Posts

Asia Society’s ‘Mirror Image’ exhibit

Source: The China Project (9/14/22)
Asia Society’s ‘Mirror Image’ exhibition presents new perspectives on Chinese art
The latest exhibition at the Asia Society spotlights a group of wildly talented Chinese artists born after 1976, the year of Mao Zedong’s death, and contemplates the ever-changing Chinese identity in the context of globalization.<
By Zhao Yuanyuan

Nabuqi’s installation “How to Be ‘Good Life.’” Photo courtesy of the Asia Society.

In 1998, a groundbreaking exhibition put together by the Asia Society caused enthusiastic ripples among art lovers and critics in the U.S. Curated by art historian Gāo Mínglù 高名潞, the sprawling show, titled Inside Out: New Chinese Art, was the first of its kind to survey more than 80 works created between 1985 and 1998 by artists from the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Featuring a significantly greater range of artistic media than any previous exhibition of contemporary Chinese art, the show offered visitors a window into how “transnational forces,” as termed by Gao, influenced Chinese artists’ lives and ideas.

Fast forward to 2022 and the Asia Society’s latest exhibition, Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity, which opened in New York in June and will run through December. As a sequel of sorts to 1998’s seminal event, the exhibition poses a crucial question: What is meant by “Chinese” art in the age of globalization and digital revolution, where ideas fluidly cross geographic, generational, and cultural boundaries? Continue reading

New viral game that WeChat is going bonkers over

Source: The China Project (9/16/22)
Sheep a Sheep is the new viral game that WeChat is going bonkers over
A nearly impossible mobile game that only took a team of three to make is making millions of people in China lose their minds.
By Zhao Yuanyuan

Sheep a Sheep

Remember Jump and Jump (跳一跳 tiàoyītiào)? The one-touch mini game within the Chinese ubiquitous social app WeChat that was a cultural phenomenon in 2018? Neither do we. Because now there’s a new mobile game that has taken China by storm, one satisfying tile merge at a time.

Enter yánglegèyáng 羊了个羊, which, loosely translated into English, means “Sheep a Sheep.” Accessed via WeChat’s mini program platform, the ridiculously addictive game was released in early September, but it wasn’t until this week that its popularity exploded. As of this morning, Sheep a Sheep has amassed over 60 million players. For comparison, Genshin Impact (原神 yuánshén), the popular action role-playing game that was developed and published by Shanghai-based developer miHoYo in September 2020, currently enjoys an international player base of approximately 60 million users, a number that Sheep a Sheep achieved in just a few weeks.

Elsewhere on the Chinese internet, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the game. On Weibo, Sheep a Sheep has spurred nearly 20 trending hashtags, with the most popular one generating more than 2.6 billion views. On short-video app Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese twin, videos about the title have racked up north of 3.7 billion plays. At multiple points in the past few days, the game crashed as it was overwhelmed by an excessive number of players. Continue reading

UPenn Chinese Studies Librarian position

The University of Pennsylvania is seeking a Chinese Studies Librarian. Some information can be found below, and more at the following link: https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/en-US/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/details/Chinese-Studies-Librarian_JR00060103.

Job Description Summary

Reporting to the Director of the Center for Global Collections, the Chinese Studies Librarian is responsible for collection development, research support, and library services for all aspects of Chinese Studies at the Penn Libraries. This librarian will sustain Penn’s existing strengths in Chinese librarianship while identifying and pursuing future directions in collections and research. As a member of the Center for Global Collections, the Chinese Studies Librarian will contribute their expertise and insight to the collective work of the Center. Continue reading

Buffalo position

Assistant Teaching Professor of Chinese Language position at the University at Buffalo

The Department of Linguistics at the University at Buffalo is seeking a full-time, Assistant Teaching Professor of Chinese, for a 10-month (academic-year commitment), non-tenure track position with an initial three-year appointment with possible renewal, contingent on performance, department need, and availability of funding.

The successful candidate’s responsibilities include teaching three courses per semester, possibly including a content course (e.g., in Chinese linguistics or culture), and providing administrative direction to the Chinese Language Program, including tasks such as hiring additional instructional faculty, training and supervising graduate and undergraduate student teaching assistants and other instructors, conducting placement tests, and curriculum development. There is no research obligation for this position, and there is potential for promotion to associate teaching professor. The position offers competitive faculty salary and state employee benefits.

