kong’s chief executive has promised to be on “full alert” after a lawmaker called some works an “insult to the country.”

The arts sector broadly has endured a blizzard of attacks. A government funding body said last week that it has the power to end grants to artists who promoted “overthrowing” the authorities. A front-page editorial in a pro-Beijing newspaper accused six art groups of “anti-government” activities. Continue reading

Disgust at China’s state-sponsored ‘Uyghurface’ (1)

“The worst Uyghurface cosplay you ever did see” —

More on the racist use of dressed-up Uyghurface (= like ‘Blackface’) by official Chinese representatives, dancing around as fake, “happy” Uyghur people — in New Zealand: See today’s Twitter thread by Catherine Churchman, @C_M_Churchman.

Incredibly, among those naively playing along are both the mayor of the city of Auckland, Phil Goff, and, more incredibly, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon. Or is it knowingly — thus a NZ ‘race relations commissioner’ playing along with the racist mockery of the victims of China’s genocide in Xinjiang?

Magnus Fiskesjö <>