The successful candidate must be able to regularly teach in-person classes on the University at Buffalo. The start date can either be in the Spring semester of 2023 or the Fall of 2023 depending on candidate availability.

Review of applications will begin on October 17, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom.

For more information about the position and instructions for how to apply, please visit: https://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu/postings/37566.

Posted by: Jeff Good <jcgood@buffalo.edu>

Wittenberg position

Adjunct Faculty – Chinese
Wittenberg University, World Languages & Cultures
Springfield, OH
Ref. No.: 1-82013-50192; Position ID: 153236

About Wittenberg University:

Please visit the About Wittenberg page to learn more about the University.

Job Description:

Wittenberg University is seeking an Adjunct Chinese (Mandarin) Instructor to teach Beginning Chinese II and Intermediate Chinese II during the Spring semester of 2023. To express interest, please submit your information electronically through our online application process described below.

Requirements:

A master’s degree in Chinese is required with PhD preferred.  College-level teaching and work experience is also preferred.

Additional Information:

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Please see our notice of nondiscrimination housed on our website. In that spirit, we are especially interested in receiving applications from individuals who would contribute to the diversity of our community. Wittenberg University is committed to preventing and addressing sexual misconduct in our campus community. Click here to view our Title IX policies. The successful candidate will demonstrate support for diversity, equity and inclusiveness as well as participate in maintaining a respectful, positive work environment. Continue reading

New Ailing Zhang English manuscript

Source: USC Libraries (9/2/22)
New English Manuscript Discovered in Ailing Zhang (Eileen Chang) papers
By Nathan Masters

A page from the recently discovered manuscript

A new English translation of Eileen Chang’s short story “Xiang Jian Huan,” translated as “She Said Smiling,” has been discovered in the author’s papers in the USC Libraries’ Special Collections. The twenty-two typewritten pages were previously believed to be related to Chang’s translation of the 1892 novel Hai Shang Hua (The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai)—until a patron noticed that they came from a different project. With the help of the patron and Professor Yunwen Gao of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, archivist Bo Doub and Chinese studies librarian Tang Li of the USC Libraries confirmed the discovery and moved the manuscript to its own folder within Box 2 of the collection.

Professor Gao, a USC alumna and Chang scholar, wrote the following introduction to the manuscript:

The 22 pages of manuscripts from the Zhang Ailing paper archive at USC has been discovered recently. Scholars from mainland China (Li and Zhou) have published research articles to prove that it is one version of the English translation/transwriting of Chang’s 1978 short story “Joyful Reunion” (相見歡). The Chinese title of the story is named after a Tang and Song tune pattern (cipai 詞牌), which describes the plot of two cousins, neither happy with their marriage, get together in their middle age, chat with each other with the company of one’s daughter, reminisce their youth, and end the conversation with a shocking moment when one forgets about telling an anecdote while the other forgets about having heard of it a few months before. The story was first drafted in the 1950s, yet not until 1978 did the story get published in Taiwan. In 1983, a revised version of the story was published in the short stories collection titled “The Story of Regret” (惘然記). In the decades in between, the story, like many other stories written around the same time, went through rounds and rounds of revision, translation, or as scholars call it, transwriting. In the article by Li and Zhou, they proved that there are at least two versions of the English translation of “Joyful Reunion,” translated as “She Said Smiling,” according to a letter from April 29, 1964 by Eileen Chang. The English manuscript found at USC, which is missing the title page, has many similarities with the Chinese version of “Joyful Reunion” and the English version “She Said Smiling” so that the authors Li and Zhou concluded that it might be the manuscript of “She Said Smiling.” Continue reading

The Backstreets

Source: NYT (9/14/22)
A Uyghur Author and Translator Were Detained. Now, Their Novel Speaks For Them.
Writing and translating “The Backstreets,” a book about the oppressive environment faced by Uyghurs in China, was a danger to those involved.
By Tiffany May

Perhat Tursun in Xinjiang, 2010.

Perhat Tursun in Xinjiang, 2010. Credit…Nijat Hushur

Perhat Tursun was eager for his novel, “The Backstreets,” to come out in the United States. It would be the first Uyghur novel to appear in English, and he considered the grim tale of one man’s struggle within an oppressive environment one of his most consequential works.

But Darren Byler, who translated the volume and is a leading scholar on Uyghur culture and Chinese surveillance, was reluctant to go ahead. The text was ready by 2015, but the crackdown on Uyghurs living in China’s far western region of Xinjiang left him concerned for Tursun, and for his Uyghur co-translator. Publishing the book in English, he feared, might heighten their exposure.

Hundreds of Uyghur intellectuals were detained in China as part of a repression campaign targeting predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities that started in 2016, then escalated. Researchers say that as many as one million or more Uyghurs and Kazakhs were sent to indoctrination camps that the government called vocational training programs. Expressions of cultural identity or faith were heavily restricted. The United Nations said that the detentions could be considered “crimes against humanity.”

By 2018, Tursun and Byler’s co-translator, a Uyghur man who asked to remain anonymous, were among those who disappeared into the camps. The New York Times confirmed the co-translator’s identity with Byler and with the book’s publisher, and is withholding his name to protect him from retaliation from the state. Continue reading

Studies of Translation and Interpretation–cfp

《翻譯學研究集刊》第二十六輯徵稿
截稿日期:2022 年11月30日
Call for Papers
Studies of Translation and Interpretation Volume 26 (2023)
Deadline: November 30, 2022

About the Journal:

Studies of Translation and Interpretation is published by the Taiwan Association of Translation and Interpretation. Since 1997 it has published one Spring volume annually and is currently indexed in TCI-HSS (Taiwan Citation Index – Humanities and Social Sciences) hosted by the National Central Library of Taiwan and ACI (Academic Citation Index). The journal has published exclusively online since Volume 16.

Mission and Scope:

We are an open-access journal that welcomes submissions on a rolling basis. Articles we accept include: original research and translation/book reviews. While our volume is not thematic, we would like to especially encourage submissions that challenge or subvert conventional thinking on the theory, practice, and pedagogy of translation and interpretation. We thus look forward to submissions that demonstrate bold and provocative alternatives—new concepts and different framings—that instigate change in how we valorize, evaluate, and teach the processes and products of translation and interpretation. Continue reading

Sisters Who Make Waves

Source: The China Project (9/7/22)
Same-sex ‘ships’ on the summer’s hottest talent show in China
By Nathan Wei

‘Shipping,’ a once-niche fan fiction practice of pairing two celebrities or fictional characters in a romantic relationship, has become something of a national pastime in China this summer, thanks to a popular reality show with an all-female cast.

As one of the most talked-about talent shows in Chinese television this summer, the recently finished Sisters Who Make Waves, Season 3 (乘风破浪的姐姐) has gained popularity among both women and LGBTQ audiences for weaving feminist and queer themes into performances. This is a defiant feat in an age where China has greatly stepped up its censorship of LGBTQ content on screens large and small.

Produced by Mango TV, a video-streaming site under the Hunan Broadcasting System, the show features 30 female celebrities competing against one another and fighting for a position in an all-women band to be formed at the final. While its format is nothing new, Sisters invites only contestants who are above the age of 30 and have established their careers in respective fields. However, while on the show, they were assigned new challenges that required skills beyond their expertise. Famous singers were asked to learn K-pop choreography, while veteran actors were made to sing onstage. With this novel perspective, the show branded itself as focusing on all-age women’s self-exploration and growth.

When the first season of Sisters came out in 2020, the show received many positive reviews from female audiences who praised it for being refreshing, empowering, and carrying an implicit feminist message. Many considered its cast of middle-aged female stars as diverging from the conventional preference for younger women in the entertainment industry. Its showing of competitors’ mutual support during training sessions was also praised as encouraging the idea of “girls help girls” and challenging the stereotypical display of fights between women that prevails in reality television. Continue reading

Lung Yingtai hits back over book ban

Source: Radio Free Asia (8/31/22)
Taiwan author hits back over book ban, saying she is proud to be banned in China
Chinese schools have been banning any texts that don’t sing the praises of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
By Fong Tak Ho for RFA Cantonese, and by Gu Ting for RFA Mandarin

Taiwan author hits back over book ban, saying she is proud to be banned in China

Lung Yingtai in an undated photo. Lung Yingtai’s Facebook account

Taiwanese author Lung Yingtai has responded to the banning of her books in Chinese schools, saying she is honored to have been targeted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s ever-widening program of censorship.

“I am honored to have been banned by you,” the former Taiwanese culture minister and long-term critic of authoritarian rule wrote on her Facebook page after schools in the eastern Chinese provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu, among other locations, issued notices to parents that all of her works were no longer considered suitable reading matter for children.

“Actually, I have been banned for a long time,” she wrote, adding that “Big River, Big Sea 1949” and “Please Use Civilization to Convince Me” have been banned in China for more than 10 years now.

Other works including “Watching You Go” and “Dear Andreas” have also been targeted, Lung wrote.

“They were removed from the shelves in a lot of places after I spoke out on behalf of Hong Kong in 2019,” Lung wrote. She added: “The basic prerequisite for the existence of any government is that it safeguard individual freedoms.” Continue reading

Emory position

Lecture-track Assistant Teaching Professor in Chinese Language and Culture
Emory University

The Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA seeks an excellent scholar-teacher for a full-time position in Chinese language and culture at the rank of Assistant Teaching Professor, to begin Fall 2023. This is a three-year renewable position pending positive reviews. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in Chinese linguistics, language pedagogy, literature, cultural studies, translation studies, or related areas in hand by the time of appointment, and possess native or near-native proficiency in Chinese and English. Experience or training in teaching undergraduates in North America and the ability to teach all levels of Chinese language courses are required.

The candidate will be expected to teach five courses per academic year, which will include Chinese language courses, as well as cultural content courses based on the candidate’s area of specialization and on department needs. The candidate will play an important role in the development of the Chinese program, the East Asian Studies Program, and the university as a whole. Knowledge of current trends in language teaching methodologies, familiarity with effective uses of technologies in language instruction, and experience in developing innovative language learning projects are highly desirable.

The position is a professional career track with possibility of promotion (http://college.emory.edu/faculty/faculty/promotion-lecture-track.html). Below is the link to the Faculty Responsibilities document:

http://college.emory.edu/faculty/documents/faculty/faculty-responsibilities.pdf Continue reading

The weakness of Xi Jinping

Source: Foreign Affairs (Sept-Oct, 2022)
The Weakness of Xi Jinping: How Hubris and Paranoia Threaten China’s Future
点击此链接阅读中文版 (Read in Chinese).
By 

Posters of Xi in Shanghai, March 2016

Posters of Xi in Shanghai, March 2016. Aly Song / Reuters

Not long ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping was riding high. He had consolidated power within the Chinese Communist Party. He had elevated himself to the same official status as the CCP’s iconic leader, Mao Zedong, and done away with presidential term limits, freeing him to lead China for the rest of his life. At home, he boasted of having made huge strides in reducing poverty; abroad, he claimed to be raising his country’s international prestige to new heights. For many Chinese, Xi’s strongman tactics were the acceptable price of national revival.

Outwardly, Xi still projects confidence. In a speech in January 2021, he declared China “invincible.” But behind the scenes, his power is being questioned as never before. By discarding China’s long tradition of collective rule and creating a cult of personality reminiscent of the one that surrounded Mao, Xi has rankled party insiders. A series of policy missteps, meanwhile, have disappointed even supporters. Xi’s reversal of economic reforms and his inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic have shattered his image as a hero of everyday people. In the shadows, resentment among CCP elites is rising.

I have long had a front-row seat to the CCP’s court intrigue. For 15 years, I was a professor in the Central Party School, where I helped train thousands of high-ranking CCP cadres who staff China’s bureaucracy. During my tenure at the school, I advised the CCP’s top leadership on building the party, and I continued to do so after retiring in 2012. In 2020, after I criticized Xi, I was expelled from the party, stripped of my retirement benefits, and warned that my safety was in danger. I now live in exile in the United States, but I stay in touch with many of my contacts in China. Continue reading

Gen Z tries on Communist cadre look

Source: NYT (9/7/22)
So Square It’s Hip: ​​Gen Z Tries on the Communist Cadre Look
Why are some Chinese youth dressing like middle-aged civil servants? It might be ironic, or a longing for stability in uncertain times.
By Joy Dong

President Xi Jinping in his trademark blue jacket with oversize trousers during a July visit to Urumqi, China. The understated look has become surprisingly popular with some younger Chinese.

President Xi Jinping in his trademark blue jacket with oversize trousers during a July visit to Urumqi, China. The understated look has become surprisingly popular with some younger Chinese. Credit…Li Xueren/Xinhua, via Associated Press

A dull blue jacket, oversize trousers, a Communist Party member pin adding a splash of red on the chest, a small briefcase in hand. It’s the typical dress of the typical Chinese official, and has long been the very opposite of the look that many young Chinese strive for.

But now the cadre look is cool.

On Chinese social media platforms where trendsetters trade fashion tips, young people — mostly men — have been sharing pictures of themselves dressed like their strait-laced, middle-aged dads working in Communist Party offices. They call the trend “ting ju feng,” or “office and bureau style” — meaning the working wear of a typical mid-rank bureaucrat.

The paragon of this determinedly dull look is China’s top leader, Xi Jinping. He is highly likely to win another five years in power in October, when about 2,300 delegates gather for a Communist Party congress in Beijing. Many of those officials will be wearing Western-style suits and ties for that special occasion. Back at the office, though, countless officials now sport the dark blue wind jacket favored by Mr. Xi. Continue reading

WeChat warns users their info is being sent to China

Source: Radio Free Asia (9/8/22)
WeChat warns users their likes, comments and histories are being sent to China
The message is sent to users overseas, despite claims that a separate, ‘international’ version of the app exists.
By Yitong Wu and Chingman for RFA Cantonese

WeChat warns users their likes, comments and histories are being sent to China

The WeChat app is seen on a smartphone in a file photo. Reuters

The Chinese social media platform WeChat is warning users outside China that their data will be stored on servers inside the country, RFA has learned.

A number of overseas WeChat users received a notification on Sept. 6, warning that “personal data [including] likes, comments, browsing and search history, content uploads, etc. “will be transmitted to China.”

The notification also reminds users that their behavior while using the app is subject to WeChat’s licensing agreement and privacy policy.

A YouTuber living in France who gave only the pseudonym Miss Crook said she was shocked to receive a French translation of the same message.

“I clicked through and … this message popped up, so I automatically clicked cancel,” she said. “It’s becoming clear what the difference is between a democracy and a dictatorship.” Continue reading

Twilight of entrepreneurs in China

Source: NYT (9/8/22)
Twilight of Entrepreneurs in China as More Leave the Country
Two of China’s best-known entrepreneurs, Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, stepped down from their top jobs at the real estate development company they built.
By Keith Bradsher

The Chinese entrepreneurs Pan Shiyi, left, and Zhang Xin quit this week as chairman and chief executive, respectively, of their real estate empire, Soho China.

The Chinese entrepreneurs Pan Shiyi, left, and Zhang Xin quit this week as chairman and chief executive, respectively, of their real estate empire, Soho China. Credit…Visual China Group via Getty Images

BEIJING — Wealthy and powerful entrepreneurs in China were once idolized by the public, doted on by the government and courted by foreign investors. They helped build the Chinese economy into a powerhouse, and with it became the global face of Chinese business in a freer era, amassing billion-dollar fortunes, buying mansions overseas and holding court at elite international gatherings.

Now, billionaire tycoons are the outsiders in an increasingly state-driven economy that prioritizes politics and national security over growth. As the government cracks down on business and the economy weakens, they are keeping low profiles, stepping down from their companies or leaving the country entirely.

In the latest exodus, two of China’s best-known entrepreneurs, Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, resigned this week as chairman and chief executive, respectively, of their real estate empire, Soho China. Both had already moved to the United States early in the pandemic and tried to manage their business with late-night calls back to China.

It has been a rough year for their company. A deal to sell a controlling stake to the Blackstone Group in New York fell apart when regulators failed to approve it. Soho China’s stock has lost more than half its value in the past year. Continue reading